How to create a well-exposed HDR photo

For photographers, perhaps one of the biggest problems in photography is not capturing the full dynamic range. The background like the sky turns out a little washed out but the subject like the trees is correctly exposed. Or the subject is underexposed while the background looks good. Sometimes no matter what you do, capturing an overall well-exposed photo at times is impossible. You may wonder whether there is a solution to this problem. Don't be worried. We can take advantage of HDR software programs to iron out this issue. HDR software products can help us to create a photo of full dynamic range by merging photos with different exposures. Googling such software will return you lots of results. It takes time to find a high-quality and easy-to-use photo HDR tool. If you want to save the time of finding a reliable HDR app, please continue reading this post. In this post, I will introduce the best HDR photo software to you and show you how to create a well-exposed HDR photo with it.

Photo HDR

Create a well-exposed HDR photo with Photo HDR

As the name suggests, Photo HDR is a piece of professional photo HDR software. It allows you to combine multiple exposures to make a stunning HDR photo. Besides, it comes packed with a wild range of parameters and predefined effects to enhance the quality of the HDR photo.

After you launch the program, you will be greeted by a sleek and clean window. Load your photos into the program and the HDR technique will be applied to the imported files. Click on "Next" and you will be able to optimize the HDR photo through various effects. The window here is divided into three panels. A rich collection of decorative objects are located in the left-side panel. They are cool special visual effects. You can see the small preview thumbnails of these effects. The middle panel takes up most of the window. It lets you view all changes applied to the photo in real-time. Here you are allowed to zoom and pan the HDR photo. A variety of adjustment parameters are located in the right-side panel. You can adjust the exposure level by changing the brightness, contrast, as well as saturation. Moreover, you can adjust the tone mapping and dynamic range compression. What's more, you can make the Lab adjustments and modify the local contrast. In addition, you can add multiple filters to the photo including vignette filter, graduated filter, vibrance, and soft light. Furthermore, the app enables you to sharpen the photo, mix the color channes, and reduce the noise level in the photo.

All in all, Photo HDR is a powerful photo effect editor, with a user-friendly interface. It lets you make a visually appealing HDR photo and improve various attributes of the HDR photo. Due to the simple layout and intuitive settings, both rookies and professionals find it easy to find out all that this app offers.

Let's dive into the part of how to create a well-exposed HDR photo with Photo HDR.

How to use Photo HDR to create a well-exposed HDR photo

Step 1.

  • Drop three photos with different exposures into the area "Drag and Drop Your Photo here". You can also import the photos by clicking on the "Add" button. To remove the imported photos, click on the "Remove" button next to the "Add button".
  • Three different exposures will be blended together as soon as the three photos are imported into the program. You will see the blended effect in the preview area.

Three photos with different exposures are imported into the program

Step 2.

  • Click on "Next" and go to the right-side panel. Here you can adjust the visual effects of the merged HDR photo. For example,  you can fine-tune the exposure of the photo. The parameters to adjust the exposure include brightness, contrast, and saturation.

Brightness

This parameter controls the overall lightness of the photo and results in a more or less light photo. Increasing the value will make the photo lighter. Decreasing the value will make the photo darker.

Contrast

This parameter refers to the difference between the dark areas and light areas. Increasing the value will make the dark areas darker and light areas lighter. Decreasing the value will darken the light areas and brighten the dark areas.

Saturation

This parameter controls the intensity of the color. Increasing the value will deepen the color and make the color more vivid. Decreasing the value will shallow the color and make the color more pastel.

Adjust the brightness, contrast and saturation of the HDR photo

Step 3.

When you finished adjusting the exposure, press the "Save as" button to export the HDR photo to a desired location.

An alternative to Photo HDR

Create a well-exposed HDR photo with Online HDR Photo Stitcher 

Photo HDR does a great job of merging differently exposed photos into a single HDR photo. The free version leaves a watermark to the exported Photo. To get a photo without the watermark, you have to spend $29.95 on buying the pro version. You may want a free HDR photo creator and that is why I'd like to introduce an alternative to Photo HDR. Online HDR Photo Stitcher is a free tool that stitches 3 photos of different exposures into one HDR photo. Compared with other HDR fusion apps, it yields natural looking results. There is no need to register and sign in. Follow the steps below to create a well-exposed HDR photo with Online HDR Photo Stitcher.

  • Click on each "Choose file" button to upload your photo. The photos to be uploaded should have equal image dimensions.
  • Press the "Create HDR photo" button to start the conversion.
  • Wait for a few seconds. Once the conversion is done, you will be taken to a new webpage.
  • Click on the download button to download the stitched HDR photo.

Download the merged HDR photo

Summary

HDR is a digital photography technology that aims to add more dynamic range to photos. It merges multiple exposures of the same scene to create a more realistic effect. The merged exposure displays a wider range of tonal values than what your camera is able to record in a single photo. With the help of the HDR photo editors above, you can put photos of different exposures together and highlight the best parts of each photo.

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