HDR Efex Pro from Nik Software is a new program that aims to make creating HDR (High Dynamic Range) photos quick and easy. Aimed at beginners and digital photography professionals alike, HDR Efex Pro boasts tight integration with Adobe Photoshop and Apple Aperture, and promises a wide range of options to make everything from realistic to artistic compositions.
HDR, or High Dynamic Range, photography is a process whereby one image is made out of several photos all taken at different exposures. The idea is that each photo captures detail in different colours areas, highlights, and shadows. The effect can vary between a very plastic and artificial look, to a more subtle vivid image that packs huge visual appeal. The technique can be particularly effective for architectural, night and landscape photography.
Typically taking a series of photos with differing exposures is just the first stage, with the time spent perfecting the blend in Photoshop often considerable, not to mention the relatively high standard of Photoshop knowledge required to get good results. HDR Efex Pro aims to capitalise on the growing number of people who are after more from their digital cameras, and with many mid-to-high end point and shoot cameras now offering either a dedicated HDR mode, or at least some form of manual exposure control, this could gain substantial interest. Interestingly, HDR Efex Pro also claims to be able to create an “HDR look” from a single image, offering users a quick creative angle. We haven’t seen any results from this single image mode, and suspect it could be more of a gimmick than serious tool.
Sadly when HDR Efex Pro goes on sale in October it will do so at €159,95, placing it out of the reach of many who would have liked to take advantage of the innovative and quick workflow.