Tweaking Photomatix Pro – Mini Tutorial

This last week, I have done quite a bit on HDR software and I know that a lot of you really like Photomatix, and I thought for my tutorial today I would show you some of the tricks that I use to help make sure I get the best possible image.

After opening Photomatix, you select your files, well the bracketed shots that will make your HDR image, in this case there are 3 images.  Now, as I said last week, these images were taken with me holding the camera, and not using a tripod.

After you press OK, this window opens up.  I have unchecked all the boxes, this is to show you what happens if you don’t remove ghosting, or align the images.

You might need to click on this image, and then click on the size so you can see how bad it is. You can see that the images don’t line up and it looks very out of focus.

I got rid of that image, or rather I didn’t save it, and I went back to the start, chose the same three images, then when I got to this window, I checked all the boxes and then pressed OK.

The image has turned out a lot better now and everything seems to line up a lot better.  The Enhancer – Default is where I want the image to be.

I have done all the processing, but there is a grey area in the sky, around where I have circled in red.  If you compare it with the previous image, I have made it better, but it still bothers me and now I have to see what else I can do to make it go away.

One thing I have found that often works is the Smooth Highlights slider, I have circled it above.  I have moved it a long way over, and the sky looks a lot better.  It has worked quite well, or well enough.  Sometimes it doesn’t and sometimes I find that HDR software doesn’t do well around trees.   I have found this with nearly all the software I have tried.  I also think, that the above image really doesn’t need to be processed as a HDR image, but I knew that it was a tricky one, so I used it.

Here is the final image.  I have done nothing else to this image, except for the processing in Photomatix Pro.

I have started playing more with Nik Software’s HDR Efex, but I need to play more and learn its idiosyncrasies before I do a post on it, hopefully it won’t take long.

Don’t forget, if you want to purchase Photomatix Pro use the coupon code LeanneCole15, it is not case sensitive, for your 15% discount.

Face to Face Contact

I had my first class this morning.  It was a great experience.  A fellow blogger from Chicago wanted some help understanding some things I had put in some of my tutorials.  We agreed on a price and then found a time that was right for both of us, turned out to be Sunday afternoon for her and Monday morning for me.  It is a strange concept.  I think I helped her lot.  We used Google+, I showed her my desktop and she showed me hers.  I think I have started something new, well new for me.

It was a good experience, and now that I have the first one done, I might start advertising more.  I have put some information in the pages above, so if you are interested, then please don’t hesitate to email me


  1. brilliant tips …. I have never heard about photomatix – have to look at it. Thanks a million.

  2. I’m not familiar with photomatix (sp?) but have been trying to find time to use the tutorials you have and the ones from PS Elements 9. If I just had actual time to play around with it. Arggg Anyway, your tutorials are always wonderful and most helpful. PS- Thanks for stopping by my blog for a short visit! I do truly appreciate your time! :D

    • Oh yes, time, it keeps running out. I am so far behind in some many things. We do things when we can. You will get around to it one day. Thank you Keli.

  3. Your Face to Face Contact a great idea… it really is a small world when timezones and kilometres mean very little :)

    • It is a small world now, it is amazing having a face to face contact with someone on the other side of the world. :)

  4. good on you for a successful first live tutorial sessions. how exciting! Did you get my message about being a featured photographer at The River? Perfect timing if you are looking to advertise your services now. Let me know, as the next issue is due out in a few weeks. Thanks, Leanne.


  5. Thanks Leanne – your tip about the Smooth Highlights Slider was just what I needed. I have not been happy with the some of the sky/trees combinations in the HDR photos I’ve been working on. BTW Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day. That is what lead me to you and this piece of information on HDR that I was missing.

    • I am glad to have helped Betty, there are ways of doing HDR’s that are really good. Also be careful with the remove ghosts, you can end up with some grey yucky areas. You are welcome, glad to have been of some use, thank you. :)

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