We recently held an HDR Hangout to help you get started. Our guest on the program was Blake Rudis of EverydayHDR. Blake is a fine artist who fell in love with HDR photography. He combines his understanding of light and form to make some powerful images.

Here’s a followup guest tutorial from Blake. We hope you enjoy and be sure to give Photomatix Pro a try.

5 HDR Tips for Photomatix Pro 5.0

  1. Presets are not always the best option. Dynamic Range changes drastically from one image to the next. A preset can be used as a baseline, but very rarely do they make a one and done image.
  2. The Lighting Effects Mode is not nearly as powerful as the Lighting Adjustments Slider. Lets face it, having 11 increments (and more) on one slider is more forgiving than 5 quick adjustments (Natural, Natural+, Medium, Surreal, and Surreal+). I have never met an HDR image that deserved a Surreal+ slap in the face!
  3. Working From Top to Bottom is the best idea when tone mapping an image. Usually I keep the top the same at all times, 100, 50, 10, 10. Then I work my way down paying the most attention to the Lighting Adjustments and the Highlight Smoothness.
  4. Over saturating in Photomatix Pro with the Saturation slider is always a BAD idea! There are so many tools for saturation after Photomatix. It is not a good idea to over-saturate in Photomatix because you do not have any control over the colors that are being manipulated.
  5. Photomatix Pro should be looked at as a Means to an End, Not the End All Be All!!! You wouldn’t build a bench with just a hammer, why would a photograph be any different? Use the tools you have to craft your images and don’t look at any one tool as the end all be all!