The Magic Frame: Do You HDR? Or…….. Do You HDR??

The Photomatix Version
The Photomatix Version


I have done some recent experimentation with HDR. It’s not something that I do a lot. So, I process each photo using Photomatix, and the Enfuse plug-in for Lightroom. Then, I decide which I like..

The Photomatix version is up there, in this photograph.

The LR-Enfuse version is ‘down here’!

The end result is a wee bit different, I think you may agree. Any preferences?

The Enfuse Version
The Enfuse Version


  1. Of the two pictures on offer, I prefer the second because it expresses the best tonal range, particularly in the shadows and the overall warmth of the colours suits the landscape. Also the depth is better with the aerial perspective revealing the separation of the mountain ranges. The downside of this image is the strong yellow coloration of the distance. The first picture is very flat and although the colour is more natural it is much less interesting.
    I’m not familiar with Enfuse, but know that Photomatix is capable of a wide range of results from surreal to more natural, and there are so many possible ways of handling an image that to judge it on just one picture is impossible. It’s all down to how you choose your way through the many options. Ultimately it’s all down to personal judgement through experimentation with the chosen software. A very lovely scene to try it out on Rajiv.

    1. Thanks a lot. Yes, the one reason why I sometimes feel that I prefer the Photomatix version in this one, is because the yellow on the mountain is more natural than the Enfuse one. However, I must also confess that I am new to Enfuse, and I processed this in LR before exporting to PS. I think that I went too heavy on the saturation. Apart from the extra yellow, the Enfuse version has more life, I agree.

      I was reading about various programmes, and came across Enfuse. I paid 8 Euros for this, which is not too bad, I think!

      In general, I am a little careful with HDR. While you can get some very surreal effects, they can look completely bizarre if not handled with care, and this why I tend to be wary of it.

  2. I think the two pictures are not easy to compare.
    The Photomatix Version looks more soft and the Enfuse Version much harder. For me it looks more like a different mix and I cannot really tell which one I like more.
    Though I think the mixing capabilities of HDR programs are quite different. I usually use the HDR function in Photoshop and I don’t like it very much because the result after processing is always different then how I mixed the pictures together. So it always is a game of chance as well.

    1. I agree. I have never used the HDR function on Photoshop. Several photographers I interacted with are not too enamoured of it. Photomatix is nice. But, I find that I have to be very, very careful when using it.

      The one area that I have been told I should explore is exposure blending

  3. I prefer the enfuse version over the Photomatix mainly because of the softness in the photomatix version and the colours feel a little washed out. Now with Lightroom CC having its own really good HDR process I don’t think I will be going to external apps that much from now on.

      1. I bought Lightroom 5 last year. and I have the Photographer bundle of PS+LR. I need to figure out how to download the new LR. Adobe is not that friendly with their online instructions or in answering the phone..

      2. I downloaded my update through the creative cloud manager. I know that you can go to lightroom website you can dl the update from there. It makes you download the cc manager and then you update.

  4. It’s difficult for me to choose which I like ‘better.’ As another comment already stated, for me, they seem like two different photos, like comparing apples & oranges 🙂

  5. I use to do quite a bit of HDR with sunset and very contrasting light situations, but less so now… I am more anti-HDR than pro 🙂

  6. Leaving You all to Your photographers’ lingo, must say that the picture looks nice. For me, for a picture to be that, it has to ‘Lift up my mood.’ Yours does. I Like all those delicate colours on the hills at left! 🙂

    1. Thanks. My only problem with the Enfuse version, is managing the sharpness.

      Sharpening images is a whole freakish area in itself anyway

  7. oh wow – I like the LR-Enfuse version most – but actually – just comparing the two was the best part – crazy how different the same view can look. and yea, the top one is more natural – but both show the beauty of this place.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.