Sumner HDR

I have been playing with HDR for quite a while now, since going on a photo walk with Trey Ratcliff in Christchurch. I haven’t settled on any one tool for generating the HDR and tone mapping. Mostly I have used Photomatix and HDR Efex Pro both of which I like and which produce different looks to the finished image. Which I use depends on the look I want or often I will try both and decide after I have seen the results.

I was up early on Saturday and headed down to Sumner for the sunrise and with the light, and particularly with the caves at the beach it seemed like a good opportunity to take some bracketed exposures for HDR processing. The new Nik HDR Efex Pro 2 plugin has also just been released and I wanted to give it a try to see what this new version would be able to do. 

I made a few HDRs with HDR Efex Pro 2 and so far I am liking the results. The controls feel quite different from the previous version but the results seem better, it seems easier to create a natural looking image for example. I also really like the new graduated filter that has been added, this is really powerful particularly when combined with Nik’s U Point technology. I often used Nik’s Color Efex Pro for this sort of processing and being able to do it with the HDR directly is great. You can get a 15 day free trial on the Nik Software site.


5 Exposure HDR processed with HDR Efex Pro 2

There are interesting caves on the beach, some of which are closed off following our earthquakes but some are still available. The rocks and the light make for an interesting subject for HDR.

I thought this looked a bit Martian.


5 Exposure HDR processed with HDR Efex Pro 2


5 Exposure HDR processed with HDR Efex Pro 2


5 Exposure HDR processed with HDR Efex Pro 2

Even without HDR the colours were pretty good.


1/50s @ f/11 ISO 200 Focal Length 32mm


 1/320s @ f/3.5 ISO 200 Focal Length 70mm

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