HDR Efex Pro2 Standalone
I’ve recently started shooting HDR and really enjoy it. After downloading and trying out several software packages, I found HDR Efex Pro2 worked best for me. Since I don’t own Lightroom or Photoshop, I use Efex Pro2 as a standalone product. It doesn’t work with NEF files, so I’d been using View NX2 to convert them to TIFFs. That works quickly, but it means you’re stuck with the camera settings you used for the shoot.
After some experimenting, I came up with a better method. I use Capture NX2 to open the middle (0EV) shot. Then I go to Camera Settings, and adjust the White Balance, Picture Control, and Active D lighting until the picture looks its best. Then I Save Adjustments, and Run Batch Process on the other exposures for that series, saving the results as TIFFs. If I’ve taken several similar series, I can use the same Adjustments on all of them. I then open them with Efex Pro2, Create HDR, and tweak the presets to get what I want.
I did want to thank Don Menges for his excellent “Touch Up Secret”, and Kraig (nightcat) for his technique to apply the Secret in NX2. Another NX2 technique to try is to select New Step, Light, Auto-Levels, Advanced. Adjust the Contrast and Color Cast, then go to Opacity, All, and try the different blending modes. Also, the Color, Saturation/Warmth lets you make some subtle adjustments. I’ve placed an example of one of my recent shots in my gallery, hope you enjoy it!
Visit my Nikonians gallery.