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Quick HDR Edits with HDR Efex Pro

Article Description

Photoshop master Dan Moughamian presents the third in a series of three articles focusing on the different types of HDR applications and workflows available to photographers. This segment provides a look at the HDR Efex Pro application from Nik Software. While not every feature is covered here, there should be enough to get you started!

HDR Efex Pro is a relatively new Photoshop and Lightroom plug-in from Nik Software. The process that I use most often is first pre-processing a series of bracketed, raw exposures in Lightroom 3, and then opening them directly into HDR Efex Pro, where they are merged and processed to achieve the style or look you need.

Exporting and Merging Exposures

Once your raw edits are applied to the series of exposures, you are ready to move the files from Lightroom and merge them in HDR Efex Pro. (Typically you will have 3, 5, or 7 shots in a series—see Page 1 from my earlier HDR article for more background on why this is the case. To do this, open your Filmstrip panel at the bottom of the Lightroom window, make sure all of the exposures you just worked on are selected (and no others!), and choose File > Export with Preset > HDR Efex Pro (see Figure 1).

Figure 1 HDR Efex Pro can be located either in the File menu under Export with Preset, or by right-clicking one of the thumbnails from the bracketed series and choosing Export > HDR Efex Pro.

2. Quick Overview and Setup | Next Section