High dynamic range, or HDR photography has been rapidly growing in popularity lately, with websites like Flickr and PictureSocial overflowing with images created using the technique. It is possible to create HDR photos in Photoshop; however, there are a couple other programs out there that are easier to use and give more dynamic results. In a made for YouTube video (oldie but a goodie), Robert Chang gives an overview of his two favorite HDR imaging programs which may come in handy if you’ve been thinking about trying your hand at the technique. Have a look here:
HDR uses three or more exposure bracketed images and combines the properly exposed areas from each one to create a single, perfectly exposed photograph. What this means is no more dark shadows and blown-out skies. Each image will be balanced and well lit.
The two programs Chang covers in the video are Photomatix and QTPFSGUI. Photomatix is probably the most popular of the two programs and is a common choice of professional photographers. It is very simple to use, just a few mouse clicks and the program does mostly everything else for you. We were able to arrange a discount to PictureCorrect readers on any version of their software. For 15% off, remember to use the Coupon Code “PICTURECORRECT” at checkout. The software can be acquired Here on the Photomatix Site
The second, QTPFSGUI, is very similar to Photomatix with the exception that it is free. QTPFSGUI is also very uncomplicated to use. Again, a few mouse clicks and you can have an HDR image in no time. The program boasts a few extra technical features that Photomatix is missing, as well as a wide range of built in presets.
As you can see in the before and after pics above, HDR imaging can really breathe life into an otherwise dull photograph. Utilizing the tone mapping feature in either of these programs can even further develop the color levels. Go ahead and download one of these programs and give it a try for yourself.
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