Summer is the Best Time for HDR or is it?

Today’s Post by Mark Toal

Before and afterAbout five years ago I was really into shooting multiple images and processing them into dramatic HDR photos. I loved working Photomatix Pro and Nik HDR Efex Pro software. Then Adobe released Lightroom 4 with much better highlight and shadow control, especially for RAW files. Lightroom 5 made more improvements and pretty soon I was creating one-image HDR’s just using Lightroom.

The photo (at right) is a perfect example of what used to take 3-5 bracketed images combined in an HDR program. It was a very bright summer day at 10am. The exposure for the inside of the car is several stops different than the sun on the pavement out its windows.

Using Lightroom 5.5, I reduced the image file’s highlights, increased its shadows, contrast and clarity, added a little saturation and produced an instant HDR photograph with a quarter of the effort—all in one program.