Photomatix Pro: The HDR Process
There are two different ways of creating HDR images as listed below:-
- Tone Mapping
- Exposure Fusion
Tone Mapping is a process of manipulating various tones on a single image. Tone Mapping allows you to shift the highlights and shadows of the images so that every detail of the image seems to be properly exposed and highlighted. This feature also allows the user to shift all the tones closer in order to get an impact of uniform Mid-tone. Halos are created around each tone by default so that every tone seems to be separated from the other tone. These effects give a surreal effect for which HDR images are famous for. There are three different methods of Tone Mapping and these include the Detail Enhancer, The Contrast Optimizer and The Tone Compressor. Each of this method will enhance the image in a number of different ways such as brightness, white clip, black clip, color saturation and tone compression.
Exposure Fusion can be explained as the automatic blending of the photos. This technique takes the best part of each photo and blends it together to get the best quality image. There are a number of different methods offered by Exposure Fusion to process and blend your photos such as Fusion Natural, Real Estate, Intensive, Average and Auto along with more enhancement option such as strength, shadow contrast, local contrast and highlighting the depth. Exposure Fusion gives a natural look to your photos but it has lesser controls as compared to Tone Mapping. While processing the image to HDR you can also call your inner artist to add customized effects to your images such as playing with the presets and moving the sliders to get the desired results on your images. Once you are done with the changes and effects you can click the Apply button to apply all the effects and changes on the image you have produced.
Photomatix Pro: The Finishing Touches
Once you have completed applying the effects to the photo a Finishing Window pops up that allow you to make some of the adjustments to make your image more refined and more presentable. These finishing touches include contrats, color and sharpening adjustments of the image. You can also zoom out the images to add sharpening effects to objects like mountains etc.
Photomatix Pro: The Image Format
It is an interesting fact that Photomatix Pro is not designed to work only with the RAW images as the software can support the multiple photos taken under different exposures with different image formats. The software works great with the photos in JPEG format as JPEG images requires less adjustments and settings as compared to the other formats of the images. If you are having a tough time in adjusting and presenting RAW images with Photomatix Pro 5 just give a chance to JPEG images and just see the difference in the results.
Photomatix Pro: Usability
Photomatix Pro is very easy and simple to use and you will come across the four usage options when you first come to the interface of the program. These options can be listed as under:-
- Load Bracketed Photos
- Load a Single Photo
- Batch Bracketed Photos
- Batch Single Photo
After loading the photos according to the choices present above there are a number of other options that you can perform on the selected photos as under:-
- Aligning the source images and this option includes aligning the hand held or tripod mounted images
- The next step is removing the ghosts from your images that means if you have movement between your frames of your photos de-ghosting will try to remove this movement from the frames
- The next step in refining the image is to reduce the noise and distortion and chromatic aberrations from the image
- There are also some options of the RAW conversion of the image where you can change the white balance and color profile of the image.
- The presets are great in Photomatix Pro and you must create a few of your own presets in the software. Presets will help you find the looks that may or may not suit the scene within an image. Every scene in the image is different so not having presets will be very difficult. You must cycle through some presets so that you come to the thing you want to select for your images.
Photomatix Pro: Pricing
Photomatix Pro is available for £72 and has fully advance features and plug-ins that are required for professional image refining software. However if you are not interested in the fully functional version and don’t require any advance features of the software you can also go for Photomatix Essentials that is available only for £30. When calculated in dollars the price of Photomatix Pro comes to be about $99. Photomatix Pro gives the full value against its price as it is great software for producing ethereal, textured and dreams landscape type photos with ease and professional approach.
Photomatix Pro: Plug-in Features
Photomatix 5 Pro comes as a plug-in for Adobe Lightroom, Aperture and Adobe Photoshop. With this feature you can use tone mapping feature from Photoshop CS2 through CC however Exposure Fusion is not available in the plug-in for Photoshop. One thing must be kept in mind that with Photomatix 5 Pro Plug-in you won’t be able to work on 32 bit HDR image in Photoshop as its set to work on default 16 bit image.
Photmatix Pro is an improved version of this software that takes you to the new age of HDR image processing. Photomatix Pro provides you with more refined, realistic and awesome approach for creating HDR images with no resemblance to old style photography such as over saturated, over processed and over dramatic pictures and images. With Photomatix Pro you are allowed to create hyper realistic photos that are very tastefully processed by using this software. Photomatix Pro is highly recommended for the processing of images whether you are using a single image file or using a batch of bracketed files. This application provides you with the quality output, with a great evolution in terms of options, methods and interface of the software.
Also Check : Photomatix Pro 5 Review