HDRtist Pro review
The traditional method of creating a HDR image is to blend three photos together which were exposed for shadows, mid-tones and highlights. Lately there’s been a trend for tone-mapping to manipulate single images into pseudo-HDR results, which tends to work best on images that are fairly dark to start with.
HDRtist Pro lets you try out both methods with exposure blending and a HDR mode of generating the image. There’s 15 presets for both colour and black and white conversions though it has to be said, they are fairly crude, no matter whether you’re tone-mapping or combining images. Invariably it means that the Adjustment menu will be called upon where the tone mapping strength, colour smoothing, exposure, definition and contrast can all be adjusted to try to improve the result. There’s also options for tweaking the colour saturation, sharpness and removing noise. The slider for the magic glow basically loses detail which should be avoided for landscapes but has a modest value in portrait shots. Any favourite combination of settings can be saved as a one-click preset for the list.
Once a couple of images have been blended, a lot of tweaking is required in the parameters to get even a reasonable result
The trouble is, the results simply aren’t good enough. Both Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro 2 and Topaz Labs Adjust 5 have considerably more presets and control over the process. Even though this is cheap, it really isn’t worth it.