To adjust the light balance and overall effect in your HDR image in Photomatix Pro, use the Strength and Smoothing settings. If your baseline settings have been dialed in to the point that you’re happy with how your image looks, you might not have to make any significant adjustments to the Strength and Smoothing settings.

If that is the case, tweak around the edges to see whether you can improve each particular image. For images that don’t look right, it will be obvious. In these situations, adjust Smoothing first, and then take care of the Strength.

You can easily get carried away with the “HDR effect” and make poor smoothing choices (mostly not enough). Alternate between using the Smoothing slider and selecting the Light Mode check box to compare the results you get from each mode.

This figure shows three smoothing strengths: –10.0, 0.0, and +10.0. Each has a different effect on the light balance of the image. Look carefully at the floor versus the low stone walls on the sides. Different settings put them in different balance with each other.


From minimum to maximum, the balance is reversed. With Smoothing set to –10.0, the floor is dark, and the walls are light. As Smoothing increases, they come into a more even balance. By the time Smoothing is at +10.0, they have switched. The floor is light, and the walls are dark. The aesthetic decision here was to choose bright stone walls to emphasize their detail and a darker floor.