I used to do a lot of HDR photography, but I have to admit in the last few months I seem to rarely do them. Well, that isn’t true, I will often think about it, do it, compare it with the non HDR and then often delete the HDR. It doesn’t always make the image better and I have been learning how to work out which image is better as a HDR and when it is better to use the straight image.
A couple of months ago I got an email from Everimaging asking me if I would do a review of their latest version of HDR Darkroom 3. I have reviewed its predecessor and can remember thinking that it wasn’t bad and that it could be quite good for people who were starting to do HDRs.
It’s appearance is quite nice and seems very obvious what to do with it. Though one of the things I found really weird was not being able to close one image when I was finished to begin another. It seems as soon as you press New HDR then the previous one if saved is closed for the new one. It isn’t a big deal but I did find that a little strange.
At first glance it looks like there aren’t a lot of options to change anything in your images, as when you open it there only seems to be a couple of adjustments, and lots of presets. However, if you look under the adjustments there is a button with Advanced written on it and you can do many other things to it.
If you look on the right above you can see lots of adjustments and lots of drop down windows.
If I had one criticism of the adjustments, well two really, they are very touchy, and you can end up with something very horrible very fast. You really need to be careful. The other one would be, that they don’t always seem to default to zero, so if you make any adjustments, and want to start again, it can be hard to get it back to where it was, though that isn’t the case with all them.
Waiting for the software to make the HDR initially is a slow process, you can go and make yourself a coffee while it is happening. Though, this is no different really to any software that makes HDR images.
I went back through my photos, and since I nearly always take at least three photos of any given subject, I had a few things to choose from. Above is the Town Hall in Ivanhoe, The Centre. It has done quite a good job, and while I can see some grey areas, I am sure most wouldn’t notice them. I don’t think the dark areas have been picked up well, so I decided to look for an image that definitely was a lot harder to photograph.
With this one, it was quite a dark image, the correct exposure image, as I was coming up from a tunnel. It has got a lot of the dark areas. I haven’t done anything else to these images, so they are the raw images process in HDR Darkroom and nothing else. It has done a fair job here.
I did mention that there are a lot of presets that you can use. I did go through them, but they are not something I ever use. I think HDR can be very overdone and very easily can turn into something very weird. I never use the presets, though it can be fun to go through them and see what they do to your image.
It is interesting using different software and I think for this one, my results would be the same as I previously said, if you are new to HDR, and want to play around with and don’t have a lot of money the HDR Darkroom 3 could be perfect for you. It costs around $60 so maybe half the price of other HDR software, not sure. It will process your RAW files as well, so need to worry about taking photos in RAW.
If you are interested in trying it out you can find it here Everimaging, they always provide a free trial period, though not quite sure how long the trial is for. I think it is worth trying the free trial.
My conclusion would be that if you are used to doing HDR’s with other software, you probably won’t like this as much. However, if you are new and won’t to give it a go, I think you will have a lot of fun with it and don’t have to pay a lot for it.
I did do some others and I am going to put some more images in a gallery so you can see them a little larger.