The changes in Lightroom CC that included the Photomerge also included a change to the processing of HDR images. Again, the functionality has been brought within Lightroom rather than requiring the move out to Photoshop and the output file is again a DNG file. This means a smaller file than the 32 bit TIF that I was previously getting. A while back I wrote about some of the odd experiences I was having with moving these high bit depth files between Photoshop and Lightroom so a new workflow is of interest.
According to some of the publicity at the time of roll out, the new processing approach does not require as many images to work with. I have been shooting five images for HDR to date. They say that only a couple are necessary. I have tried carrying out the processing with five and with two and there doesn’t appear to be an obvious difference in the output. There is a benefit in the time taken to process the images though so this does appear to be a good improvement.
You can either let the output be automatically toned using the normal Lightroom processing functions or do it yourself. I let it have a go at first but have not liked the choices it made so have reverted to carrying out the toning myself. It is not a time consuming process so seems worthwhile to me. While I felt that Photomerge was not as capable as using Photoshop, in to case I think it is a better solution and this will be part of my workflow. Now to reset the camera to shoot fewer bracketed images!