2013 Project 365

Project 365/101 – Easy HDR?


One of the modules with the Nik Collection is HDR Efex Pro. Hearing good things about this module and how it can alter even just one image, I decided to finally give it a try.

I ran into problems almost immediately as this module is treated and acts differently than the other modules like Color Efex Pro and Silver Efex Pro. Within Lightroom, I would select the Photo, then Edit In option to get to the desired Nik plugin. Where is the HDR module? Why isn’t it on the list?

Finally had to google it and discovered that you have to select File, Export to, Nik Software HDR. Strange… Okay, so I finally got my photo where I wanted it and was able to quickly alter it to create this lovely painterly image.


I saved the new image back to Lightroom and then the next problem came up. Where did it go? Why am I not seeing the changes that I made in Nik HDR? The other modules place both the original and the edited image together at the end of the photo stream.

Again…google..read.. Oh! I have to go back to the original folder where the images are held and next to each other they are buried there. A bit cumbersome as I have to get out of the develop mode and over the Lightroom’s library mode to find said folder in the catalog.Β The other thing I didn’t like is that it completely wiped out my settings for exporting to my hard drive for regular images.

Sometimes all this technology makes my head hurt. So..what do you think of the second image?

36 replies »

  1. Nice job! Did you export three bracketed images to the HDR Efx? I too tried it and was amazed that it worked so well with three handheld images, very cool’

    • Believe it or not, this is with just one image. I did bracket 5 images of an old cherry tree and that one really looks HDR’ish. But I like it anyway. I find it much easier than the other very popular HDR software.

  2. I like the HDR, it has a surreal quality to it. I also like your original image, it has more contrast or depth to it. It’s such a well composed image with beautiful light, you just can’t go wrong.

    • I only wish there was more color to that sunrise. I had set my camera to daylight white balance, thus the more blue tones. It should have been on cloudy for those images. But I like the color anyway. Thanks!

    • I’ve heard that Photomatix automatically converts your image to a jpg file upon entry into the software. Nik only converts upon export. Does Photomatix work like a plugin for lightroom? I had tried it briefly but it didn’t excite me. Nik is easy to use now that I’ve figured out these minor quirks.

  3. I’m not a huge fan of HDR (placed in the wrong hands, the results look atrocious!), but your hard work really paid off. The second image is beautiful!

  4. Incredible images, love your second – never knew the amount of work that goes into quality photography. Beautiful and so interesting to learn about the process.

    • Even Ansel Adams spent hours in the darkroom dodging and weaving when developing his images. Actually once I figured it out, it only took moments, but the processing possibilities are endless. Thanks Mary for your feedback.

  5. I have worked with that plugin for over a year now. I feel what you went through. I had that one before the others so it was the opposite problem god me to figure out where things were. I have used it less since Detail Extractor is my preferred way to get a slight HDR look. But I really like your second image. I should go back and play again now that I have more knowledge with filters. Great photos!

    • Ok so get this..after the reimport quandry, I figured out that this happened because I was working with a single image. When I used multiple images, the reimported edited version popped up right in the middle of the bracketed images along the photo stream line on the bottom of LR. Go figure!

    • Thank you so very much for your comment. I agree, the original is pretty awesome on its own. And that is completely untouched. I had wanted for the flowers to show more, and thus the attempts to alter it. Thank you!

  6. I think they’re both absolutely gorgeous. I cant choose between them. I always enjoy your images. Thank you, dear friend.

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