HDR Merging for All April 21, 2015 – Posted in: Photography – Tags: , , , ,

When I first tested the Merge to HDR function in Lightroom CC, I thought to myself, “There must be something missing. HDR is supposed to be complicated, with uncomfortable options such as edge glow.”

But everything was there. Adobe was approaching HDR in a new way. Their thinking was, capture a few bracketed images in RAW, use the latest technology to draw as much tonal information as possible from those files, then produce a DNG that responds well to editing in the Develop module.

The difference in Lightroom’s approach to HDR, other than it’s a RAW-based process, is that you’re only halfway through the workflow after the merge. You get to finish the file using tools that you’re familiar with such as highlights, exposure, and contrast.

I cover this entire workflow in our new eBook titled, Rocky Nook’s Guide to HDR and Panoramas with Photo Merge in Lightroom CC. And the kicker is, the eBook is a free download if you’re willing to share your email address with Rocky Nook (and Rocky Nook only!).

HDR Merge Preview

This free guide is important because it covers the decisions you make at capture, then organization, through merging, and finally in editing, which are all linked together as a single workflow. What’s great about it is this: the HDR steps in Lightroom are a natural sequence for photographers who are already using the application.

I also cover panoramas in the free eBook. And again, I spend as much time on tips for capture, as I do for processing those images and creating a beautiful wide scenic.

Now that we have these merging tools built into Lightroom CC, we can take advantage of high dynamic range imaging more often. I’ve even programmed one of the function buttons on my camera to capture a –2, 0, +2 sequence. So whenever I spot a scene that I might want to merge in Lightroom, I can do so quickly.

It’s become that easy. This is really HDR for the rest of us.

More good news on the Lightroom CC front. The Indispensable Guide to Lightroom CC by Sean McCormack will be available in June.