Photoshop CS6, RAW and HDR
(excerpt from the book Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography unreleased revised electronic version)
Camera RAW 7 Can Now Decode HDR Encoded Multiple Bracketed Exposures
As I mentioned last month, with the release of Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS6, we now have a power in Adobe RAW processors to hold shadow and highlight detail like never before. Their new Black, Shadow, White and Highlight sliders essentially allow you to smoothly narrow the dynamic range of the capture through the RAW interpreter.
Photoshop's HDR ability to Merge to HDR Pro multiple bracketed exposures into a floating point 32 bit per channel file has long been in place. Adding the Remove Ghosts function to the encoding function a few years ago really helped manage misalignment of moving objects in the set. The main problem with the Merge to HDR feature was in the conversion from these encoded HDR files into a useable 16 bit/channel (normal) file. Previously, it was just very hard to manage the look and feel into something natural while transforming the image from this high bit depth state.
Now we have support for HDR conversion built right into the Adobe RAW processor with Camera RAW 7 and Lightroom 4.
The procedure is rather simple. Just save the open HDR integrated file as a TIFF (turn on support for TIFF in Camera RAW Preferences) or DNG, and poof, magic, you can now convert your HDR encoded files via the familiar RAW interface with all of the controls you are already accustomed to.
This has dramatically increased my use of HDR and the usability of the files themselves.
You can download a free 30-day trial of Adobe Photoshop CS6 here.
Adobe's New RAW Processor in Camera RAW 7 Transforming and HDR TIFF