Aug 222010

HDR photograph of Kilmore church on Mull. Processed by Photomatix Pro

I recently wrote a blog article about Photoshop CS5’s new “Merge to HDR Pro”. In that article I mentioned that the recent improvements with HDR software will mean that I will start to do more HDR photography in the future.

However, before committing to doing HDR with Photoshop CS5, I thought that I would do some more tests. The ultimate HDR test for me is how easy is it to create a HDR panorama?

Whilst in Scotland, I made a handheld panorama at Tobermory. The light was harsh, so it was a great opportunity to try HDR at the same time.

I first tried to process the HDR in Lightroom and Photoshop CS5. The result was good but I couldn’t find an easy way of batch processing all the segments of the panorama in one step. In this case there are 10 different segments with 3 exposures per segment.

Click on the photo to see more of this hand held HDR panorama of Tobermory.

With Photoshop CS5’s ‘Merge to HDR Pro’ I had to process each frame separately and stitch the HDR frames.

I then tried to do the same task with Photomatix Pro. Photomatix has a Lightroom plugin, when the plugin is combined with Photomatix Pro’s batch processing, it is easy to select ALL the photographs for a panorama (in this case 30) and process them together. It can achieve this because you can tell Photomatix Pro that you want it to do the HDR processing in steps of 3 (in this case).

If you photographed a HDR panorama with 8 segments and had 5 exposures per segment then you would select all 40 photographs in Lightroom, export them to Photomatix Pro and tell Photomatix Pro to do the HDR processing in steps of 5. It’s that simple!

I’ve been so impressed with Photomatix Pro that I contacted the developers (HDRsoft) and have got a 15% coupon code. If you want to buy Photomatix then click here and type ‘RBERRYPHOTO’ as the coupon code and you’ll save money!

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