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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!
Finishing Adjustments

Finishing Adjustments

Sometimes it can be useful or fun to add a subtle effect like a “vignette border” to your shot, to draw attention to the center of the frame. For a square crop image like this one, that was the case. In Figure 6, I have chosen the “Lens 2” Vignette preset and made minor adjustments to its settings. Also shown is the “Photographic 1” preset for Levels and Curves. I don’t always need to use the Curves to get a finished result, but here you can see the nature of the setting, as it basically applied a standard S-curve to my shot, making it a bit more “contrasty.”

Figure 6 Adding finishing adjustments, like a subtle vignette to darken up the corners, can improve the look of your photographs.

When you’re finished making adjustments, click the OK button (bottom-right of UI), and your new HDR image will be saved into the same folder from which your raw files originated. If you access HDR Efex Pro from the Photoshop Filter menu, the image will open in Photoshop. Once you try it out, you should be up and running in HDR Efex quickly; I think you’ll agree that it is a simple but powerful workflow. At the time of this writing, a free demo version was available from Nik Software.