HDR Expose 2 great for editing 32-bit HDR images
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

HDR Expose 2 great for editing 32-bit HDR images


By Jeff Gamet

Processing HDR images to get just the right effect can be as much art as science. The new HDR Expose 2 from Unified Color Technologies (www.unifiedcolor.com) aims to help you find the right balance between the two, so you get just the finished image you want without headaches and frustration.

HDR Expose 2 is a standalone application for Mac and Windows PCs that includes plug-ins for Apple Aperture and Adobe Lightroom. For photographers who prefer to do all of their image editing in Photoshop, UCT offers the 32 Float v2 plug-in, packed with the same editing and adjustment features. Both of these products support 32-bit HDR image editing, while 32 Float v2 also offers the ability to save image edits as layer masks.

The Aperture and Lightroom support in HDR Expose 2 is seamless: The included plug-ins pass images to the app for editing, then put them back into the collections from which they came. This means you don’t have to worry about losing any organization in your image sets.

Both the standalone app and the Photoshop plug-in support adjustment presets that can be grouped together. Adjustments can be reapplied, allowing you to apply the same effect more than once. HDR Expose 2 also supports batch processing, and batches can include multiple presets—a big timesaver when processing image groups.

The included presets can get you started on image adjustments quickly, although you’ll probably want to fine-tune the changes to get the look you want. (Think of them as great starting points, not the final destination.) The bundled presets include effects such as a linear tone map, tone map plus contrast, black and white, and grunge. If you don’t like the preset changes, there’s a reset option, too.

Tools for controlling white balance are included, along with color tuning, noise removal, veiling glare removal, sharpening, dodge and burn, tonal curves, and tone mapping. The tools are easy to use, and applying adjustments to images is fairly snappy; however, you can’t see adjustment changes in real time. Instead, changes appear when you release the sliders (although you can preview adjustments before they’re applied).

On the right side of the image-viewer window, adjustments are organized from top to bottom in the order that you’re most likely to work through on your image. The workflow makes sense; however, you can jump through settings in any order you like.

Depending on the adjustments you apply, images can start to show halo effects, but that’s easily corrected using the halo-removal tool. The tool doesn’t include controls, which turned out to be just fine because it worked surprisingly well.

Brush-applied adjustments, such as dodge and burn, work like you expect them to, and brush sizes are adjustable using a slider, numeric pixel values, or keyboard shortcuts. The tools can also show brush masks, and the maximum density for dodge and burn can be limited by exposure settings.

Blending HDR shots into images with striking contrast and color effects is easy to do. Both HDR Expose 2 and 32 Float v2 build natural-looking images for photographers who want to re-create the actual colors of a scene quickly. (This isn’t quite so easy to do with some other HDR apps.)

HDR Expose 2 is a great option for photographers who are looking for excellent control over their HDR images, and 32 Float v2 brings that same power to Photoshop users as a plug-in. Both products offer results that can be at least as good as -- if not better than -- other HDR image-processing apps and plug-ins.

Pricing: US$149 HDR Expose 2; $99 32Float v2; $199 Combo Pack

Rating: 10 out of 10

 
AAPL
$108.00
Apple Inc.
+1.02
GOOG
$559.08
Google Inc.
+8.77
MSFT
$46.95
Microsoft Corpora
+0.90
MacNews Search:
Community Search:

Latest Forum Discussions

See All
view counter

view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter

Monster Flash Review
Monster Flash Review By Jordan Minor on October 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: ALONE IN THE DARKUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Solid shooting and a surprising amount of spooky tension make Monster Flash a great portable piece of Halloween.   | Read more »
Retry Review
Retry Review By Rob Thomas on October 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: SOARING HIGHUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Flappy who? Let Retry wash all those bad bird-related memories away on a cool retro-flavored flight… right into the side of a cliff. Over and over and over again.   | Read more »
Dementia: Book of the Dead Review
Dementia: Book of the Dead Review By Lee Hamlet on October 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: A TOUGH READUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad A witch hunter is sent after a demonic book in the spooky but short-lived Dementia: Book of the Dead.   | Read more »
Card Dungeon, the Semi-Board Game Roguel...
Card Dungeon, the Semi-Board Game Roguelike, Has Been Renovated Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 31st, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Logitech Protection + Power iPhone5/5S C...
Made by: Logitech Price: $99.99 Hardware/iOS Integration Rating: 3 out of 5 stars Usability Rating: 0.5 out of 5 stars Reuse Value Rating: 0.75 out of 5 stars Build Quality Rating: 0.75 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 1.25 out of 5 stars | Read more »
This Is Not a Test Goes Free, Permanentl...
This Is Not a Test Goes Free, Permanently Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 31st, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Swap Heroes Review
Swap Heroes Review By Campbell Bird on October 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: STRATEGIC SWAPPINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Rotate a cast of heroes to fend of waves of monsters in this difficult, puzzle rpg.   | Read more »
Night Sky Pro™ (Reference)
Night Sky Pro™ 3.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Reference Price: $2.99, Version: 3.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Night Sky Pro™Wonder No More™Night Sky Pro™ is the ultimate stargazing experience. From the creators of the original Night Sky™ app comes an all-new powerful and immersive encounter with the sky above! | Read more »
Audio Defence : Zombie Arena (Games)
Audio Defence : Zombie Arena 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A zombie shooter audio game. Made from gut-wrenching 3D binaural sound, for a new kind of weird immersion. You are the blind warrior, fighting off wave after wave of Dr Bastard’s Zombies. With 3D binaural sound... | Read more »
RPG Asdivine Hearts (Games)
RPG Asdivine Hearts 1.1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.1.0 (iTunes) Description: SPECIAL PRICE50% OFF (USD 7.99 -> USD 3.99)!!!Travel alongside four companions and a cat in the adventure of a lifetime and one that transcends even the world in this latest fantasy RPG!◆◇Story◇◆ | Read more »
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.