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Article By Jimmy McIntyre

In today’s video I give 7 reasons why I believe exposure blending in Photoshop is more important for your photography than HDR software. I don’t want to be too harsh on HDR, but I feel it is a thing of the past. I used Photomatix and Nik HDR Efex years ago, and genuinely enjoyed the software. But over time I became dissatisfied with the results. I think that as we progress as photographers, we start demanding more from our images, especially in terms of quality. This is what happened to me, and which ultimately led me to exposure blending, and eventually to developing my own digital blending techniques.

Here is a brief summary of the 7 ways I believe exposure blending is superior to HDR:

1: Moving Objects/Ghosting – Exposure blending allows us to build our scene around a single base exposure, so we are less like to have ghosting issues.

2: Control – HDR software makes large blanket changes across our images, whereas exposure blending gives us much finer control.

3. Colour Control – HDR, and in particular, tone mapping, affect the colour in our images in all manner of awful ways. With exposure blending, we do not affect colour in any way.

4. Detail Overload – Aside from over-saturation, HDR is also notorious for overly detailed images. When in reality, for many images we need to be selective about which areas we want to enhance textures.

5. No Halos – In exposure blending we don’t have halos.

6. Image Quality (Noise & Sharpness) – holy moly does HDR software, and especially Photomatix, create noise.

7. Working with a Single RAW file – If we choose to exposure blend a single RAW file, we can use something called double or triple processing, see my tutorial on this here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4OiFYXhoKg. Wh. We can do something similar in HDR, but we’ll be left with an awful amount of image degradation in the end.