I’ve tried almost every HDR program out there but I never could get the result I wanted. Mainly because of the highlight area around the top of the lighthouse. No matter what software I used, I always found that they were just a little bit over-exposed. Yes, I know you can play around with masking layers in, etc. but as much as I like messing in Photoshop I’d rather do as little as possible. That’s where HDR Express comes in. I brought in my 5 exposures, selected the mid-tone tone-mapping preset and the vivid style. Next using the Shadow/Highlight tool on the histogram I was able to adjust the highlights to get the look I wanted. As simple as that, what could be easier.
I was lucky enough to win a copy of Unified Color‘s HDR Expose in the competition run by Rob Hanson earlier this year. I’m still getting used to using it and maybe I can get the same results with HDR Expose if I try hard enough. HDR Expose has more controls but it doesn’t have the Shadow/Highlight tool that HDR Express has. Talking to Unified Color they say they will probably be implementing that feature for HDR Expose sometime in the New Year. I can’t wait, especially as my trial copy of HDR Express runs out in about 12 days.
Technical Note: Image is a bracket of 5 RAW from -4 to +4 in 2 EV steps (I made a mistake in my setting up) taken with a Samsung GX10 fitted with an 18-50mm kit lens @ 35mm. ISO 100, f22, shutter speeds from 1/1000 sec to 1/4 sec. Camera was mounted on a RedSnapper RS-284 & RSH-12 Ball Head and the shutter was fired using infra-red remote control. HDR processing was with Unified Color’s HDR Express.
- Golden revolution – 01/03/11 (andysphotos.wordpress.com)