HDR op­tions

High-dy­namic ef­fects: six pro­grams tested

NPhoto - - Front Page -

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.

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