HDR Software for Landscape Photography?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by e.besana, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. e.besana

    e.besana Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 16, 2010
    Tarrytown, NY
    Hi All,

    I always brag about how helpful this group is to my fellow photography enthusiasts. A friend of mine has decided to put my words to the test. He shoots with a Canon T1i so he is not part of our little clique here but I've told him that for the most part everyone here has shot with something other than micro 4/3 or 4/3, and that the knowledge base is a amazing.

    Long story a little bit shorter;
    He's asking if anyone has any recommendations for HDR software, pros, cons. He's looking to make landscape photos.

    Thanks in advance! -eb
  2. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    If your friend isn't a ยต-43 user tell him to google HDR software ;-)

    All kidding aside, whisper to him Photomatix Pro. It is by far one of the best bang for the buck when it comes to HDR and is very popular with almost all serious HDRist. While I could go on and on about it, it is easier to down load the trial version and take it out for a spin.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. PeterB666

    PeterB666 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 14, 2010
    Tura Beach, Australia
    Real Name:
    I have used Photomatix Pro 3, PaintShop Pro XII and Adobe Photoshop CS5 for HDR. The one that generally delivers the best result is Phtomatix Pro 3.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Ben

    Ben Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 16, 2009
    I can echo the recommendation for Photomatix although I find that a lot of the output is a bit over the top (that very plastic look that has given HDR a bad name). The very new HDR Expose is excellent and I am getting some results from it that I am very happy with.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Otto

    Otto Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 9, 2010
    Texas, USA
    I'm currently using Photomatix Pro as well.

    I will mention that Nik Software is about to release their HDR piece, and from the initial "sneak" preview, it looks like it will be worth checking out.

    Hope this helps,
  6. JohnF

    JohnF Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 1, 2010
    Oberursel, Germany
    Hi -

    EasyHDR Basic is a great introduction to the world of HDR, and it's free. :)

  7. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Do any of these run on a Mac? I tried a free trial of an Aperture plug in - something like "Hydra"???? - and don't like the results enough to pay for it. Then again I may just not fully get what I'm doing yet. I'm not particularly hot on HDR, so I don't want to invest much time or money, but it seems like a good technique to understand well enough for those occasions where it might really help - if it can be done without that really fake look that so much HDR takes on.

  8. everythingsablur

    everythingsablur Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 4, 2010
    Toronto, ON
    PhotoMatix does indeed run on a Mac. Pro includes a Lightroom plug-in, and Pro Plus includes plug-ins for Photoshop (CS2-5) and Aperture. There's also the Light version which has no integration (and maybe loses batch processing as well).
  9. oris642

    oris642 Mu-43 Regular

  10. Otto

    Otto Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 9, 2010
    Texas, USA
    Here is another option, if you haven't tried it. Topaz Adjust is a nice plug-in that has some filters that include some pseudo HDR effects. It was recommended in Rick Sammon's "HDR Photography Secrets for Digital Photographers" book. I'm glad he mentioned it as I use it quite a lot.

    Fully operational 30 day free trial.

    Topaz Labs - Video and Image Enhancement Software

    Give it a try, if you haven't already. Excellent suite of tools.

    No affiliation.

    Good shooting,
  11. walt_tbay

    walt_tbay Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 24, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I've been experimenting with the Photomatix Pro plug-in for Lightroom 3 on an iMac. The combination works terrifically and I've been pleased with the results.

    I picked Photomatix Pro after reading "Practical HDR" by David Nightingale, and "HDR Photography: Photo Workshop" by Pete Carr and Robert Correll (which also included a code that provided a 15% discount on the purchase of the software!). Both books are very helpful resources.:2thumbs:
    • Like Like x 1
  12. bebrox

    bebrox Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 29, 2009
    Have a look at Dynamic-Photo HDR 4

    Dynamic-Photo HDR 4 is an excellent HDR application it can provide real punch.

    In comparing the two, Photomatix often looks more dreamy whilst Dynamic-Photo HDR 4 looks more vivid and sharp.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. kappa546

    kappa546 Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 17, 2010
    Photomatix pro seems to be the consensus best program out there currently. A really good and free alternative IMO is Picturenaut. There are even some tutorial videos on youtube to help you get the most out of your pictures (taught me to tone-map :) )
  14. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Real Name:
    Photomatix is currently my fave along with Photoshop CS5. Nik software is releasing a new HDR app see their site for more info. Another tip is to google stuck in customs for free HDR tutorial and HDR guru Trey Radcliffe's work.
  15. e.besana

    e.besana Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 16, 2010
    Tarrytown, NY
    Thanks everyone,

    I think he's sold on Photomatix Pro. I knew I could count on mu-4/3!
  16. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Real Name:
    Richard Elliott
    Yep - the Nik software is out. Just played with the demo version a little bit this weekend. Did some 5 shot brackets here at the lake:




    I think it is useful if you do not overdo it.
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Real Name:
    Richard Elliott
    Here are another one with the trial version of the Nik software.

    • Like Like x 2
  18. sinpig

    sinpig Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 2, 2010
    Superior, WI
    Everybody seems really happy with Photomatix Pro, but how about the "Light" version? Do I really need all the blows and wistles?
    I don't own Photoshop CS, only Lightroom 3.3, will it really make that much of a difference. I just want to give HDR a shot and rather spend my money on lenses :)
  19. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Real Name:
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Real Name:
    Richard Elliott
    Nik Software offers a free trial period. I tried it and bought it.