Which HDR blending system

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by michelyazigi, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    I want to start with HDR photography and was wondering which program/system to get.
    I already heard about Photomatics, but is it the best to have? and what is ventorama? just another blending

    Thanks for answering
  2. Photomatix is the most known, but there are many options including free ones. I would just give trial versions a try, to see which program suits your taste in results and way of working best.
    This might be a nice "intro": http://captainkimo.com/hdr-software-review-comparison (not saying the review is correct or anything, but it lists the major titles all together)
  3. Thanks Wouter, it was very helpful. I will download 3 most recommended for trial. Michel.
  4. You may also want to explore tools that offer 'exposure fusion' which is simpler and IMO, more realistic looking than most HDR
  5. +1 Howard. Exposure fusion is also called exposure blending or "enfusing". Check out:
    If you want greater dynamic range with natural colors and contrast, I think exposure blending is the better option. For this purpose, I use Lightroom Enfuse, a lightroom plugin.
  6. @ Howard, I did a small search and found out that the Photomatix essentials does both and costs below US.$ 40.00. I downloaded the trial version and found it very interesting and easy to use.Thanks for the info.
  7. Hmm, exposure fusion sounds like an interesting alternative.
  8. I have never been fond of HDR or tone mapping and generally blend images in PS. Hearing about this "exposure fusion" here made me go look and test it out. I tried both Photomatix and enfuseGUI and actually think that the process has some merit. I compared the quick results with images I had worked with blending and although I thought the blended images were generally better, I was impressed with the fusion results--I also didn't work them as much as the final images I made with blending.
    My own sense is that although the interface is more confusing and less convenient, the enfuseGUI actually performed better in most cases. The contrast Photomatix produced was sometimes objectionable and I couldn't find anyway to temper it. There were also some color shifts at the edges of areas where dark and light came together. I didn't find the latter with GUI and also found a way to modify the contrast. Although I worked several images, the controls used in GUI seemed less predictable, so there was more hunt and peck to get the results--but the fact that you can save the versions along the way with their settings is very nice.
  9. Having used Photomatix, Hydra and CS4 for HDR work, and being a student chasing a Dip.Art in visual arts, the conclusion I have come to is that if you expect software to fulfill your artistic needs then you had better learn to use your chosen software. I love HDR, it allows such a large scope in post production, from the most subtle effects to over the top art effects.
    Software out of the box is unlikely to yield satisfactory results. Unrealistic rendering of images is 99.99% user and .01% software.
    It always amazes me that the prevailing attitude seems to be that better software and or equipment will improve ones skills when the exact opposite is true. Developing ones skills allows better use of software and or equipment.
  10. Photomatix was recently updated and the blending options are as good as the HDR options, when used in Blending Mode it does not tone map the image. I tried several programs for realistic high dynamic range images and found Photomatix to be a clear leader.

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