Lightroom 4.1 and HDR
Every time Adobe releases a new version of Lightroom, there are some hidden gems. HDR support was announced for LR4.1, but there wasn't much of a description, no how-to, no what are the limitations… HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. HDR is the current flavour of the day. In the late 1970s and the 1980s, the flavour of the day was multi-color variable polarizers blue-green, red-green, yellow-green… The HDR feels the same. I "kind of" use HDR but nobody knows that some of my photos use HDR techniques like:
The more typical HDR photos are on http://www.stuckincustoms.com by Trey Ratcliff.
The most difficult part of HDR is the Tone Mapping. The Tone Mapping is what translate the 32bit data into something that can be viewed on the screen and by the printer.
Lightroom 4.1 cannot create HDR files, but it can process some 32bit HDR files created by other software and then do the tone mapping with the “regular”
Develop module. The keyword here is
SOME HDR files. Lightroom 4.1 can only process 32bit TIFF files. It cannot deal with Radiant RGBE or Open EXR 32bit files.
Adobe Photoshop CS5 and CS6 can produce the 32bit TIFF files with the
Automate → select the 32bit mode → then
Save As… and choosing TIFF.
HDRSoft PhotoMatix 4.2.3, the current version (24-Jul-2012), can also create the 32bit TIFF files by just merging the files without needing to do the tone mapping. But HDRSoft decided, in its wisdom, to only allow 32bit TIFF files in the interactive mode and not in the batch mode! Why? Because they claim that the 32bit TIFF files for the Nikon D800 are too big, around 400+ Mb and that would take “too much space.”
With these photos, I "kind of" used HDR. I used
fusion where the software find the best pixel within the bracket for that position and uses that pixel. This creates a photograph with great details in the highlights and in the dark shadows but the images are very flat. Then it's a matter of re-adding the contrast to re-create the glow of the image.