Optimize HDR images before processing
HDR capturing is done mainly to overcome magnificent difference in lightning from shadows to highlights, for example from an area lit by the sunlight to an area being in deep shadows or within a house as a worst case.. Now the question is is it better to preprocess the seperate HDR iamges first or to process the HDR first.
I reported a couple of times about HDR tools in this blog, As a rule of thumb you take 3 or 5 images with a difference of 1 to 2 EV, which are processed to an HDR image by SNS-HDR or Photomatix, to name the tools i mainly use.
My advice is to develop the images at least for the lens correction and chromatic abberation and then export these images to 16-Bit TIFF. If you workflow is based on Lightroomthis should be your way.
Most of the tools like [post id=292]SNS-HDR[/post] or Photomatix offer the option to read RAW files right away. Corrections apllied in Lightroom or Photoshop are lost by this operation and since most of the tools depend on the dcraw tool it could happen that your new camera is not supported.
The only difference between the images without and with optimizing and those generated dirctly from the RAW files is the lens correction, because this is part of my [process id=354]import[/post] process.
The differences in the ready processed HDR images are very small depending on the capture situation, and the color differences can be managed in post proecessing.
Even though the differences are very small i’ll stick to the workflow optimizing the images first, because even in this example there is little bit more detail in the clouds. And this gives you more opportunities in the postproecessing of the HDR iamge.
What do you think about the (small) differences? Optimize first or process right away from the RAW files. I’m looking forward to your questions and comments