Save Your HDR Image in Photomatix Pro - dummies

Save Your HDR Image in Photomatix Pro

You have finished tone mapping an HDR image in Photomatix Pro. When you’re happy with the high dynamic range photo results, it’s time to process and save:

  1. Click the Process button in the Details Enhancer.

    This applies the tone mapping settings to the HDR image and creates a low dynamic range image for you to save.

    You’ll see a progress dialog box.

  2. Choose File→Save As.

    This calls up the Save As (Windows)/Save (Mac) dialog box. The things you want to note are Save As Type (Windows)/File Format (Mac), and the Open Saved Image(s) With check box, as explained in the following list:

    • File Name (Windows)/Save As (Mac): A name is generated for you based on the original images in the bracket or HDR filename with _tonemapped appended. Change as desired.

    • Save As Type (Windows)/File Format (Mac): Choose 16-bit TIFF for the highest quality (and largest file size), 8-bit TIFF for high quality, and JPEG for the lowest quality (and smallest size).

      If you’re a quality junkie, don’t choose anything but 16-bit TIFF. In reality, the difference between 16-bit and 8-bit TIFF is not that apparent. 8-bit TIFF is a reasonable compromise and will work in image editors that balk at 16-bit images. Choose JPEG only if you don’t want to perform further editing.

      JPEG is also a great format with which to compare the effects of different tone mapping settings on the same HDR image. Process them separately and save each as a JPEG. This makes the files smaller; they also load much faster if you want to switch back and forth to compare.

    • Save Tone Mapping Settings (Windows only): Leave this check box selected. You’ll have a permanent record of what settings you applied with each tone mapped image. You can recall it and use on other images or, if needed, reprocess the current HDR image and make small changes. The tone mapping settings are saved in an XMP file.

      The settings files are a form of XML, which have setting names and values as text. They can be read by a text editor or Web browser, if you’re curious.

    • Open Saved Image With (Mac): Select this check box, and after the image is saved, it will automatically open in the chosen application for further editing.

  3. Close the image, and if desired, close Photomatix Pro.

    The tone mapped image is now ready to be edited further and published.