- Published on Sunday, 19 August 2012 13:53
- Written by Super User
I've been doing a lot of HDR processing (a.k.a. "tone-mapping") using the new HDR Efex Pro 2 from Nik Software. I'm quite impressed with the ease of use and quality of results I can get from the new version and I'm learning a lot about how to overcome the few quirks and idiosyncrasies I have found with the program.
I'm going to get right to the point and just say flat-out that Nik's HDR Efex Pro 2 is a game changer in the field of tone mapping software for creating and processing High Dynamic Range images.
First, it democratizes the HDR process by making it significantly easier for entry level shooters to get into the game.
Second, it greatly simplifies the process of making natural looking HDR images. The program replaces confusing technical terms and labels with easy to understand concepts and names.
Third, the program comes with a good set of very usable presets to get you started. You can also create your own presets and import those created by others. (These can be found for free on the nik website.)
Fourth, the alignment and DeGhosting routines are so good that it opens up the realm of hand-held HDR in many more shooting situations. And when I say the alignment and deghosting features are good, I mean FREAKY-SCARY good. You just need to make sure you pick the correct image for deghosting so as to minimize halos in your final image.
Fifth, the program includes Nik's easy to use U-point technology for making localized adjustments after tone mapping has finished. It also offers other finishing touches like ND filters and vignettes. These are all applied within the higher 32 bit color space within HDR Efex Pro 2.
The one complaint I have right now is that there is a Lightroom keyword hierarchy bug present in the version I am running: 2.001. (v2.002 was just released and I don't know if the bug has been fixed.)
Here is a selection of some of my favorites from the more than
650 2,800 sets of bracketed shots I have processed with the new software.