It is not unusual for folks to misinterpret what HDR photography really is. Most beginners are confused that HDR photographs have a certain HDR feel and richness to them, but are unaware of the real use an HDR photograph brings.
In certain situations a camera may be unable to confine the range of contrasts in a scene. This results in the highlights being overexposed and the shadows underexposed. In both cases, you lose precious detail in your scene. An HDR photo blends three different exposures to give you the optimum look for any scene.
How HDR Software can help you
The most vital function of any HDR software is to aid in combining several exposed photos of the same scene into a one HDR photo. Surprisingly, they usually do a lot more than that. HDR software helps with features like image alignment, tone mapping, noise reduction, ghost removal and a lot more depending on what the software has to offer.
In the process of making an HDR picture, it is compressed from a large dynamic range into standard dynamic rage. This technique lowers the contrast and alters it to a relatively bland photo. Tone mapping aids in reviving that mid tone contrast along with re-mapping the histogram. Simply put, tone mapping can help in improving and de-saturating HDR images.
When merging two or more images, aligning images can become a huge issue. While it is important that you take the different exposures at exactly the same angle and perspective, a good HDR editor will help you align images even if they are slightly off.
If any moving object has been captures in your RAW files, it may appear as a blurry ghost in the final photograph. You can easily remove the object by turning on the ghost removal option during the developing process. However, in any case it is best advised to evade this issue during shooting.
Let’s now take a look at how you can use Adobe’s excellent Lightroom to create your very own HDR images.
Lightroom as an HDR Editor
Merging HDR images is considered as one of the finest features Adobe has to offer. Lightroom makes a RAW format file for any HDR file automatically. Due to this feature, all the data that is saved can later be used as a normal raw image. It is one of the few editors that have this ability. It works great with HDR images and has been one of the top HDR software in the market simply due to the fact that it is also people’s go-to RAW editor.
However, everything has its ups and downs and Lightroom is no different. There is no batch mode in Lightroom which means that all images need to be combined separately. Additionally, this software does not offer the best time-lapse editing. While it does have the ability to create very good HDRs, the fact remains that Lightroom itself is not a dedicated HDR editor.
Due to that reason, we are also going to talk about the best Lightroom HDR plugin that you can use. It not only makes it easier to create HDRs within the same program but also brings its own features to the table.
Aurora HDR is the best Lightroom HDR Plugin
This software has exceeded all expectations. Although most users prefer Photoshop with its power-packed tools, Aurora HDR is a strong competitor when it comes to handling HDR images within Lightroom. Aurora HDR is known for its simple interface, very natural looking photos, and amazing tone-mapping technologies. It can be used either as a plugin for Lightroom or as a standalone program.
Aurora HDR for Lightroom also brings batch processing capabilities, allowing you to work much faster. There are also a handful of presets that can help create natural results for specific situations with the click of a button. All in all, if you want to create true HDR photos and don’t want to use anything other than Lightroom, then get the plugin from Aurora HDR and you’ll see the huge difference it makes to your workflow.