High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography has been around for a long time, but it has only been since 2005 with the release of Adobe Photoshop CS2 that it has become practical to create this style of image that were once difficult to produce. Since that time, more products have come to the market to make the photographers job easier and the results much better. The latest of these products is Nik Software's plug-in for Adobe Photoshop - HDR Efex Pro.
Along with both being authors and instructors, Odell and Sweet are also beta testers for the new product and it was there that they realized that this would be a unique opportunity to educate their clients about HDR tone-mapping with this new plug-in. This has become the eBook The Photographer's Guide To HDR Efex Pro. The book contains four main sections and is 188 pages in length.
"Introduction to High Dynamic Range Photography," begins with a background on what HDR is, and how it relates to both how you see in the real world and how a camera sees. You are then introduced to software methods for tonal compression as well as an overview of this process works.
Next you will learn about techniques for shooting HDR in the field. They go into good detail on how to set up the shot, what variables need to remain constant, the need for using a tripod, the use of some sort of remote shutter release, and how many frames should you shoot. Finally they finish up with some post processing basics and recommended settings for RAW processing as well as pros and cons of using HDR for photography.
"Welcome to HDR Efex Pro," next looks at Nik's newest product and what the advantages it offers to the HDR processing world. They start off with how to install the plug-in and how to launch it from Photoshop, Adobe Bridge, Photoshop Lightroom or Apple Aperture. They also show you how you can use HDR Efex Pro as a stand-alone application using TIFF files.
Next they look at the HDR Efex Pro interface pointing out all of the different screen areas and the interface options such as preview modes, the various panels, the image adjustment tools, settings, preset browser, and where to find help.
"Working with HDR Efex Pro," begins with a quick-start guide to using the product in all three interfaces. Then the talk moves to image alignment because even though you may have use at tripod, there may be times that the wind could still cause some shake, you may not have a cable release which could cause movement, or the situation may call for not using a tripod.