Why I Gave Up HDR Photography

Today’s Post by Mark Toal

I used to shoot a lot of three-to-five image HDR photos. Used to…

HDR is basically taking multiple images at different exposures and combining them to make one image with more shadow and highlight detail. And I mainly used dedicated HDR software, like Photomatix Pro, to combine these images.


I eventually got tired of the overly dramatic look of the images and having to shoot and process multiple images. Then I switched to making one-image HDR photos using HDR Efex from Google.

Now I find that I can achieve almost the same effect in Lightroom CC using the program’s shadow and highlight controls. If I need a little more boost in my black and white images I will use SilverEfex Pro from within Lightroom.

In this sample image you can see how I was able to increase detail in the shadows of the barn interior and outside wall that was in the deep shadow. This image was a JPEG file. You can get more detail if you shoot RAW files.

It’s amazing what information is in a JPEG file if you know where to look.

PS> And in a timely note the image of a tree illustrating yesterday’s blog was an in-camera HDR image created using the Panasonic Lumix G85—Joe