High Dynamic Range (HDR) images are dramatic and eye catching. Creating these breathtaking results just became a little bit easier with the release of Nik HDR Efex Pro.

The software’s tools include several single-click presets for realistic or artistic finishes, as well as the ability to do global exposure and contrast image adjustments. The HDR Method option uses a four tone-mapping algorithm that can apply a variety of HDR styles. Selective image refining and enhancements like curves, levels, and vignettes can also be done with a single mouse click with out the need for layer masks or selections.


Normally to achieve the HDR look a series of exposures would be necessary to capture the detail in the highlights, mid-tones, and shadows, then those shots are blended in to one image that contains the best aspects of each exposure. While you are still able to produce images from that type of work flow, an exciting feature of this software can construct a HDR look from a single exposure. Meaning a whole new world of possibilities just opened up for your image library. The image seen to the right here was created using a single exposure shot.

For a photographer’s review on using this software check out R.L. Charpentier’s blog. Rich makes an excellent observation that applies to large format printing – Watch out for chromatic aberrations in your processed image. Nik does offer suggestions on how to resolve the issue on their FAQ page. Best practice, as always before printing your image large, zoom in and make sure you don’t see any anomalies on screen. If you see it on screen it will definitely show up on a the print.

Have fun creating some cool HDR effects with your images!