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HDR Photography | High Dynamic Range | Free Software

HDR. Some photographers love it others hate it. For me it all depends. 
I have to admit that HDR photography can go wrong very quickly and too many times it does. When folks discover HDR they tend to go overboard with the processing. So how is it done do you ask?

It is fairly simple with the help of software out there. All you need is a few images with different exposures. Using a tripod is recommended as you want your images to lign up. The next thing you need is a camera that allows manual exposure. Some most cameras on the market nowadays offer something called Bracketing. Bracketing automates the manual work for you. If your camera doesn't have it, no problem. All you need is a number of photos more than one at different exposures. For the example above I used 3 different shots. First one was underexposed by one stop, the second was overexposed by one stop and the third one was exposed properly. By combining all three I am able to get great detail, contrast and color from areas of my photo which is not possible with just one shot.

There are 3 popular choices out there to choose from but only one is free. First choice is Photoshop. If you have photoshop then great you can do this very easy.  (File > Automate > Merge to HDR Pro). Your second choice is Photomatix. It's a great piece of software and it does an awesome job. However both photoshop and Photomatix cost money. Now on to the FREE option. Google Nik Collection. This is a plugin for Lightroom and Photoshop and very easy to use.

Go download Nik Collection and get out there and try it. If you guys need help leave me some comments and I will try to help.


  1. I often use Photoshop to edit photos, but there is one more app that I always use to create HDR photos its this is great solution for people who like to edit photos but don't have professional camera.

  2. It seems like all the HDR apps on the page are PAID apps. Some not even that good from the description. Instead of paying $119 for HDR Express, I'd rather buy Adobe Lightroom and get the Free Nik Collection. Lightroom is a very versatile photo management tool and powerful photo editor well worth the investment.

  3. I wish we could see the world like it looks at HDR photos, so saturated and colorful. After creating hdr image i always take a mental pause to calm down and accept the reality. As for software, I've been a user of Auroras' editing tools for a long run and so far I don't regret about purchasing. It's quiet profitably to use free apps, instead of buying paid ones, sure it is, but this way you miss a lot of incredible stuff and useful tutorials like Take a closer look and maybe you will change your mind.

  4. Great HDR photography these are indeed. I'm a huge fan of HDR photos. I do use Nikon D5500 to take high quality photos, anywhere I go.

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  6. I wish we could see the world like it looks at HDR photos,
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  7. Great HDR photography these are indeed. I'm a huge fan of HDR photos.
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