HDR or pseudo-HDR with Nik HDR Efex Pro
If I say that everyone was waiting for this, I will not say anything. Nik Software once again made a splash by releasing a plug-in for gluing HDR or pseudo-HDR images through its plugin. By the way, the most interesting part begins, because on the Internet a lot was said about the quality of work, about the new kernel, but no one said anything about the main advantage: the program works, first of all, as a plug-in for Photoshop, and, more importantly, to Lightroom.
Why am I so happy about this? Well, first of all, the plugin fits nicely into my workflow – for me, Lightroom is a tool that allows me to quickly send out a very substantial amount of photos (I even wondered if it would be better to insert the article into the Lighroom lessons, but it cost a simple link), and we are talking here not only about wedding photography, but also about the usual household holiday. Often you had to go on vacation, bring from there 2-8 GB of photos and leave them matched on your computer until black days? Why am I asking, I also had this, and only Lightroom helped to sort and print all these deposits. Since recently, it has become easier to sculpt panoramas in the program, and now HDR is glued. In other words, this is the very component that was missing – neither Photomatix, nor LucisArt were here. No, it’s not a matter of quality – as you know, Lightroom, first of all, takes its convenience. However, I was distracted.
Where to get Nik HDR Efex Pro
The plugin is downloaded on the Internet (a trial key for 15 days is included), you can also get a license there that costs $ 160, so we recommend that you first use the free two weeks to get an idea if you really need this pleasure, because I can do it alone be such a fool – the amount is comparable to the cost of Lightroom itself. The program also supports 64-bit data processing, so it is compatible with modern operating systems. The plugin works both in Photoshop and in Lightroom. After installation, you only need to restart the program.
My recipe is simple, but I do not impose it, because to each my own, however, it is easier for me because I do not need to justify my steps. We will assume that we already have a finished project with holiday photos imported into it: my case is a recent trip to Barcelona.
I’ll make one caveat: I always import photos into the project “by zeros” using the redone Zeroed preset (the Camera Neutral profile has been added to it). If you need a preset, you can do it yourself by applying Zeroed to the picture (this is one of the standard presets), and then find the Camera Neutral profile in the Calibration panel. After that, just create a new preset, which we apply to all imports in the future. I sincerely recommend this approach to all, especially Nikon device holders, with whom Adobe has clear contradictions. If someone needs this preset, you can download it here (after that just unzip it and copy it to the preset folder, I have C: \ Documents and Settings \ SamsonovSV \ Application Data \ Adobe \ Lightroom \ Develop Presets).
As a result of using this preset, the photos lose their saturation and take on the appearance of true dullness, because there is no contrast there – which means that there is a maximum of the dynamic (tone) range of each image that can be pulled from a specific matrix (the ideal, in this case, is a full-color gradient , in which each dot by tone differs from the previous one, such are synthesized only on a computer, and there is no need to strive for them). By increasing the contrast, we kill part of the pixels in order to separate the opposite ones at different ends of the histogram. But as a material for work, this is just what you need.
HDR Efex Launch
Naturally, initially we have shots shot with HDR for bracketing (without a tripod, just from the hands, but for greater accuracy, you can use a tripod, just drag it). Since my camera (Nikon D90) allows it to stretch only 3 pieces, I use the widest step, 2EV. It turns out that to the 9 brightness levels that the device is capable of (according to the manufacturer), we add 4 more (minus two, plus two, relatively correctly exposed) – it turns out 13, which is very good, however, personally I can’t say that it’s true, because in the process of mixing we’ll lose something anyway. We find these frames in the Lightroom film below, highlight (the work is carried out with a quick collection, which I previously compiled from the best, according to the results of the trip).
Right-click on a group, select Export → HDR Efex Pro. You can simply go to the export window, then various settings will be available, which can be changed by selecting the corresponding item on the left. However, default is quite enough. After this, the program will take some time, depending on the speed of your internal processes, to generate three 12-megapixel tiff files and write them to disk, align them (the Align operation is done automatically) and generate the first default preview.