Lightroom 4.1 Release & New HDR Tutorial for Beginning Photographers

North Ryde Tran Station-Sydney Australia

[smugbuy photo=”!i=1896363375&k=XCtP6TQ”]

Lightroom 4.1

It was a quantum leap upgrading from Lightroom 3 to Lightroom 4.0.  So much more control and many unbelievable new features in the new version to speed up the post processing.  Now, Adobe has made this even better with the latest Lightroom 4.1 release.  Just to entice you… it now offers direct editing of 16, 24, and 32 bit HDR files, excellent chromatic aberration & de-fringing controls (which were also pretty good in Lightroom 3 but somehow missed the boat in  Lightroom 4.0), direct output to jpeg in the Book module.  These are all pretty big and makes it worth the free upgrade to Lightroom 4.1 if you already have 4.0.  Even if you don’t have Lightroom at all yet, Adobe sells it for $149, which I consider a steal for everything that this software does for photographers of all skill levels.

With Lightroom 4.1 I can now do almost all my post processing right inside of Lightroom.  Only when I occasionally need to use layers do I need to take an image into Photoshop and, even that is very simple to do with seamless integration of the two programs with Lightroom’s intuitive export/import.  If you like and use Topaz and Nik filters, they are easily accessed right inside Lightroom as well.   Nik filters didn’t work in Lightroom 4.0 and, thankfully for those of us who use them, they are now working in 4.1 and all is right with the world again.

Beginner’s New HDR Tutorial

I like this new release of Lightroom 4.1 so much and find it very friendly.  With it I can see the possibility that beginning photographers can now easily and inexpensively produce great HDR photographs for an outlay of under $200 US.  HDR used to be only for super dedicated photographers who would spend hours tweaking tricky sliders and using layer masks in Photoshop.  The (lack of) mastery of the process caused so much bad HDR to proliferate because it was really difficult to control for photographers who didn’t have command of the process.  Now, with Lightroom 4.1 as the centerpiece of post-processing, photographers can easily produce really wonderful HDR images in a short amount of time and without having to learn arcane software and spend $1,000 or more on software. It’s so exciting that this will open up the art of HDR photography to so many more people.

I am putting together a tutorial of how to make stunning HDR photographs using only an inexpensive image compositing algorithm and Lightroom 4.1 ($149 US).  If you want to be alerted when this tutorial is ready so you too can make HDR photographs that will amaze your friends, just sign up for my FREE HDR Newsletter today and I will shoot you a quick email when it’s ready.

Yesterday’s post, Gothic Study at Hearst Castle was processed completely within the new Lightroom 4.1 and no other filters, such as Topaz or Nik, were used.  It was fun & easy to do and I think it came out really lovely. Imagine yourself easily making images like this!

North Ryde Train Station

Getting around Sydney Australia is fun, easy, and cheap.  You can buy an all-day pass which works on all the ferries, busses, and trains for about $20 US.  Everything is clean and schedules are always on-time.  Some of the underground train stations are very pleasing architecturally too like this one in North Ryde.  Yes, just like the Beatles song, Ticket to Ryde

Showing 3 comments
  • Ced

    As to Nik software, I’ve successfully moved between LR 4.1 and both Color Efex Pro and HDR Pro (although I agree I’ve not really needed HDR Pro given the link between LR 4.1 and PS6 (using its HDR Pro), creating a 32bit image and bringing it back into LR for processing.

    • Keith Cuddeback

      Ced yes the Nik’s are now thankfully working again in the new 4.1 release. Most beginning photographers don’t have, and don’t want to put out the big bucks for, Photoshop just to use HDR Pro to create the 32 bit TIFF to tonemap in LR. My wish to Adobe is for an HDRPro-like plugin for LR just to create a 32 bit TIFF. The goal of the tutorial I’m putting together for beginners to HDR is to show how to make really great HDR photographs with minimal expense. So I’ll be using another 3rd party solution for that until Adobe grants my wish. The candidates I’m testing now are Enfuse and Photomatix. So far I don’t like much what I’m getting from Enfuse’s 32 bit file so may have to stick with Photomatix. It was the additional cost of Photomatix I was trying to avoid to keep the cost for beginners as low as possible. Meanwhile, those of us with Photoshop can merrily make 32 bits TIFFs and make really nice HDR images very quickly now. Cheers!

  • David Bousfield

    David Bousfield @ Newcastle Wedding Photographer thinks this is a great article with lots of helpful tips thanks for taking the time to write it

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Contact Captain Photo

Want to get in touch? I love hearing from my readers.. Cheers!

The Gothic Study at Hearst CastleMysore Palace - India