As a fan of HDR photography, I was quite excited when Nik Software announced HDR Efex Pro 2. This update is packed with an updated UI, unified editing, and faster processing! Check out this video to see what’s new!
HDR Efex Pro 2 Overview
What is HDR Photography?
Now for those who aren’t familiar with HDR photography, it’s the process of combining multiple exposures, usually 3 or more, of the same scene into one, final image. The advantage of this is that, hopefully, you end up with a photo that is more true to what the human eye sees. When we take a picture with our camera, we get results like the ones you below, where the exposure is great in some areas, but poor in others. HDR photography that’s processed for natural results will end up with more-or-less an even exposure throughout the image.
How does HDR Efex Pro 2 help?
HDR Efex Pro 2 not only allows you to combine your images into one HDR image, but with it’s incredible tone-mapping algorithms, you can achieve very realistic, or artistic results!
Whether you prefer Photoshop, Lightroom, or Aperture, the editing experience is the same, no matter which application you’re most comfortable in!
Alignment, Ghosting, Chromatic Aberration, oh my!
When merging multiple images into one, it’s very important to align your images, and reduce or eliminate ghosting. While using a tripod can significantly reduce these effects, it’s not always perfect, and you’re bound to deal with moving trees or water. With the alignment and ghost reduction options in HDR Efex Pro 2, this process is made very simple.
Another issue that you may run into, is chromatic aberration, which are the purple/green color fringes that you may see around harsh lines of your photo. With the Chromatic Aberration option, you can reduce the amount of fringing by moving the sliders in the hue range of the fringes.
If you’re looking for a very quick effect, or a starting point for your edit, the Preset Library is a great place to start! With 28 presets, you’re bound to find a great effect to start with!
Whether you’re starting with a preset, or prefer to start from scratch, fine tuning your final image couldn’t be easier in HDR Efex Pro 2! The new UI provides clearly labelled sliders and ‘stops’ which tell you exactly what you’re adjusting, and which ‘feel’ you’re applying. On top of that, many of the adjustments you’re already familiar with are available to you as well!
As I’ve mentioned in past reviews, Nik Software’s U Point technology is a feature that takes their plugins to the next level. With Control Points, you can apply adjustments to specific areas of your photo, resulting in much stronger images. Simply place a point in the area you want to adjust, set the size, then make your adjustments!