Back in May 2019, HDRsoft released the new Photomatix HDR Batch Plugin for Lightroom.
This Lightroom plugin automates High Dynamic Range (HDR) processing of bracketed photos in Adobe Lightroom, with the ability to preview the HDR effect.
The plugin lets users merge multiple stacks of bracketed exposures, and process them with HDR presets in a large range of styles.
Merging multiple bracketed images manually can be a time-consuming task.
Now Lightroom users can start a batch, then walk away while the plugin does the heavy lifting in the background — a big time saver for anyone who has a lot of HDR images to create after a photo shoot.RON PEPPER, HDRSOFT’S MARKETING DIRECTOR
The HDR Batch Plugin processes bracketed exposures that are grouped into stacks, enabling HDR merging of multiple bracketed sets with a varying number of bracketed photos per set. Users who haven’t organized their bracketed photos into stacks can still batch process their photos by specifying the number of bracketed photos per set.
The HDR batch plugin is particularly useful for real estate photographers, landscape photography, and any other Lightroom users who need to merge a high volume of bracketed photos.
We have already reviewed Photomatix some time back and ranked it as the best HDR Software. The new HDR batch plugin will ensure that Photomatix will stay on top of the list (especially for users who need a fast and professional HDR software).
How to Use the Photomatix HDR Batch Plugin for Lightroom
What you will need to follow these steps below (all of them have free trials available in case you don’t have a license):
- Photomatix Pro HDR Software,
- the new Photomatix HDR Batch Plugin for Lightroom, and
- Adobe Lightroom.
Follow these steps to install and run the HDR Batch Plugin:
- Download the HDR Batch Plugin
Unless you own the Photomatix Pro Plus bundle, you will have to purchase the HDR Batch Plugin priced at US$49 (€39) or download the free trial.
- Install the New HDR Batch Plugin
Download, unzip and install the plugin.
- Start or restart Lightroom
If Lightroom is open on your computer, close the application and re-open it.
- Group bracketed photos into stacks
The HDR Batch Plugin processes bracketed exposures that are grouped into stacks. You can merge multiple bracketed sets with a varying number of bracketed photos per set.
Tipp: You can auto stack your bracketed photos in Lightroom by capture time right (right-click or control click, then go to Stacking and select “Auto-Stack by Capture Time…”.
Select a time, e.g. under 2 seconds (in most cases your bracketed photos should have been taken in short interval of 1-2 seconds).
- Select bracketed photos from the Filmstrip or the Grid
Once you have a few sets of bracketed photos, select the stacks.
- Control-click (or right-click) to invoke the contextual menu
Select the stacks you want to process and press control click or right click.
- Select Export and then Photomatix > HDR Batch
Go to “Export” and then under Photomatix you will see “HDR Batch”.
- Adjust Photomatix HDR Batch Settings
Next, you will see the “Photomatix HDR Batch” Window.
The HDR Batch Plugin processes bracketed exposures that are grouped into stacks, enabling HDR merging of multiple bracketed sets with a varying number of bracketed photos per set.
If you haven’t organized your bracketed photos into stacks, you can still batch process your photos by specifying the number of bracketed photos per set.
- Select one of the 40 HDR Photomatix Presets
The plugin offers a wide variety of HDR styles, with over 40 presets grouped into categories such as
“Realistic”, “Artistic” and “Real Estate”. If you don’t know which one to use, you can preview the effect of any preset before starting the batch process.
- Fine tune and click the “Batch” button
After choosing your preset (from the dropdown or via preset preview), you can fine tune the contrast and sharpening and choose the output settings. You can add the image to the image stack or just save it into the source folder. You can add the image to the image stack or just save it into the source folder.
The HDR Batch Plugin includes options for automatically aligning handheld photographs and for removing “ghosts” or visual artifacts when moving people or objects are present in the scene. The resulting HDR photo can be exported as TIFF or JPEG.
- Have a cup of coffee and let the plugin do the batching…
After hitting the “Batch” button – you can see the batching status in the Lightroom (or have a cup of coffee).
Once done you will get the message “Batch successfully completed”.
In our example, we had 8 HDR images (3*8 = 24 bracketed images) done in about 8 minutes (around 1 minute per HDR image).
HDR Batch Plugin: Text Run (Example of an HDR Image)
Here below you can see an HDR image we created with the new bracket plugin. The source images were three bracketed shots (at a fixed aperture of f/13, and ISO 640. The shutter speed for the images was 1/125 sec. (under-exposed to highlight the sky), 1/60 sec. (normal exposure), and 1/30 sec. (over-exposed to highlight the foreground).
As you can see, the 3 source images were hand-held shots and not aligned. Plus, you can see moving people in the foreground. These are not ideal conditions for merging photos into one single image. Ideally, you should avoid moving objects and use a tripod when shooting bracketed images for HDR.
Still, the Photomatix HDR Batch Plugin did a fantastic job (without any changes to default settings, we just hit the “batch” button).
HDR Batch Plugin: Availability and Price
The plugin is now available on Lightroom 6 and Lightroom Classic CC on Windows and Macintosh.
Customers who purchased a license for the Photomatix Pro Plus bundle will receive the plugin for free. Those who purchased Photomatix Pro can get the plugin for $20 by upgrading to the Photomatix Pro Plus bundle.
The price of one HDR Batch Plugin license is a $49 one-time purchase. With our coupon code “PHOTOWORKOUT” you can get 15% off.
For more information or to download a free trial version, you can visit the purchase section of HDRSoft.
Free Trials & Coupon Code
Photomatix offers free trials for all its software products including the pro bundle which comes with the new HDR Batch Plugin for Lightroom.
In case you decide to buy any of the Photomatix products you can use our coupon code “PHOTOWORKOUT” for 15% off.
Today, the company continues to build easy-to-use software tools that let photographers create stunning images. Photomatix is ideal for photography scenes that benefit from applying HDR, such as landscape, real estate, and more. The company is headquartered in the United Kingdom and has staff in the USA and other countries.
Andreas used to develop black & white films at the age of 14 by turning his bathroom into a darkroom. After getting his master’s degree in economics, he worked as a marketing consultant in Asia. Today he lives in Berlin and is in charge of the editorial process here at PhotoWorkout.