HDR Tidbits (links, news, inspiration)

Happy Friday again. Everyone seems to be enjoying the HDR video so I thought I’d include a whole post about HDR stuff. First off, let’s start with some software:

Software
There’s a few programs you can use for HDR.
1) Photoshop – I’m not a huge fan of Photoshop’s Merge to HDR
2) Photomatix – definitely my favorite. Oh yeah, NAPP members get a 20% discount. Here’s the link to the NAPP member website to get the code.
3) FDR Tools – Cool enough. I’ve tried it but I like Photomatix more. It just seems more intuitive to me personally.
4) Dynamic Photo HDR – This program looks like the best of all of them to me. The interface looks awesome. However, it’s PC only so I haven’t been able to try it out yet.

Learning
• I did a 2 part NAPP tutorial on the NAPP members website. One on Merge to HDR in Photoshop and another one on using Photomatix.
• I think HDR really shines for real estate and landscapes. Here’s a neat article on using HDR for real estate photography.
• Stuck in Customs has a cool tutorial
• Ben Willmore is teaching a class on it at the upcoming Photoshop World in Las Vegas
• Another HDR tutorial I found on Flickr

Inspiration
Finally, here’s some inspirational links to some great HDR photography.
• The mother lode of all HDR inspiration over at Flickr’s HDR group.
• Photomatix’s website has some really great examples of HDR. Check out Maciek Duczynski’s portfolio there for some amazing stuff.

As always, if you’ve got some related news, links, websites or tutorials let us know in the comments area. Have a great weekend!

Author: Matt K

Matt is a full time Education Director for the NAPP and Kelby Training. He's a best-selling author of various books on Photoshop and Photography co-hosts the live weekly photography talk show "The Grid" and is co-host of "Photoshop User TV". In his spare time he practices as a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys spending time with his family in Tampa, FL.

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29 Comments

  1. Just to pick nits for a moment (I used to be an editor), it’s “mother lode”, not “mother load” …
    ;-)

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  2. Feedback on Photoshop CS3 Killer Tips: Downloads for the last 3 postings are not available on iTunes AGAIN.

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  3. It looks great… I will try it on few of my pictures… i love your presets.. thaks
    Paulo Jordao

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  4. Matt,
    I, for one, would not be dismayed to see a few Photomatix Presets accidentally appear in place of a Lightroom Presets post. That way, I wouldn’t have to stay up past midnight almost every night (since having purchased Photomatix using the most excellent NAPP discount).

    Thanks, I appreciate all your effort here.

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  5. Great HDR video. Do you think Lightroom will include HDR stitching in a future version? I believe the growing popularity of HDR would make this a given (I hope). Thanks

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  6. Hey Matt,

    For me this HDR Tutorial was the best in the internet i founded, when i started to do some HDR stuff. In this tutorial you will see a comparison between photomatix and photoshop, too.
    Here is the link:
    http://www.vanilladays.com/hdr-guide/

    hf and thx for all ya great postings!

    Scale

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  7. Hi Matt,
    One of my flickr contacts, Ferrell McCollough, has published a book: “Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range” which I bought on Amazon.com. It is probably the best guide to HDR around. He’s very methodical and compares the different software. I highly recommend it and it sits above my computer right next to your “Layers”.

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  8. Thanks for this tutorial. I have been interested in HDR but didn’t know how to go about it.

    I feel much more confident now and am actually heading out to see what I can do.

    Thanks!!

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  9. High Dynamic Range Imaging by Erik Reinhard, Greg Ward, Sumanta Pattanaik and Paul Debevec is a great book for understanding HDR en all its possibilities.

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  10. Matt, I have been practising and I’m getting better at the Photomatix HDR thing. This will be fun. Thanks for all the links they were very inspirational.
    thanks again.
    R.

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  11. Matt,
    If operating system wasn’t an issue, which hdr program would you consider? I’m going to get one of them, but after going over both websites I’m still not completely sure which one. Anyone else’s comments would also be appreciated. No, I haven’t tried either program yet (photomatix/dynamic) but I’m going to. Just like to here from other people and there experiances.

    Thanks in advance.

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  12. Matt,

    I have been an avid Photomatix user for over a year and I must say that I absolutley love it. So after I saw you post I went and checked out the Dynamic Photo HDR site. WOW!! I chcked out the screen shots and bought it immediatley. Know I must say that this is amazing and I barely Know anything about it but… holy cows. I have all of my bracketed shots on a different hard drive so I loaded an HDR file and just checked it out. The presets are amazing and they give you choices. The photographic setting is purely that. A photograph. Thanks Matt, once again. The lives you change you will never know so just keep posting the links.

