by Mike McNamee Published 01/02/2016
The Photoshop options are more limited than Aurora and this default, auto-image is always rather flat, requiring quite a lot of adjustment.
In Photoshop you can use HDR Pro to merge files automatically. This also provides a limited number of presets and a modest collection of sliders. At the extremes, the outcomes can be as garish as those made with Aurora. The default condition was rather boring and flat, and additional modifications would certainly be required.
To create an HDR image from a bracketed set, highlight the sequence in Bridge then click>Tools>Photoshop>Merge to HDR Pro. On our system it took 1m 20s to collect five Nikon D810 shots together and open the Merge To HDR Pro dialogue panel. From this panel the Tone and Detail sliders (Gamma, Exposure and Detail) may be adjusted to achieve the desired result. In our example, nothing acceptable was generated! Even at two stops underexposure there was some highlight clipping in the clouds before the sun. The +2 image was still a little too dark and an adjustment of +1 stop was required (ie a total of +3 stops). Combined with the -2 image, this gave an effective range of five stops.
Photoshop - The Manual Stitch
None of the automated routines from the Adobe software worked particularly well and so we resorted to manual stitching. This has the advantage of leaving the photographer in control of the elements that are represented in the final blend; one of the issues with landscapes is the breeze moving trees and bushes so that a combination of five shots is something of a mish-mash.
Photoshop easily goes over the top.
The sequence we used is as follows:
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