Current version: v2024.102 released: May 17, 2024
Qimage Ultimate innovations in digital imaging:

Qimage Ultimate opens new doors with cutting edge technology not found in any other software:

  "RIP-like" industry leading photo printing algorithms
  New Vanish tool removes distractions from photos
  New Deep Focus Sharpening: a Qimaqe Ultimate exclusive
  Fusion interpolation: a Qimaqe Ultimate exclusive
  Cutting Edge Color Management (ICC aware) Support
  Ability to optimize and properly format photos for online printing services
  Tone Targeted (Selective) Sharpening
  Comprehensive Raw Photo Support
>>> Single Raw HDR

Qimage Ultimate - Single Raw HDR

First, a word about image editing in Qimage

Qimage (Lite, Pro, Studio, and Ultimate) allow you to apply any and all image editing functions such as sharpening, brightness, contrast, fill light, levels, curves, tone targeting, and much more by association.  Instead of editing your original files and having to save edited copies to clutter your hard drive, Qimage simply associates a small parameter file with the image so that each time the image is accessed (by Qimage), the edits are applied.  This also means that you can reopen and re-edit the photos at any time and your previous edits can be reviewed, changed, or removed!  This "associative filtering" method was first invented and introduced by ddisoftware in the late 1990's as a way to modify images without having to resave them.

NEW (October 30, 2015): Introducing HDR v2 in Qimage Ultimate 2016.126

We have improved the HDR function in Qimage Ultimate 2016.126 to produce clean, artifact-free results over a wide range of settings.  The process remains as simple as before.  For example, in a landscape shot with trees and sky, first draw your exposure box around the brightest clouds in the sky to recover as many highlights as possible.  Then use fill light to bring out details in the shadows (trees, buildings, etc.).  Since fill light is a smooth brightening curve, some detail will be lost in the sky/clouds.  To bring back highlight detail in the sky and clouds and make your HDR image, drag the HDRv2 slider to the right to maximize detail in the sky and clouds and stop when your changes reach the skyline.  HDR v2 allows precise control over highlight detail without producing ghosting or other artifacts where landscape meets sky.

HDRv2 Example

Single Raw HDR in Qimage Ultimate Explained

High Dynamic Range or "HDR" photos allow you to display a much greater dynamic range in your photos than can be displayed (on your monitor) or printed (on your printer) using standard developing techniques.  Tools exist that allow you to take multiple exposures (by bracketing for example) and then "meld" the exposures together to get better light-to-dark range in your photos.  We at ddisoftware have found, however, that many times photographers are going through the hassle of trying to take and combine multiple exposures when in many cases, a single raw contains enough dynamic range to do an even better job without trying to mix and match different exposures!

Single raw HDR is not a new concept.  Just do a web search and you'll see that many people are creating HDR photos from a single raw exposure.  While you can't expect a lot of range from a point and shoot camera, even a reasonably cheap dSLR (generally any camera with a sensor larger than the small point-and-shoot camera sensors) can capture enough range to make an HDR photo.  To create an HDR photo, all you need to do is create a photo that compresses the dynamic range so that it exceeds the range of your output device (typically a monitor or printer).  Even the cheapest dSLR cameras can capture 1-2 stops more range than your monitor can display and 2-3 stops more than you can print, so HDR from a single raw photo is certainly possible.  In some cases of extreme lighting or contrast, you may still need multiple exposures and other software to make an acceptable HDR photo, but can you do it with just one?  In many cases the answer is YES, and if so, Qimage Ultimate can make great HDR photos from just one raw exposure!

With the release of Qimage Ultimate v2010.122, you can now easily create HDR photos from one raw exposure!  The process for shooting and developing single raw HDR photos in Qimage Ultimate is simple:

  1. Meter for the highlights in the scene (sky or clouds for example) and take your raw shot.
    Note:  it is good practice to still use exposure bracketing, taking multiple shots at different exposure so that you will still be able to do multi-exposure HDR if the dynamic range of the scene is so extreme that one raw photo is not enough.

  2. Bring your raw photos into Qimage and right click on a raw thumbnail and select "Refine...".
    Note: If you bracketed your exposures, pick the best exposure: the one that is the brightest without clipping any highlights.

  3. When the raw refine dialog appears, be sure to first click on the exposure grid (one of the nine squares on the image) that contains the most brightly lit portion of the image.
    Note: Qimage will then meter for those highlights making sure that none get clipped.

  4. Drag the "Fill" slider to the right until the shadows brighten up enough for your taste.
    Note: We use fill light because the shadows of the image will likely be too dark due to exposing for the highlights.

  5. If any of the highlights got clipped in step 4, slide the "HDR" slider to the right until enough detail returns in the highlights (clouds/sky for example).
    Note: You may not always want an "HDR look".  HDR compresses dynamic range and thus reduces contrast so use the HDR slider to your own personal taste.

That's it!  You'll be amazed at the HDR photos you can create from a single raw exposure using only two sliders!

Here are a few examples:

All of the examples below were created simply by dragging the "fill light" and "HDR" sliders in the raw refine tool on a single raw exposure.  No making selections, no creating complex layers, and no modifying the original image!

Figure 1

Step 1: Standard exposure - metered for clouds

Step 2: Fill light - use "Fill" slider to expose shadows

Step 3: HDR - use "HDR" slider to restore cloud detail




Figure 2

Step 1: Standard exposure - metered for clouds

Step 2: Fill light - use "Fill" slider to expose shadows

Step 3: HDR - use "HDR" slider to restore cloud detail


Figure 3

Step 1: Standard exposure - metered for clouds

Step 2: Fill light - use "Fill" slider to expose shadows

Step 3: HDR - use "HDR" slider to restore cloud/boat detail

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