After seeing that lots of people are impressed about the HDR concept, and the easiness of working with this software called Photomatrix, I decided to try it out. But I was disappointed. What I’m about to say it’s just my opinion and many will probably not agree.

I noticed before that the manipulated photos coming from this software have a hallow around the objects, but now it is much clearer: The hallow appears in the “tone mapping” step of the image processing and it is greater as much as you push the Strength option to the right. By using the “Generate” + “Tone Mapping” like in the tutorial, I always came out with unrealistic images full of hallow (and I don’t think this effect is giving the picture dynamism).

Some people are over-fascinated by the HDR trend and use it even on normal pictures which don’t require it. Examples of this are the portraits (in normal lateral light). With Photomatrix, people with hallow around them have an unusual skin lightness and the picture itself looks more like a digital painting.

By the way, I also noticed that this software fills the resulting picture with noise, so, if after this you apply a strong noise filter, it’s no wonder that the image will look like a painting.

Even if the Photomatrix version I used is called “Pro”, there are still many mistakes in the HDR generation, mistakes that appear like strong white or back spots. I can only hope this will be fixed as soon as possible.

I think the “Combine” function of Photomatrix is ok. It’s useful to use the Combine on:
• images taken at the time between night and day,
• images taken with different exposures in order to obtain a better sky,
• images taken against the light,
• images with different focusing points,
• images taken thru a gate or a cave with and without flash,
• as well as images of indoor architecture,
but it’s an aberration to use it on simple scenes that look just fine with no HDR.


Tags: HDR, Photomatrix, photoaxe, photo tips, tutorials