HDR Cookbook – Requirements
In this section, I will give you a brief overview of what you need to cook some HDR with me. The goal of the HDR Cookbook is not to give you instructions on how to use 10 different alternative software tools (e.g. Photoshop and GIMP). I have found my own little collection of tools that does the job for me, and I am going to refer specifically to these tools. Having said that, however, these are the most widely used tools for this kind of work, and you will also find that most of the techniques can be easily transferred to other (possibly free) tools.
I use the following software:
- Photomatix Pro (currently Version 5)
- Topaz Photoshop Bundle: This is a suite of different Photoshop filters that comes in very handy in a lot of occasions. You can download a test version for free, and the full version comes at an affordable cost. I heavily use Topaz Adjust, Topaz Denoise and Topaz ReMask. Some other filters are used occasionally.
- Photoshop CS6
- Geosetter – for geotagging
- exiftool – for copying EXIF data from one image to another included in Geosetter
Furthermore, the following hardware is used:
- Windows PC:
- 4 cores with 2,8 GHz
- 8 GB of memory (Photoshop eats up to 4,5 GB)
- Windows 7 64 bit
- Wacom Bamboo graphics tablet: This is a very important tool. Doing serious image editing with a mouse is not possible. We will be literally painting on the images (for masking and other tasks). If you enjoy the kind of post-processing discussed here, get a graphics tablet! It does not need to be big and expensive.
Do You Really Need All This Stuff???
No! Of course, if you have a similar collection of software and hardware tools, you will find that it is easy to work with the recipes. However, the HDR Cookbook explains a lot of principles that may also be applied using other hardware and software.