HDR with Photomatix Software

Article by Heather Lang – Bergen County Camera

Photomatix software and demo software available from www.hdrsoft.com

The leading software for high dynamic range photography is Photomatix, and for good reason too. It is loved by many photographers, including Trey Ratcliff who specializes in HDR photography. (He’s one of my favorite photographers!) He published a book in 2009 titled, “A World in HDR” which explains and shows you the steps of the Photomatix software.


When I first bought and tried out Photomatix, I found it a bit confusing and intimidating with the many options and toolbars. However with some practice, it’s easy to get what you are looking for in your image and the options can really help you find the right look. The tone mapping can turn a dull photo into something truly surreal looking.

I haven’t tried any other HDR programs out there besides Photoshop’s “Merge to HDR Pro”- which in my opinion is anything less than pro. Compared to Photomatix the images look very ‘blah’ and less detailed. The examples I provided below shows the same batch of images processed with Photomatix & Photoshop. You’ll see a major difference.


What I like about Photomatix is the ability to make HDR images from batch processing. So instead of just a single HDR, you can do many at a time. Photomatix also isn’t just to give images a ‘dreamy’ effect, it really can help your highlights and shadows. As an example, look at my river shot. The sky was blown out, and Photomatix gave back some life to it. Overall, I really do enjoy using Photomatix and look forward to creating more HDR images with the program for the future.

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