By Robert Lachman
This week I am going to review HDR Darkroom Pro from Everimaging LTD which is available from the Mac App store.
HDR or High Dynamic Range programs generally combine photos of different exposures of the same scene into one photograph. It’s a software process of taking the best exposures and combining them into one photo with much better tonal range. It’s tough for just one photo to contain detail in the shadows and highlights. It’s a little too much to ask from your camera.
Depending on your settings, the results can vary from natural to extreme. It’s really a matter of personal preference.
HDR Darkroom Pro has a simple interface. When I went to the help menu it took me to their website, I was confused how to add photos. It should be basic step.
I could find only user guides for similar programs like HDR Photo Pro or Darkroom. I didn’t see a specific guide for HDR Darkroom Pro for the Mac. (They have recently added a new PDF manual for HDR Darkroom Pro for HDR Darkroom Pro. I just received an email from the support team).
The guides were helpful though and I discovered I just needed to drag the photos to the left side of the interface. Later I noticed their was a little “i” I should have checked. It gave me more of the instructions.
I am hoping they will add some nice video tutorials for this software.
I tried out the software using photos of two images: one from the Orange County Fair and the other of bicycles at the Huntington Beach pier. I used three differently exposed images on each: two stops over exposed, one normal exposure and one two stops under. This is my normal routine for most of my HDR photos.
The procedure upsets my wife to no end, when I don’t reset the her camera back to automatic.
First, I dragged the photos to the interface, they appeared on the left sidebar, then I highlighted the three images by shift-clicking, then I dragged them to the middle. Next there was a pop-up labeled: No Aligment and Alignment. I picked Alignment.
My next choice of adjustment on the right sidebar was the style of Tone Mapping.
Local Tone Balancer, Local Tone Enhancer and Fast Tone Compressor. I chose Local Tone Enhancer.
Next I ramped up the strength, adjusted the fill-light and then added a little saturation.
Lastly, I saved the photo to my desktop as a JPEG.
It was a simple process after I went through it a few times. In the future version, I would like them to add some better examples and presets.
This seems like an early version of the software, but they have started it out at a low price so you may want to check it out. There are many other HDR programs available like the more expensive Photomatix or HDR Efex from Nik software which are much more polished.