As we show in this article you can tone-map 32-bit HDR images now in Lightroom since version 4.1. But so far you needed Photoshop to create the 32-bit HDR files. The "Merge to 32-bit HDR" plug-in by HDRSoft allows a seamless workflow from inside Lightroom.
The steps are quite easy: Select the bracketed exposures and call the "Merge to 32-bit HDR" plugin:
We use the "Align Images" option because this plug-in does a fine job aligning images. Once the plug-in has done its job you find a 32-bit TIFF file in your Lightroom folder. Tone-map these images in Lightroom and you are done.
Here are some sample results (all merged with this plugin and tone-mapped in Lightroom 4.1).
What we like
• We always liked the colors from Merge to HDR in Photomatix and this is the same
• Alignment is very good
What we like to see improved
• The plug-in could allow better TIFF compression options for 32-bit HDR files. Right now these files get pretty big
• Would nice to include the more advanced de-ghosting features from Photomatix. We use them rarely but they can be very helpful at times.
We are very happy that this plugin now allows a seamless HDR workflow within Lightroom.
Note: HDRSoft is the company that created the Photomatix HDR software
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