HDR Software: Using HDR Expose

HDR Expose from Unified Color Technologies is sophisticated HDR software for merging and editing HDR images. The software enables you to adjust the brightness, color and contrast in your merged image with a workflow of 32 bits. Here are a few steps which will get you started in using this software.

Step 1: Import and Merge the Images

For creating HDR images, you first need to take multiple shots of the scene at different exposure settings. For importing these images into HDR Expose, initialize the program and click on "Create/Merge New HDR Image". This will open a box, and you need to drag your image files into this box. Check the box for "Align the Source Images" and click on Merge button.

Step 2: Understand the Interface

After the merging process, you will see your merged image on the screen. On the right, there are various controls with a brightness histogram on top. These controls will enable you to make the necessary adjustments to your image. There is also a slider control right below your image which will let you set the white point in the image.

Step 3: Make Adjustments

In the right panel, the Veiling Glare slider control helps you to recover shadow contrast information which could be lost during the merging process or due to the internal reflection in lenses. Select the dropper tool and with it click on the darkest area in your image. This will set the base point. Then with the slider controls, adjust the veiling and glare you want in your image.

To bring out details in your image, use the Shadow Highlight tool. With this, you have various slider controls for setting the level of highlights and shadows and also their midpoint. You also have the slider to control Local Contrast which will set the contrast between neighboring pixels, which helps to add sharpness to the image.

Apart from these, there are various controls for color adjustments. At any time during the adjustments, you can get a preview by clicking on the Preview button at the bottom of the right panel.