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  13. I have a lot of HDR landscapes on my blog as well. The first real exposure to HDR photography for me came at Photoshop World 2008 in Orlando. I took Ben Willmore’s class on it and have been having a blast with it. I highly recommend his class and DVD’s to anyone interested in doing any HDR work. It is well worth the time and money.

    Take a look if you have time… http://www.tkrphoto.com… Don’t make me call V on you. :)

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  14. Matt, thanks for the HDR posts, very valuable. I’m trying both Photomatix and Dynamic Photo HDR. Dynamic Photo HDR seems to provide more control, but I find Photomatix more intuitive and I get better results. Maybe this is just a learning curve; and I’ll continue to try them both. Also, the view of the image you’re working on is larger in Photomatix, making it easier to see the changes you’re making.

    Thanks again, hope you continue to talk about HDR regularly.

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  15. Thanks for the excellent tutorial. Regarding auto-bracketing…it works well to shoot in burst mode as fast as the camera will shoot minimize misalignment (if not using a tripod). Images can then be stacked accordingly in Lightroom using Photo>Stacking>Auto Stack by Capture Time. Setting the Time Between Stacks to 3 seconds seems to work well. Then go back to Photo>Stacking>Collapse All Stacks to clean up your desktop. Stacking only seems to work when looking at “All Photographs” and won’t work with a collection…not real logical.
    Rob

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  16. Hi Matt,

    Thanks for clearing up some of the confusion surrounding HDR. I am starting to use HDR for some real estate photography. Have you tried out an app called Bracketeer? It’s an OS X UI for the Enfuse engine. I’ve tested it for a while, and while it has fewer controls, it seems to produce better results than Photomatix… plus it’s only $29.

    Check it out.
    http://www.pangeasoft.net/pano/bracketeer/index.html

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  17. Hi Matt,

    I too found found that Dynamic Photo HDR to produce excellent results. The manual alignment capability allows images to be aligned precisely, even when a tripod has not been used. The presets and filters can produce dramatic results, including black and white.

    If anyone is interested, they can see some examples here: http://www.timlees.co.uk/p592147117/

    Another useful program on a similar vein is Startrails (www.startrails.de). This allows stacking of multiple exposures like this (http://www.timlees.co.uk/p849271463/?photo=h2F5C0526#794559782)

    Thanks for all your work in producing these informative videos.

    Tim

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  18. Hi Matt,
    I’m an international member of NAPP.
    I’ve tried on the Photomatix website but no succes.
    The 20% discount doesn’t seem to aply for international members.

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  19. Hi there.
    Just had to comment;
    took a link from Amit’s comments at the top of the page and then another from that link to http://www.cambridgeincolour.com.
    I have just spent an hour browsing through this site.
    Take a look – he’s good, and very generous in sharing his techniques.

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  20. Bridget said,
    “on June 18th, 2008 at 9:38 am
    Hi Matt,
    I’m an international member of NAPP.
    I’ve tried on the Photomatix website but no succes.
    The 20% discount doesn’t seem to aply for international members.”

    Following on from Bridgets comment, I too am an international member of NAPP and the discount worked fine for me. Just inserted the code into the appropriate field on the order page and did a recalculate. There it was.

    Am now trying to get close to some of the HDR photos I am seeing you guys do from the links here.
    Thanks
    John

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  21. Hello from France,
    I’ve been looking at the podcast “Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Killer tips” for several months : It’s one of my favorite.
    When I saw this episode appearing in the list of the episodes, I wonder what Lightroom has to do with HDR…
    Well, in fact, I don’t learn something from the use of Lightroom (sorry :-( ) but, Matt, you showed me an other software for HDR : Photomatix. It’s your favorite : well, now, it’s mine too !!! I’ve tried it with some test pictures : the result was what I expected !
    I’ve used the one that in Photoshop and FDRtools (http://www.fdrtools.com). Both give fairly good results, but Photomatix suits me better, now.
    Thanks & best regards.
    Jean-Yves Gruffat

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  22. FYI- Dynamic Photo HDR now has a Mac option- but it says it’s only for the intel-based Mac OS. I assume Matt’s running a true mac though…

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