Using Photomatix Pro to Create an HDR Image

Canyon View by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

Canyon View by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

I stated in an earlier post while talking about Palouse Falls State Park that there are some good opportunities for views of the canyon in the area. It is alway difficult lighting so I used a series of three exposures to create an HDR image. I am using the software program Photomatix Pro for combining and processing the images to the final HDR. It has been a good tool for me as it actually includes tonal mapping to get the final image.

I will outline the steps below that I used to process the final image that you see at the top of this page. The 3 original images are pictured below. I took them at a 2/3 stop exposure difference.

Image 1 by Gary Hamburgh

Image 1 by Gary Hamburgh

Image 2 by Gary Hamburgh

Image 2 by Gary Hamburgh

Image 3 by Gary Hamburgh

Image 3 by Gary Hamburgh

Image 4 by Gary Hamburgh

Image 4 by Gary Hamburgh

At this point I imported the HDR image into Aperture for storage and some final adjustments. Once in Aperture I used the plugin Color EFX Pro 3.0 by Nik software for some tonal curves adjustment. After this process the image as seen at the top of this page was created.

I have been very happy using Photomatix Pro software to create these kinds of images. As with any special processing, I believe this kind of tool should be used sparingly but it is useful in high contrast situations to control extreme lighting.

Hopefully this view of the Palouse will encourage a trip for some unique photo opportunities to this beautiful area in eastern Washington.

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