HDR Photos and Lightroom

True HDR images are made using software like Photomatix PRO 5.  A well exposed image is made and then we shoot a set of bracketed images around this.

BUT! as RAW files are becoming more and more powerful we are able to create HDR like images in Adobe Lightroom.

In my Adobe Lightroom Preset MEGA Pack I have included 10 HDR presets which create amazing HDR like effects at the click of a button. The pack also includes dramatic landscape, gradient landscape, nostalgic as well as 10 bonus presets.

Why Not Try my HDR Presets available in my Adobe Lightroom & Camera RAW Preset pack. For only $14.95 you get 50 of my favourite presets. 

Link to Luke Zeme’s Presets


Post-Processing or PP:

For those of you have shot a series of bracketed images this is my workflow and how I start in Lightroom.

First import your photos into your catalog.

Then select all your images and right click select export to  Photomatix PRO 5.

Photomatix PRO – Is a MAC and PC HDR software for creating stunning HDR images. They have a free trial, but if you end up buying a copy of Photomatix you can get a 15% Discount with the coupon code LukeZemePhotography

– Edit your image in Photomatix PRO 5 and then once you’re happy hit save and it will re-import the image back into lightroom.

– You can then edit the image in either Photoshop or one of your filter programs.

– I use many different Filter Programs but my favourite is – On1 Perfect Effects from my On1 Photo RAW.


An example of using some of the features in Lightroom 5 in your HDR Post Processing:

I used the awesome new feature in Lightroom 5, radial feature, in this image. What it does is to create a focus area in a round or elipse shape where you can make adjustments using the sliders panel on the right. The radial feature has all the same settings as the already amazing graduated filter from LR4 but in this new format. The other great thing about the radial feature is that you can use it more than once on an image and create focus or blur even in different areas of the image. The possibilities are endless if you think about all the control you have in it such as contrast, clarity, colour, temperature, exposure….. etc. I can think of lots of ways to use it !!!

So in this example below I simply dropped the exposure and increased the contrast slightly in the areas outside the radial feature. You can see I left the feather at 100 as I wanted the spotlight to be gradual so that the trees were still discernible.

…below you can see how you can adjust the size, shape and orientation of the elipse/circle by clicking on and moving the white squares found on the edge of the radial feature and the black dot as its centre

transcendence after LR5, website

There are so many powerful ways to use Lightroom 5 in your HDR workflow and the radial feature is just one of them. It’s a powerful tool and quite simple really and I can see myself using it all the time now that I’ve seen what it can do.

Till next time, Luke

If you have any comments or questions leave them below.

Leave a Reply

Notify of
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search