Processing files using HDR or NIK Color Efex 4?

I have been doing HDR since 2008. I have never been one to overdo my HDR. As a matter of fact, a lot of my work is not recognized as being tonemapped at all. That is why I am so excited about Nik Color Efex 4 and the Detail Enhancer. It can bring out the details in the shadows and highlights that I use HDR for. It does have its limitations in very high dynamic situations. If that is the case, I take 3 exposures and tonemap the final product.
When it comes to an image like the one below, I like to use Nik Color Efex and its Detail Enhancer. It is a plug-in for Photoshop that I can not live without now.
The histogram showed all my highlights and shadows were there, but I took 3 shots anyway -2, 0, +2 EV. I then combined them in Photomatix 4 to tonemap them (2nd photo).
The 3rd photo shows what I can do with one photo using Detail Enhancer. Painting in the areas I want with it effects.

Click on any photo for larger view!

wpid5092 MG 4770 Processing files using HDR or NIK Color Efex 4?

Original Shot

wpid5094 MG 4770 1 2 Processing files using HDR or NIK Color Efex 4?

Processed using Photomatix 4.2

wpid5096 MG 4770 Edit Processing files using HDR or NIK Color Efex 4?

Processed using Nik Color Efex 4

I find myself using Nik Color Efex 4 more and more. With the new tools like Detail Enhancer, it adds to my productivity.

 

One Response to Processing files using HDR or NIK Color Efex 4?

  • An average every day photo springs to life and is a winner.
    That’s a great program but probably out of reach for the amateur photographer.
    I love most of the Alaska shots that I made there a couple of years ago without the benefit of such a program.
    For a pro like you, it is the difference between a nice photo and one that will sell.
    Keep up the good work.

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