An in-depth have a look at Luminar Neo’s new HDR Merge
I’m an enormous fan of bracketing and merging right into a single HDR picture. It’s nice for having pictures with superb element, in addition to recovering highlights and shadows. So once I had the prospect to take Luminar Neo’s new HDR Merge extension for a check drive, I jumped on the alternative.
What’s Luminar Neo HDR Merge?
Luminar Neo’s HDR Merge is a brand new extension that can can help you digitally merge three or extra pictures collectively to create an HDR (Excessive Dynamic Vary) picture.
For instance, in the event you take a 3-image bracketed sequence of a panorama, you possibly can merge them to convey out the most effective of highlights, mid-range element and shadows. Doing so brings spectacular ranges of element in your picture, and helps you get well issues like highlights and shadows in powerful exposures. HDR Merge helps as much as 10 bracketed pictures.
HDR Merge will even auto-align your pictures (whether or not on a tripod or handheld) and take away ghosting (motion of objects in your frames) if bushes, clouds or individuals transfer, stopping blurred areas.
The place to seek out it in Luminar Neo
Open Luminar Neo and on the highest left it’s best to see a bit of puzzle piece. Click on on that, and it’s best to see the HDR Merge extension to put in. It’s a reasonably easy course of to put in from right here.
What pictures work finest to merge?
Just about something that has a excessive dynamic vary is nice for HDR Merge, together with landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes. Astro or evening pictures may even be created as a merged picture.
You will want a minimum of three pictures of barely totally different exposures of the identical scene. You may truly use as much as 10 pictures in HDR Merge. This will provide you with superb element, recovering any misplaced element in spotlight or shadow areas. In a typical single shot of the identical scene, you’ll in all probability have misplaced giant quantities of element by maintaining your center vary uncovered, blowing out shadows and highlights.
How do I merge pictures?
Import the pictures or folder you want to work with into your Luminar Neo catalog. Then, open your folder and choose 3–10 pictures you want to merge. These must be barely totally different exposures of the identical scene, sometimes called brackets.
Now, drag them to the suitable to the HDR Merge panel. The chosen pictures will then seem within the panel. Click on on the Settings icon within the higher proper of the panel to additional improve your settings.
There are a number of settings to think about:
Whether or not handheld or on a tripod, there are sometimes small discrepancies, so it’s best to verify Auto Alignment for the most effective outcomes. HDR Merge will line pictures up so there isn’t any overlap when merging the pictures collectively.
When taking pictures outdoors, there’s usually small to giant quantities of motion, from the wind blowing bushes or clouds to individuals transferring within the shot. Checking the Ghost Discount implies that any motion can be minimized or eliminated, as Luminar Neo will use the reference picture (chosen subsequent or go away at default) to take away any ghosting or motion in your merged picture.
As part of this, you too can choose the quantity to reduce the motion being eliminated in your merged picture. Low will imply that there can be little or no pixel adjustments, that means that you just may nonetheless find yourself with some overlapd On the opposite aspect, Excessive will alter the next variety of pixels as essential. Whereas Excessive is perhaps an apparent selection, selecting it will possibly typically sharpen or outline areas that may not want it. I normally set mine to Medium, as it really works fairly properly for many pictures I attempted.
When you’re out of the settings, click on the purple Merge button. This merges your pictures collectively, which could take a bit relying in your machine, and what number of pictures you chose to be merged. You can see your completed pictures in an HDR Merged folder in your catalog, prepared for modifying.
What do I do as soon as the pictures are merged?
Now your picture has been merged the enjoyable can start. Choose your picture from the HDR Merge folder, then bounce into the Edit panel.
I visited the Improve panel, in addition to Develop, Construction, Colour, Panorama and Dramatic. I additionally used the Take away Mud spot characteristic within the Erase panel to take away a number of mud spots (Ghost Discount does NOT take away these, as they don’t transfer from body to border). I additionally added some fog within the Environment panel, as there was fairly a little bit of fog and I needed to intensify it.
I actually solely did a number of primary tweaks, because the HDR picture gave me a great deal of element. Any additional modifying you do actually does come down to private selection. You may also apply presets to your merged HDR pictures, earlier than modifying additional. If you’re modifying multiple HDR merge in a folder take into account saving your edit as a preset by clicking on Actions down the underside. You may then apply the identical edit to additional pictures. It’s such a time saver.
How a lot is HDR Merge?
If you happen to’re an Aurora HDR 2019 person, you will get HDR Merge without spending a dime. If not, you will get the HDR Merge extension for $49.95.
Don’t have Luminar Neo but? Get a bundle with HDR Merge and a particular HDR Merge Pack — stuffed with skies and presets — for $139.90.
Simple to make use of, with nice outcomes
I discovered HDR Merge very easy to make use of. It’s easy and fairly intuitive, it definitely isn’t overwhelming and the tip outcomes have been terrific. I by no means had any points whereas testing this product.
For Luminar Neo prospects I actually assume this can be a worthwhile, value-packed characteristic — particularly in the event you shoot landscapes, seascapes or cityscapes and prefer to bracket your pictures.