Post update on 03.Jun.2016
In an article on my german blog i allready presented the free of charge HDR tool SNS-HDR Lite.
This HDR tool is my favorite besides the Photmatix plugin, because a) its free of charge and b) produces naturally looking results.
After the installation of SNS-HDR Lite you’ll find a new icon on the desktop, a so called droplet. Like the name indicates you mark your images belonging to a bracketing series and just drop them on the icon. SNS-HDR starts to process the images right away. Before the first use, you should add the parameter -tiff16 to the program call, since you want to process the resulting image further.
On github Michael published a plugin a plugin for SNS-HDR, which integrates SNS-HDR Lite (the other versions too) into Lightroom and imports the resulting HDR image back into Lightroom, which is a tremendous handling improvement.
Within the configuration of the plugin you just have to enter the path to the SNS-HDR Lite executable.
From within the plugin you can choose to export to 16-Bit Tiff and set color to sRGB. The plugin installs its own export utility.
Comparing the different HDR Tools i used them with default settings, but for optimum results regardless which tool you use you should develop the single images.
So first of all add a lens correction in Lightroom, especially removing chromatic abberation, and art least on nicht shots you should add a correct white balance. Doing HDR i’ll take the brighter images and reduce the highlights of a scene within Lightroom. In addtion, depending on the images, i increase shadows and whites to furthermore optimize the images for a HDR image.
After this preperation its just a click on the export, the plugin is handling over the marked images to SNS-HDR Lite and the resulting image is imported back into Lightroom. A desirable option to stack the resulting option with the base images is not implemented (yet)
In the example picture the building was aligned with Lightroom auto upright function, which worked out very good with this picture. After that a noise reduction was applied, because the noise in the sky was critical using ISO 320 even on a full frame camera.
I only can say thank you to Michale Kötter for his very cool plugin. It improves the usage of the SNS-HDR tool a lot.
Which tool for HDR processing do you use and what is your opnion on SNS-HDR, did you ever try it. Just leave me your comments/suggestions or questions, if you like.