Enfuse for HDR

I am a little late to discovering the Enfuse plugin for working with HDR images.  I started out many years ago using Photomatix.  At the time, it was the go to software for creating HDR images.  Then Adobe got a lot better with their HDR software within Photoshop and I started to use that.  Even more recently, Adobe built HDR processing in to Lightroom and I didn’t need to go to Photoshop at all.  The HDR software worked reasonably well so I stuck with it.  I sometimes felt that it didn’t do as good a job of using the full range of the exposures but it was okay.

I wasn’t entirely satisfied though so have kept an eye on other options.  Someone mentioned Enfuse to me so I decided to give it a go.  It is a plugin for Lightroom and, in the free download, you can try it out but with a limitation on the output image size of 500 pixels.  Obviously this isn’t useful for anything other than testing but that is the point.

The first thing I tried it on was a shot I made at Half Moon Bay looking up at a P-51 Mustang prop and directly into the sun.  This is certainly as much of a range of exposures as you are likely to get.  The perfect thing for an HDR trial.  The results in the small scale file seemed pretty impressive so I decided to buy the package.  There is no fixed price.  You make a donation via PayPal and get a registration code.  I am impressed by the quality of some of the work people put out so I am happy to donate for what they do.  With the software activated, I reran the P-51 shots.  Below is the version I got from Lightroom’s own HDR and following it the version from Enfuse.

C59F8003enfuseHDR.jpg C59F8003-HDR.jpgI did have some issues initially.  Lightroom was not reimporting the image after it was created.  This turned out to be an issue with the way I named the file in the dialog and a tweak to that seemed to fix things.  Strangely, it had been fine on the trial so I have no idea why it became an issue but it is done.  I also played with a slightly less extreme case with an F-22 and, as above, the Lightroom version is first and the Enfuse version is second.  I was really pleased with the result on this one with a very natural look to things.  So far, I see Enfuse being a useful tool for my HDR going forward.

AU0E0447enfuseHDR.jpg AU0E0447-HDR.jpg

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