Testing the new HDR tool in Lightroom

Have you tried the new HDR tool in Lightroom? Adobe added this functionality around April and I’m just starting to play with it.

See below my first test.

Important warning: I’m not an HDR girl!! lol

It’s a trend I’m not willing to follow. There is something too bright, often too fake, too unrealistic about the result. It can be done right and add a spark to an otherwise boring picture, it can really add interest and bring details into light, but too often, it is just… overdone & ugly. Sorry to say this.

Until recently, to play with HDR, you had to go to Photoshop (or other programs) but as mentioned above, Lightroom is now equipped with it’s own HDR tool, so I wanted to try it out.

The BIG difference with Photoshop HDR is that the file created by Lightroom is a RAW file which allows for subsequent processing in Lightroom as the result keeps the editing capabilities each individual Raw file had before the HDR processing. No more flattening!!


To obtain an HDR photo, you need at least 3 pictures of the same scene (5 is good too): One underexposed, one “correctly” exposed, one overexposed. I didn’t have that handy so I just created virtual copies of the same picture with the desired exposures for this test:

Select the 3 pictures, go to picture / merge / HDR…. and the result is:

Miss Coco - HDR test Lightoom- HDR result

Some more adjustments could be done to this picture but I wanted to show it, as it is. And I must admit, I kind of like it already!

Conclusion: It’s a very simple tool and a nice addition to Lightroom. It doesn’t include many options (you can’t test out the intensity of variety of the effect for ex). It’s a bit slow. No, it’s really slow! So yes, sure, there is room for improvements, and I’m sure Adobe will improve in the future. But for now, I’m quite happy!!

And I will definitively test it again!!

But next I’ll try the new panorama tool.

What about you? Do you like HDR? Have you tried the Lightroom HDR merger tool?