An HDR-experiment

This morning I read an interesting discussion about HDR-processing on the blog of Leanne Cole. You might read it as well first (link opens in new window). In the past I experimented with HDR and as many I overdid it every now and than. Nowadays I try to avoid HDR as much as possible but there occasions I choose for it.

Anyway, if you’ve read my comment (nr. 67 I believe) you know that I make use (and experiment) with a wide range of software and Photoshop plug-ins (see also the page My Gear) and thus avoid the application of specific HDR-software like NIK Efex, Oloneo, etc.

My experiment this morning: two quick pictures (snapshots); one from behind my computer with the focus on the door (13 bracketed shots) and one from the verandah (8 bracketed shots). Both shot with with my Sony A77 with 16mm Zeiss lens.

I merged them in respectively Photoshop and Photomatix Pro. Next I processed one picture of each series in DxO Optics Pro 9 (with wide-angle correction). The advantage of DxO is that it callibrates the camera/lens combination and automatically makes adjustments resulting in colours that match the reality.

See and judge for yourself. First of each series is Photomatix followed by Photoshop and as last the non HDR DxO version. The ones in Photomatix are ‘mapped’ as ‘natural’ and no use of adjustment sliders in the Photoshop HDR window.


Author: Herman van Bon Photography

" I like to explore the possibilities and limits of digital art, I just let it flow to see where it can go, sometimes the end result appears quickly, sometimes the creative process takes months and other times  the creation dies in its own beauty". 

9 thoughts on “An HDR-experiment”

  1. Excellent and thanks for adding another program to the mix. I would only add that in my examples, which Leanne cited, I did try to use some of the software to get more natural feel and not just the presets. I almost never happy with preset. DXO looks great and I will look into whether it can fit in my workflow.


    1. I also have Ps plug-ins of Digital Film Tools like RFine (adds natural detail) but still experimenting with it. DxO is a very intuitive program and within one hour I had the first satisfying results. Their tutorial is outstanding (Photoshop can learn a lot from that!!!). DxO also has limitations but it’s a great asset for creating natural looking pictures!!!
      Thanks for your comment. I really appreciate ths!


  2. I was going to say the same as what Victor said, I never use the presets in Photomatix, I nearly always go to default and move the adjustments that I know will give me the results I like. But that is how I do it. I like the Photomatix ones the best I think. I think the Photoshop ones are the worse. I have never heard of the other one. I might have to investigate. 🙂


    1. I used the ‘natural’ preset in Photomatix on purpose for the simple reason that the designers of this software claim that this feature matches the reality. DxO is not HDR-software but in some cases it gives far better results than whatever HDR-software I’ve tries. Again; you wrote an inspirational posting about the subject. Thank you!


  3. Thank you for this test. It confirmed my experience. I use DxO RAW converter for each image. Unfortunately HDR in PS is not satisfactory. To make further elaborations I use mostly NIK or TOPAZ. Photomatix does not fit into my workflow … maybe if I can take more time for photo editing to me again. LG RG 🙂


    1. Leanne Cole prefers Photomatix and I did as well but I’m getting serious doubts now that I’m also experimenting with other software. For this ‘test’ I used the Photomatix preset ‘natural’ and did not make adjustments under ‘defaults’ as Leanne suggested. Neither did I any adjustments in the Photoshop merged images. Victor Rakmil was also impressed with the DxO pictures and he doesn’t like ‘presets’ either. I’m curious when Victor is going to experiment with DxO and especially curious what his personal experience is. Again: DxO has it limitations but it does the things it can far better than Photoshop and the tutorial is really outstanding!
      Thanks for your comment and happy to read that I’m not the only one who enjoys working with DxO… 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: