HDR Efex Pro 2 (let’s just call it Pro 2 from now on) is a program that I use on an almost daily basis for the real estate side of my business. Honestly, some days I don’t know what I would do without it. When I first started doing HDR photography, I had no idea where to start program-wise and experimented a lot before arriving at Pro 2 as the best option for me. My first ever real estate shoot was a disaster. But guess what? The client still liked it so I guess I’m just a touch harder on myself than everyone else (loads of sarcasm implied here). When I say disaster though, I mean it. My shots were off and the biggest mess of all was my editing. This was a job I was sort of thrown into and assumed Photoshop’s HDR settings would treat me well. I was dead wrong. While I am a Photoshop addict in almost all other aspects, I feel like the HDR options are a little scarce. I found myself hating the output (too saturated, too much detail) and wishing that I could adjust parts of the photograph without affecting it as a whole. I ended up so frustrated with the settings that I decided to take the long way around and put my layers on top of one another and paint in each part that I wanted. I wasn’t feeling like I was making a whole lot of money after how many hours I had to put into the project.
The next time around, I took a smarter approach. A quick Google search of HDR program reviews led me to the Nik Collection by Google featuring Pro 2, Analog Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Dfine, Color Efex Pro, Viveza, and Sharpener Pro. A free trial and a quick set up was all it took; I was sold. I cannot stress enough how easy this program is to use. It provides numerous settings to tweak photos exactly how I like them for perfect HDR images every. single. time. I rode out the 15 day trial and decided to purchase the collection for $149 (less than I make in a day! YAY!). Other than Photoshop, this was probably the best software purchase I’ve ever made. It has paid for itself time and time again. To be honest, I haven’t used Nik Collection for anything other than the Pro 2 but when I get some free time (someday) I’ll review them as well.
I promise, I’m posting more frequently now that my blog is finally set up so keep your eyes open for tutorials and other reviews about what’s in my camera bag and on my computer!
xo, Sara Faith
Take a looksie at how easy this is…
Medford, Oregon Real Estate and Architecture Photographer