Do you have an aerial HDR photo that is proven to be tough to merge in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom? This is where Photomatix Pro comes into play. How does Photomatix Pro work? In this video, Richard Harrington and Francis Torres walk through how to merge a tough aerial HDR image in Photomatix Pro.
- While Photoshop and Light Room both have HDR capabilities, there are industry leading tools specifically designed for HDR. And we're gonna take a look at one called Photomatix. Frances, you've used Photomatix before, what do you like about it? - Well I like it because it's a program dedicated just for HDR, so there's a lot of little settings in there that Photoshop cannot do. - Okay so that last one we looked at in Photoshop, let's be honest, we kind of gave up, it was tough letting us, like, well let's make that black and white, and that's okay because that's an easy cop out, it still makes a good image.
We did talk about before shooting at golden hour, which gives you much better light, but we didn't have access to the park after the sun went down, as it was getting towards sunset, we had to be out of there before golden hour. But we can send this over to Photomatix pro, and this is gonna merge those together, and we're gonna take those three images and click okay. And it gives us the ability to align, so we an go ahead and if there's any movement it'll compensate, which is cool. We have our ghosting option, if we thought there was ghosting.
I don't think we do. And chromatic aberration, and what again is chromatic aberration? - [Frances] Chromatic aberration is the fringe created by high contrasted areas. - [Interviewer] All right, well let's go ahead and open this up, we'll merge this together. Not bad. And we have a whole bunch of different styles. Exposure fusion is designed to merge these together, and I find that natural or interior tends to do a good job of holding all the details together, so that did a nice job there, it kept the best color of each picture, and sort of gives us a super shadows and highlights slider.
So we've got the highlights recovered, we can pull those down, we got the shadows lifted, little bit of contrast there to bring out some of the details, little saturation, and that's looking pretty good there, I've definitely brought out more detail. - [Frances] Yeah I mean in Photoshop when we were doing the HDR, we couldn't get the details in the front of the house like we did in this software. - [Interviewer] Yeah it looks good, and if we click apply, it's gonna open up that image with the fusing and they do have their own utility so you can correct things.
You can of course send this over to Photoshop or Light Room for more adjustments, but we do have some tools here that allow us to say, oh, well, tone down the blues a little bit. And so that color cast on the front of the building, gone. (laughs) But we can bring the aqua out, which puts the color back into the river. All right, and let's just play with the purple there, not bad. Little red, that worked well. We can do some additional sharpening. And play with your typical contrast curve, which allows you to recover shadows or highlights.
So we'll just put a little bit there, and bring out the darks. Just a hint. There we go, not bad. There's our color, not bad. There's our sharpening. Looks good. And at this point, you can save the image, or simply after saving choose the option to open it up in Photoshop or another tool. Let's just put this into our folder here, into processed, and I'll choose to open it up into Photoshop, sends it over, and at this point you can easily make any other adjustments, so I could toss on a curve, and click auto to lift that up a little bit.
That kind of helps with fixing the brightness and contrast. Not bad. I think at that point we're looking pretty good, and it's a finished image. So what Photoshop couldn't handle, Photomatix could. - Yeah so first, if your favorite tool doesn't work, you might want to try looking to another, third party software that can actually do the job better. - Yeah, and with HDR, while Photoshop and Light Room are quite capable, the ability to actually do a little bit more is definitely worth trying.
All right, well let's try another image really quick, and do a little bit more of a fantastic HDR image. Let's go back into that folder. We got another image here, and in this case we're gonna go into an aerial. I've already made TIF files, you can use raw or TIF, and let's merge those with Photomatix. So this is a five image bracket shot on the Autel, and I'll merge with Photomatix pro. It's looking at the images there, and it looks like it bracketed them about one stop apart each, so that's okay.
And we'll merge those together. And this time, fusion did an okay job, I like that, fusion natural, little different, still kinda photo realistic though, right? - [Frances] Mm-hmm. - [Interviewer] And we can dial in the amount of contrast. So I like that, that works well. But some people like other styles of HDR, so fusion is the natural style, tone mapping is the dramatic style.
So we can take a look at this here and play with different options. We got some different presets here, and you see that all sorts of things are possible with this. But each of these are just a starting point and so you can get ones that are just extreme detail. So there, the trees are really jumping off the screen. - [Frances] Yeah, very high contrast in this one. - [Interviewer] Yeah, but we can control that. So we have our lighting adjustments, and you see different styles of lighting, from the very surreal to the natural look, or somewhere in the medium.
And so that helps, and we can play with the total amount of contrast as well as how much the lights and darks get compressed, so that's pretty cool. Pop the white point a little bit and play with black. So this is a little bit more painterly like, it's slightly stylized, but it's not quite as dramatic as say that. - [Frances] Yeah. (laughs) - [Interviewer] So there's all sorts of styles here, I also love this for black and white. I'm using some presets here, these are available for download for free from photofocus.com, and we got a whole collection of presets there, but this is one of my favorites, this is my punchy black and white look.
I like that there, just beautiful contrast in the scene. - [Frances] Oh yeah, it's a very big difference between the whites and the blacks there. - [Interviewer] Yeah, so we hit okay, and we got a new image, and then same thing, you can take advantage. Now obviously the color's not gonna have any effect, but you can continue to play with your contrast slider in this case push the whites a little bit, getting an even higher contrast image. And it takes on almost an illustration like quality, but I like that there. And it just gives you more options that you can explore.
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