High Dynamic Range, or HDR, photography allows photographers to create images with a higher dynamic range than can be captured using a camera. I know, my English teacher told me to never use the term you are defining in the definition. What it effectively means is that if you want to take a picture of a scene that has really bright whites and really dark blacks, your camera can’t capture the detail in both, so you have to decide which area is more important and then adjust your exposure accordingly.
The idea behind HDR is that you would take multiple pictures, one with the details in the whites and one with the details in the blacks, merge them together, and end up with an image that is a blend of both and has details in the blacks and the whites.
When used properly, HDR can produce stunning images with brilliant details across the scene. I’ve spent a lot of time exploring the different tools available to process HDR, including Photoshop, but have landed solidly on Photomatix as my tool of choice for processing my HDR images. Not only is Photomatix extremely powerful and easy to use, but the Lightroom export plug-in makes it easy to select images inside of Lightroom, send them over to Photomatix for processing, and to import the final image back in to Lightroom.
Want to try it yourself? You can download a free trail of Photomatix on the Photomatix Download page. The trial of Photomatix Pro is fully functional and never expires, but adds a watermark to final images.
Ready to buy? I’ve worked with HDRSoft to get Lightroom Fanatic readers a special discount code for Photomatix. When you’re ready to purchase Photomatix, go here and use the coupon code LightroomFanatic to get 15% off!
Below are a few resources that I’ve created to help you with your Lightroom HDR journey. Enjoy!