Following up on the thoughts on this post, witness the image to right. Now, I’m not claiming it’s the best image, nor am I trying to even state that I’m done with post-processing. I am, but only because I’ve decided I’m not happy with the composition.
But I am happy with the results of my tests. In this case, I now know: when doing handheld bracketed shots, Photoshop CS5′s “Merge to HDR Pro” function is incredibly more useful than Photomatix 3.2. It’s not just the ghosting, although that sure cleaned up a lot.
No, it’s how easily CS5 finds like components and merges them together. Seriously, it’s just incredible: this is a three-frame HDR, in JPG. Compare the sharpness (not the contrast) and the merging to this:
I’m not really sure why there’s such a huge difference, but look at the background. You can see ghosting in the coral when processed in Photomatix 3. None of that in CS5.
For what it’s worth: yes, I’m aware that Photomatix 4 will fix the ghosting problem – or so Trey says. And yes, I did try to get Photomatix to do its fixes.
I’m really looking forward to Photomatix 4 now…