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Adobe's CS5 and HDR Pro

If you’ve been on my website at all, you know that I do a lot of HDR photography. As an architectural photographer it has become an indispensable way of photographing interiors and exteriors of buildings. As a fine art photographer, the surreal images that I have created using HDR have expanded the way I photograph the world. To create HDR images we have had to use the program PhotoMatix Pro, but not anymore. Adobe’s Creative Suite 5 has added HDR Pro to Photoshop and now PhotoMatix Pro has some competition.

For photorealistic images using HDR, Adobe’s Creative Suite 5 beats photo PhotoMatix hands-down. The Remove Ghosting feature in Photoshop is just incredible. In the example below you can see that PhotoMatix has very heavy red and blue lines and ghosting in the images, where HDR Pro with the Remove Ghosting feature turned on it eliminates both the red and blue lines and the ghosting images. In PhotoMatix Pro it would have taken me hours to clone out and use a color layer to fix that image, but with this new feature in Photoshop I will be spending a lot less time retouching images.

The one thing I wish Adobe would put in HDR Pro is a histogram that changes as you adjust the image. They give you of histogram of how the image started but it does not change and you can’t really see if your blowing highlights or shadows as you adjust the sliders. The presets that I’ve been using the beta version, in one word, sucks! I don’t know what the developers were thinking and I bet a lot of people will be making their own presets and getting them out to the rest of the PhotoshopWorld, I have already started trying to make my own and once they release Photoshop I’ll put them on my site.

I think that PhotoMatix will have to take a really good look at how their product works and doesn’t work, if it wants to compete with Adobe. I like PhotoMatix, but it does tend to have a lot of noise where HDR Pro has really eliminated that. With everything that I’ve seen in CS5 this is really a major upgrade for photographers. More to come.

Photoshop HDR Pro

PhotoMatix Pro

  • Richard - Hi Randy,

    I’m in the same boat as you: I use both Photomatix and CS5 HDR Pro. I love the low noise and remove ghosting of CS5, but the presets are a bit dissapointing. I’m trying to create my own presets, but so far my results have been really really bad.

    I’d be very interested to see your presets once you release them. If I can ever come up with a preset that is something worthwhile I’ll send you on a copy.

    Thanks for the blog.

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