High-dynamic effects: six programs tested
Like the selfie stick, HDR images seem to be everywhere, and like the selfie stick they also polarise opinion. That’s due to photographers getting carried away and producing psychedelic, eye-poppingly unrealistic images. But used with restraint, HDR software simply helps you create photographs containing more shadow and highlight information than a single exposure can reveal.
The trick is to exploit your Nikon’s exposure bracketing feature and capture at least three different exposures: one underexposed to contain maximum highlight detail; an accurate exposure for midtones; and an overexposed shot that reveals shadows. HDR software combines the best bits of each shot, with the final result having a dynamic range closer to what the human eye perceives.
We’ve selected six highly regarded HDR packages to see which is easiest to use, offers the best features, and produces the most realistic and seamless results, even when dealing with a misaligned bracketed sequence.