There is an old saying, “If you don't know where you're going, any path will take you there.” Most HDR software takes the “any path” approach and leaves you wondering if the result you reach is really where you want to be. Not so with HDR Efex Pro. It shows a wide variety of possible paths as soon as the program opens, allowing you to choose an initial direction for your image without wandering aimlessly. Those possible paths are called presets.
This chapter looks at each preset in detail. I use the same image to illustrate each preset and make no adjustments to the default settings. The chapter closes by showing how to create custom presets and how to import presets that other HDR Efex Pro users have created.
With all the data available in a true HDR image, the possibilities for manipulating it are limitless. You can interpret any scene from the literal to the totally abstract. The range of possibilities can be especially daunting if you're new to HDR imaging. Even with experience, it is sometimes difficult to know the best direction to take an HDR image.
HDR Efex Pro takes the stress out of getting started by presenting you with a range of possibilities called presets. These are displayed as thumbnail interpretations of the active HDR image in the Preset Browser on the left of the interface. Above the presets are Preset Category buttons ...