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Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is a powerful application for managing, optimizing and sharing your digital photographs. And Lightroom can also act as a host for HDR Efex Pro, which means we can assemble images using HDR Efex Pro directly from within Lightroom. Let's take a look at the process for assembling a series of individual exposures in Lightroom using HDR Efex Pro. I'll start off by selecting the first of the series of images that I want to assemble into a final HDR, and then I'll hold the Shift key while clicking on the last image in that sequence. In this case, it's just three images that I'll be assembling into an HDR result. I can then click on the Export button at the bottom of the left panel in the library module, that will bring up the Export dialog. And you'll notice that in addition to the Lightoom presets that are included with Lightroom, as well as the user presets that you can create yourself, we now have Nik Software presets, which includes HDR Efex Pro. I can click on HDR Efex Pro 2 from the list, and then you'll see that the only real options available to me are the file settings.
You can choose which file format you want to save the final result in, either a JPEG or a TIFF image, and I recommend a TIFF image for HDR imaging. You can also choose the color space. Pro Photo RGB is the default for Lightroom, and it is the largest color space, and so I recommend using that option, but you could also choose Adobe RGB or SRGB, if you prefer. For Compression, I generally leave the option set to none, and for Bit Depth, I work in 16 bit per channel mode, both to ensure maximum tonal range in the final image, and also to help ensure that there won't be posterization, or the loss of smooth gradations of tone and color, when I apply adjustments to the image.
With those options established, I can click the Export button and Lightroom will process and export those images, sending them to NIC Software's HDR Efex Pro, at which point I'll be able to apply some additional adjustments and change the settings for the processing of the final HDR image.
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