This is tip #3 of 101 digital imaging tips I plan to post here over the next few months. So stay tuned. Only 98 more tips to go :-)
HDR Processing First Steps: In Photomatix, set the White Point and Black Point. In HDR Efex Pro, set the Tone Compressor.
In Photomatix, if you don't start by moving the Black Point and White Point sliders all the way over to the left, you have a chance of losing some highlights and blocking up some shadows - which defeats the purpose of HDR imaging. (Of course, press Default before you start working on an image if you don't want the previous settings applied.)
In Nik Software's HDR Efex Pro, you can quickly and easily compress the brightness range of a scene by adjusting the Tone Compressor slider. (After that, use Control Points to fine-tune your image even more!
If you still lose highlights, and if shadows are still blocked up, you mostly likely did not take enough exposures to capture the entire dynamic range of the scene.
For discounts on Photomatix and HDR Efex Pro, click here.
To read about HDR imaging, check out my latest book, HDR Photography Secrets.
Lean how to shoot HDR on one of my workshops. Great fun!
Explore the light,
P.S. Listen to my free HDR Efex Pro webiner. Click here.