HDR Photography Resources:
Software and Tutorials
part of DigitalPhotographyClass.net
The Bay at Portofino by Trey Ratcliff stuckincustoms.com
High Dynamic Range photography is a method used to produce images
that try to recreate what the eye sees in a scene that has a wide dynamic
range of light to dark tones that cannot be captured by today's cameras
in one image. Even though the latest camera models do a great job capturing
evenly lit scenes, there is still much room for improvement in high-contrast
scenes. If you take many landscape, architectural or other high-contrast photos, you
will immediately realize that you cannot capture very bright and
dark tones in one image. You must expose for highlights or shadows at
the expense of the other tone.
HDR imaging is a method that combines at least 3
exposures 2 stops apart using specialized software to produce a wider dynamic range of light to dark tones than a single image can capture. Stand-alone HDR
applications, Photoshop plugins and Photoshop combine properly exposed parts of each image to produce a composite 32 bit HDR image,
often with stunning results. They can be very realistic or overly
dramatic "artistic" images depending on the software used and how you process them.
I've compiled some good resources including HDR books, links to the most popular HDR applications, and a long list of tutorials on how to set up your camera to take bracketed photos and how to process your photos with HDR software. I hope it will be helpful to you!
-- Judy Howle
HDR Imaging Books to get you started
Books in the top section the newest. R.C. Concepcion's new HDR book (June 2011) sounds interesting and it covers Nik HDR Efex Pro in addition to Photomatix. Trey Ratcliff's book has been very well received and a local photographer told me it is his favorite and more useful than 2 others in the older group that he also owns. Practical HDRI 2nd ed. was published last year. Tony Sweet's book will be out July 2011. Be sure to read the descriptions and user reviews before purchasing to see which you prefer. Also keep in mind Christian Bloch's updated book due out in November.
The HDRI Handbook 2.0: High Dynamic Range Imaging for Photographers and CG Artists
by Christian Bloch
The following books are oldies but goodies
Below is a listing of HDR software, both free and
commercial versions. Photoshop (CS2 and later) also produces HDR images
but is less effective than dedicated programs at tone mapping. CS5 is a little better than previous versions.
Best Free HDR Software Programs
site lists several free applications with
reviews. They are listed below.
HDR Community Edition
Popular Commercial HDR Programs
Photomatix 4 For years this has been the preferred HDR software but now has some serious competition. Standalone and Photoshop Plugin available. It also comes with a Lightroom plugin.
Lightroom Plugin Export from Lightroom
to Photomatix Pro
NIk HDR Efex Pro HDR plugin with many presets and 4 tonemapping algorithims. Lightroom plugin comes with it. My personal favorite.
Oloneo Photo Engine New HDR application with many great features. It not only offers almost unlimited control over exposure and lighting but also provides a new level of creativity in digital photography. PhotoEngine is the only HDR and RAW processing software offering amateur and professional photographers full control over light and exposure in real-time. It is still not up to par for image alignment and ghosting for hand-held photography.
HDR Expose from unifiedcolor.com, billed as "the only HDR software available that features
accurate color, full color gamut and HDR editing capability"
HDR Express Little brother to Expose, featuring a simpler interface with fewer controls.
32 Float the first fully featured 32-bit color editing plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop® based on Beyond RGB™ color space. With 32 Float you can adjust color, brightness and contrast while maintaining a full 32-bit workflow. It accepts 32-bit HDR or 8/16 LDR images from any application and can produce crisp, photo-realistic images without halos or color shifts.
Tutorials for the 3 previous products from unifiedcolor.com
HDR Darkroom Billed as: the first all-in-one HDR software to achieve
both photo-realistic HDR photography and surreal HDR photography easily
using two patented innovative Local Tone Mapping technologies.
Dynamic Photo-HDR from Media Chance. Dynamic Photo-HDR is a next generation High Dynamic Range Photo Software with Pin-Warping, Anti-Ghosting, Fusion and Color Matching
Pseudo-HDR from a single image
HDR-like images can be created from one image
with this popular plugin which is also useful for tweaking your
images aftter tonemapping with any other HDR application such as Photomatix, CS5, HDR Efex Pro, etc.
Adjust Photoshop and Elements plugin filter
ReDynamix from Media Chance
Photoshop CS5 and most HDR apps can also tonemap a single image for an HDR look.
HDR Software Yahoo Group
Flickr HDR Group
http://www.flickr.com/groups/qualityhdr/ Check here to view some good examples
Blogs on HDR
Listing of HDR Blogs
Daily HDR Photos at Hidyn
Tutorials and Articles on HDR Photography and Processing
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