Two tools to make a HDR photo

Perhaps you encounter such an issue when it comes to shooting a landscape. After taking a photo, you will find that some parts in the scene are properly exposed but other parts are a little blown out. Whatever you do, you just can not get a well-exposed photo. As is known to all photographers, there is a term in photography named "HDR". HDR (High Dynamic Range) is a digital technique, which is commonly used in landscape photography. It merges multiple exposures of the same scene and creates a more realistic photo. The merged exposure displays a wider range of tonal values than what your camera is able to record in a single photo. Although a lot of photo post processing apps feature the HDR technique, not all of them are beginner-friendly. Photo editing beginners find it difficult to figure out how to use some of them. If you want to save the time of finding an easy-to-use tool to make a HDR photo, please continue reading this article. In this article, I will walk you through two HDR photo creators to help you get the job done.

#1. Photo HDR by Vertexshare 

Use Photo HDR to make a HDR photo

With a suggestive name, Photo HDR is a piece of standalone software that lets you make gorgeous HDR photos in a quick way. It comes packed with a wild range of decorative objects and parameters, with which you can enhance the visual aspects of your HDR photo.

After firing up the program, you will be greeted by a sleek and clean window. Load three photos at different exposure levels into the program and the HDR technique will be applied to them. Click on "Next" and you will be taken to a new window. The window consists of three panels. A set of preset effects are located in the left-side panel. You can see small preview thumbnails of these special visual effects. The middle panel takes up most of the window. It is a preview area where you can see the result of applying any change to the created HDR photo in real-time. A series of parameters are located in the right-side panel. You can change the exposure level by altering the contrast, saturation, and brightness. Besides, you can squeeze the dynamic range compression and tone map the HDR photo. In addition, you can adjust the local contrast and boost the colors with Lab adjustment. Furthermore, you are even given the ability to add a graduated filter effect to the photo, sharpen the blurry photo, reduce the photo noise, and mix the color channels. Other adjustable parameters include vibrance, vignette filter, and soft light.

On the whole, Photo HDR is a photo editing app specifically designed to create stunning HDR photos. It delivers advanced settings to help you tune the attributes of the high dynamic range photo. If you want an effective photo editor with a user-friendly interface, Photo HDR deserves a try. Thanks to the minimalist layout and intuitive settings, Photo HDR can be easily handled by both novices and professionals.

Let's dive into the part of how to use Photo HDR to create a HDR photo.

How to create a HDR photo with Photo HDR

Step 1.

  • Take three photos of different exposures. Drop three photos into the box "Drag and Drop Your Photo here". You can also import the photos by clicking on the "Add" button.
  • The three photos will be combined together as soon as they are imported into the program. You will see the converted photo in the preview area.

Three photos with different exposures are imported into the program

Step 2.

Click on "Next" and navigate to the right-side panel. Here you can further adjust the effect of the HDR photo by using a variety of filters. Let's say, you can apply a vignette effect to the photo. Scroll down to the section of "Vignette Filter" and click on the button "Vignette Filter" to activate adjusting the parameters. The parameters in this section are strength, feather, and roundness.

Strength

This parameter is used to control the amount of darkening applied to the edge. As the value is increased, the edge will become darker. When you set the value to a negative number, the edge will be brightened rather than darkened.

Feather

This parameter is used to control the width of the feathering effect. The feathering effect softens the transition between the edges and the parts in focus. Increasing the value will add the feathering effect to more areas. If you set the value to 0, only corners will be affected by the feathering effect. If you set the value to 50, the feathering effect reaches halfway to the center. If you set the value to 100, the feathering effect reaches all the way to the center.

Roundness

This parameter is used to control the shape of the vignette effect. As the value is increased, the shape will become rounder. If you set the value to 0, the shape will be a rounded rectangle. If you set the value to 50, the shape will be a fitted ellipse. If you set the value to 100, the shape will be a circle.

  • Drag each slider to adjust the parameter until it suits your needs.

The "Vignette Filter" section of Photo HDR

Step 3.

  • Press the "Save as" button to export the photo to a desired location.

#2. Fotor

Use Fotor to create a HDR photo 

Fotor is a very popular online photo editor. It offers innumerable utilities to manipulate your photo. One of them is the HDR photo maker. This tool renders the real scene as you see it with the perfect exposure. Follow the steps below to use Fotor to make a beautiful HDR photo

How to make a HDR photo with Fotor

  • Head over to the homepage. Go to "Features"-> "Photo Editing"-> "HDR".
  • You will be taken to a new webpage. Press "Get started".
  • Shoot three photos of the same scene. The first one has a high exposure. The second one has a low exposure. The third one has a normal exposure. Click on the "Add" buttons to upload the three photos.
  • Press the "Start" button and the conversion starts automatically. You will soon see a converted HDR photo in the preview area.
  • There are different styles of HDR effects in the left pane, including "Structure", "Soft, and "Intense". Go to the left pane and choose one you prefer.
  • After choosing a HDR effect style, you can adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation and sharpness. If you need to correct the inconsistencies, tick the "Ghost Reduction" option. Moreover, if you select "Structure" or "Soft", you can modify the intensity.

The "Structure" style is selected

The "Intense" style is selected

  • Click on "Save". Choose the output image format and specify the output image quality. Click on "Sign in to Download" to sign in and download the HDR photo. Note that the "Structure" style and "Soft" style leave watermarks to your photo. To get a watermark-free photo, you have to upgrade your account to a pro account.

Export the HDR photo

Summary

Have you come across such a situation? No matter what you do, the scene with the large contrast in your photo can't be exposed appropriately. If so, use the HDR technique to solve this issue. Both Photo HDR and Fotor are two pieces of handy software to help you get nice HDR photos. If you discover other good software to handle the task in the future, please let me know by leaving your comment below.

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