3) Photomatix tutorial

Tags : 

In the previous tutorials we learned how to take and prepare images to process a HDR. In this tutorial we will see how to generate a HDR using Photomatix. There are many HDR software that allow you to merge to images to HDR and process them with the tone mapping. Nevertheless  I think Photomatix is better and the more intuitive.

So let’s see  how to process a HDR with Photomatix step by step:

Once you’ve downloaded and installed Photomatix launch the program. Select Load Bracketed Photos on the left menu window.

[lightbox link=”http://www.giuseppesapori.com/wp13/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/photomatixtut1.jpg” title=””]


A new window appears, click on Browse and select images you want to merge to HDR.

[lightbox link=”http://www.giuseppesapori.com/wp13/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/photomatixtut2.jpg” title=””]


Select the images and click OK.

[lightbox link=”http://www.giuseppesapori.com/wp13/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/photomatixtut3.jpg” title=””]


The following screen regards the processing options. The first part concerns the alignment of the screen shows. I use matching features since this option tends to produce the best results. The second part regards a function that allow to remove ghosts operating on selected sections and choose the right exposure for each ghosted region. The last two sections should always be selected to reduce noise and chromatic aberration.

[lightbox link=”http://www.giuseppesapori.com/wp13/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/photomatixtut4.jpg” title=””]


Once the sofwtware has processed the HDR you will see a screen like this, click on Tone Mapping.

[lightbox link=”http://www.giuseppesapori.com/wp13/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/photomatixtut5.jpg” title=””]


On the next screen we are going to change the values of our pictures on the left menu. There are no written rules about how the values should be set, as they are depending on the avaiable light in the picture. Then set your values in order to get the maximum detail from the image being always careful not to increase too much noise in your photos.

However I recommend to take the following main values as follows:

Strength: Higher but not maximum values, a strength too high could make the image darken.
Luminosity: Set a high or maximum values, depending on the image to enhance details in the shadows.
Detail contrast: Always 10, is one of the main values to increase the details in the picture.
Lightinig Effect: I usually set Surreal mode, is the most balanced to have a detailed and not cartoonish image.

Once you’ve completed this step, press  Process.

[lightbox link=”http://www.giuseppesapori.com/wp13/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/photomatixtut6.jpg” title=””]


Your done! To save your photo go to the file menu and click Save As.

[lightbox link=”http://www.giuseppesapori.com/wp13/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/photomatixtut7.jpg” title=””]


These images are compared before and after.

Final HDR image.

[lightbox link=”http://www.giuseppesapori.com/wp13/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/esempiophotomatix1.jpg” title=””]


Original image.

[lightbox link=”http://www.giuseppesapori.com/wp13/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/esempiooriginal.jpg” title=””]


Other examples:



Site Founder

Hi, my name is Giuseppe Sapori, a professional photographer and author of this website, created by yours truly to show my work and share with you the techniques I use. My expertise is in the field of Landscape Photography... (Read More)

Newsletter Signup