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Old Nov 25, 2011, 8:59 PM   #1
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Default HDR Software

Love the looks of HDR imagery. Which program/add in should I consider? I'm a new user to Lightroom if it matters.
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Old Nov 25, 2011, 10:28 PM   #2
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I've been using
PhotoMatrix Pro
Nik HDR effects pro

Both have plugins available for Lightroom and Photoshop.
I find I can also do hdr merges in PS CS5 using its built in HDR function.

Originally Posted by Outhouse View Post
Love the looks of HDR imagery. Which program/add in should I consider? I'm a new user to Lightroom if it matters.
A smartphone is all the "camera" most really need.
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Old Nov 26, 2011, 12:13 AM   #3
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What is a good add-on (cheap would be better but willing to pay a little more if the results are good) for use with Photo Shop Elements 7.0 so I can build my own HDR images...... Need something that can take 3 or 5 shots and cobined them into an HDR and also something that can view them with.

Have Microsoft Picture, Picture Manager and Adobe Photoshop Elements 7.0 at the moment. And if it maters 4GB of ram running on a Windows XP Pro System.
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Old Nov 26, 2011, 6:52 AM   #4
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Just download Photomatix --- its free trial version doesnt run out and is fully functional. When saving the image there is the Photomatix name as a watermark on the image. If you like the program then you buy it. Cant be any more fair than that. And its THE program when it comes to HDR.
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Old Nov 26, 2011, 9:20 AM   #5
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Photomatix would be a good one to use with Elements, and it's not all that expensive when you buy it. I also use Nik's HDR Efex and like it, but bought the Lightroom only Suite as I thought it was somewhat expensive for the full version. There are times when each of them will do better than the other, depending on what you are working with. Both have free trials - Nik's trial is 30 days but it doesn't leave watermarks like Photomatix does.

I tried EasyHDR several years ago and didn't like it as well as the other two. There are several other programs out there that others seem to get excellent results with, but I didn't find as useful for me and my work-flow. I'd recommend taking advantage of the trial periods of several before buying.
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Old Nov 26, 2011, 1:31 PM   #6
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I would also add my vote to Photmatix HDR software. But, please be aware that there are a number of versions with the main versions being either:

Photomatix Light or Photomatix Pro.

I've been a long time user of the light (less expensive version) and have recently upgrade to the Pro 4.12 version. From my perspective, the Pro version is the better long term choice as it automatically corrects the image for sharpening, ghosting, physical alignment. etc. This corrections in the light version are a user adjustment.


So you want to be a better photographer? Open your eyes and take a look at what is all around you.
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Old Nov 26, 2011, 3:24 PM   #7
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Take a look at the HDR forum down the page, and get a look at what people are using there, and the various 'looks' that are obtainable.
I can heartily recommend Martin Sykes' AutoHDR for a stand alone program which gives very nice results. The price is right, too.
For my own purposes, I use the HDR tool built in to my Photoimpact. It takes a bit of getting used to, as do they all, but I haven't yet found anything as overall useful and flexible. You can stack images, and have them auto aligned, erase artifacts, such as a bird flying across the scene, or traffic, etc. (in some cases this hasn't worked as well as I would like, but it may be my masking skills). Alternatively, one can create a profile of the camera by taking a range of stops, and thereafter be able to simulate the HDR from a single exposure. (noise reduction often required when doing it this way).
Very likely, since it has been several years since PI introduced HDR, others have equaled or surpassed it, so it would pay to look around and try a number of the trial programs.

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Old Nov 26, 2011, 11:39 PM   #8
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I have a friend who does some great HDR work http://malcolmmacgregorphotography.com/

He has made an impact with the folks a Photomatix and he is able to offer a 15% discount code. Just use MALCOLMPHOTO to receive the discount. (I'm pretty sure the code is still good.
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