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Nik® Software HDR Efex Pro™ After the Shoot by Stan Sholik

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6

Selecting an HDR Method

The presets in HDR Efex Pro are extremely helpful in creating the initial look for an HDR image. Determining tone compression, as described in Chapter 5, begins customizing the chosen preset to determine the final overall feeling of the image. Next comes fine-tuning the overall look of the image.

The next two chapters discuss the Global Adjustment tools available in HDR Efex Pro. This chapter focuses on the HDR Methods that work together with tone compression to customize a preset. Even though the HDR Methods are found in the lower part of the Global Adjustments section, choosing an HDR Method should be the next step in your workflow after selecting tone compression and before going on to make other, more targeted global and local adjustments.

Understanding HDR Methods

Chapter 5 shows that adjusting the Tone Compression slider changes the overall dynamic range of the image. Moving the Tone Compression slider to negative values drives the darker tones and lighter tones to the extremes of the tone curve, while moving the slider to positive values compresses the tones to the center of the tone curve.

With each change in dynamic range, the local contrast in the image also changes. Local contrast is called microcontrast in HDR terms and exaggerated amounts of microcontrast are responsible for the “gritty” look in HDR images.

When an HDR image is first created ...

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