I’ve recently been looking at developments in High Dynamic Range (HDR) software.
In particular there’s now a lengthy review of Unified Color’s HDR Expose 2 and the Float 32 photoshop plugin.
The software is a standalone package for merging individual images into one new image that covers a wider dynamic range (from dark to light) than is normally captured in a single photograph.
The new merged image can’t be fully viewed on any existing display technology, so you need to apply what is known as tone mapping, to produce a usable image.
Three images with different exposures selected for merging to HDR
Personally I don’t much care for much of the brightly coloured images that have, in some quarters, got HDR a bad name. With sufficient care in the original image capture, and restraint in the tone mapping, I find HDR techniques a useful addition to my normal work.
The software also works as a plugin for Lightroom and Aperture, where some of my issues in using it with a Bridge/Photoshop based workflow are lessened.
Available as a fully functional trial, so worth a try if you want to explore some aspects of HDR, although I found the documentation rather thin.
Note – we should also have a review of Nik HDR Effex 2 in the next week or so.