I was challenged by interesting question from Google+ discussion: what post processing is preferred if you are shooting a multiple exposure HDR without a tripod. I’ve tested 3 methods:
1. Align and Merge to HDR image in Photoshop
2. Stack and align bracketed exposures in Photoshop and then assemble HDR image in Photomatix Pro 4
3. Align and process HDR in Photomatix Pro 4
All 3 ways have advantages and disadvantages. I’ll show you 100% fragments, and you will make your own decision on what is the best and where.
My preference will depend from time I have for processing each image. For perfect result, I think, we need to combine all 3 methods and using masking in Photoshop to use only the best parts from each image. The fastest way for creating handheld HDR is Photomatix Pro 4, but we will get little bit blurred image with lost some details.
I found that the optimum method for me is to use Photoshop for aligning only and process HDR file in Photomatix Pro 4. Alternatively, Photomatix plugin for Photoshop can be used, I believe it gives the same result.
Now, the test results:
This is the test image without any post HDR ajustments and corrections with saved as much details as possible:
First image processed in Photoshop without sharpening or other adjustments, second image aligned in Photoshop and assembled in Photomatix Pro 4, and third HDR was created in Photomatix Pro 4 entirely.
The winner method for me is Photoshop plus Photomatix Pro 4.
What do you think?
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