The way that Lightroom handles HDR images is very different than how tools like Photoshop or even Photomatix handle the HDR images. In fact, it will completely change your workflow inside of Lightroom. So, even if you don’t think of yourself as an HDR photographer, open up your mind a bit, and what you’ll find is that you’ll have greater control over the final appearance of your images.


Shooting Strategies

Here are a few practical tips for HDR images.  Here’s a free tutorial on how to shoot HDR —

  • Use a Tripod. Consider shooting from a tripod to get a stable image.  Lightroom can fix minor alignment issues, but brace the camera (especially for the longer exposures.
  • Cover the range.  For most digital cameras, the dynamic range is between four to eight stops.You eyes can see between 11 and 14 stops of light.  This is where bracketing comes into play.
  • Aperture priority. Make sure the the camera doesn’t change aperture.  Lock it in with Aperture priority mode and use bracketing to control the shutter speed.  This will let you capture a series of images easily.


Merging Strategies

Creating HDR images is similar to Panoramic Photos.  Rather than merging overlapping images, you’ll combine multiple images with identical compositions and varying exposures.

  1. Select the HDR source images in
  2. Choose Photo > Photo Merge > HDR. or press Ctrl+H. The HDR Merge Preview dialog opens.
  3. Choose from the following options.
    • Auto Tone: Creates a good starting point for most images what makes an evenly-toned  merged image,
    • Auto Align: Can correct for slight movement caused when shooting.  This is useful for handheld images or instances when there’s slight shake due to wind.
  4. After the merge evaluate for ghosting.  This can be caused by a moving subject or areas blowing in the wind.  There are four methods to choose from.
    • None: No de-ghosting is applied.
    • Low: Good for images with little or minor movement between frames
    • Medium: Solves considerable movement between frames but reduces the effectiveness of the HDR process.
    • High: While it can solve high movement between frames, it greatly reduced the effectiveness of the HDR merge.
  5. When ready, click Merge to create the HDR image.  A new DNG file is added to your library.
  6. Develop this image as you would any other raw file.