BareUCTLogo-90March 15, 2015
Welcome again to HDR News!  We hope the incredibly bad weather across the globe is providing you with visual delights to capture and embellish in your images.  Remember, Ansel Adams made his best compositions while a rainstorm or snowstorm was clearing!


Three Boxes
We will be formally announcing our highly anticipated 2015 HDR Contest in the April 1 HDR News. Right now, to help you get your creative HDR juices going, we are taking $20 off the purchase of any Unified Color HDR product. Just go to and click Buy Now. You’ll be taken to the Shopping Cart where you can use the following code. The code expires on April 1, 2015.     HDRNEWS20

Cheong-300Impressive is an understatement when describing the work of French/Chinese photographer Daniel Cheong.  While Cheong does use HDR software occasionally, he is an expert at combining multiple brackets of an image using Photoshop blending techniques.  Here at UCT we’re proponents of natural HDR as is Cheong who says he is trying “…obtain the maximum dynamic range, while trying to keep a very natural look and avoiding the common mistake of many ‘overcooked’ HDR images.”
A visit to Cheong’s site is well worth the time invested:

Palm Springs FestivalNeed to recharge your photographic spirit?  Wondering how your portfolio will stand up to a professional critique?  Want to hang with some of the best photographers working today?  You should consider making the trip to Palm Springs in late April to experience the Palm Springs Photo Festival.  There are multi-day workshops with photo greats David Muench, Dan Winters, Mark Seliger and Mary Ellen Mark and more.  You’ll find seminars on topics ranging from Photoshop to color calibration and asset management.  And, most of all, you’ll find inspiration.  Check out the festival’s website at

 Lens Culture Lens Culture  – Lens Culture is one of the most artistically fresh resources of contemporary photography.  The publication respects and features all genres of photography ranging from photojournalism to fine art to portraiture.  Their yearly Exposure Competition and Awards are chosen by an international jury.  A win in this competition can propel any photographer to the next level.  Take a look at the 2014 winners:
 Ride A Fish-300r
25 Fantastic Photos – Want to have some fun?  Want to see a glimpse of some Photoshop implementations you which you’d thought of?  Look here:
Salt Flats Sky
Bonneville Salt Flats At Night – We just like this photo.  Click on the link and you won’t be disappointed (as in surprise).–/

Try the latest versions of HDR Express, HDR Expose and 32 Float by downloading a free, 30- trail version.  You’ll be happy you did!

HDR Expose –

HDR Express –

32 Float –

Don’t forget to download our free guide “Five Steps To Great HDR Photography”


HDR News You Can Use

February 22, 2015

Welcome again to HDR News!


It’s the dead of winter and a most amazing time for photography.  Glorious light reveals itself in all forms from clear air, high-contrast direct sunlight to the subtly muted soft light of a snow storm.  This is the time to be shooting your entry for this year’s event.  We’ll be officially announcing the contest late next month.  Leading up to the announcement we’re displaying many of the finalists in the 2014 contest on our blog and on our Facebook page.  Check out both outlets for new images and commentary which we change often.  Here are some recently posted examples.

Marc Lombardi-275              Dr Sandaire DCS-250     Luke Shearer-4-250


Single Image HDRMany of our software users believe that you always have to merge multiple images of the same scene with different exposures in order to use HDR software.  You may be surprised to learn that HDR software is extremely useful on single images as well.  The benefits of great HDR processing are especially valuable for images where the important area of the image has gone dark due to your camera averaging bright light and dark shadows across the scene.   Our V.P.  of Marketing, John Omvik produced a great video showing you how to use HDR Express 3 on a single image.  Definitely check it out on our website because the information in the video applies to HDR Expose 3 and 32 Float v3 as well and the info could turn a throw-away image into a real “keeper”.


Right Time33 Images Taken At The Right Moment –   One of the huge benefits of digital photography is you don’t inhibit your shooting because there is a meter in the back of your mind counting film and processing costs.  Now we just shoot away and the results often surprise us.  Here’s a collection of amazing images clicked at exactly the right moment.

Smartphone To Museum - 275

Smartphone To Museum – How many times have you been in a conversation about photography and the conversation goes to smartphone cameras?  We always hear that “smartphone cameras are amazing now” and, they are.  So much so that  hundreds of people are exhibiting their Instagram images at “Mobile Photo Now,” which is on display through March 22 at the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio.  Check out these images and you’ll never view smartphone photography the same way again.

Maisel-275Jay Maisel – If you’re into photography you’ve heard of Jay Maisel.  Some of his commercial accomplishments include five Sports Illustrated swimsuit covers, the first two covers of New York Magazine, the cover of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue (the best-selling jazz album of all time) and way, way more.  In fact he is one of the most prolific photographers in the world.  An article running on the Imaging-Resource website contains a fantastic yet short documentary video about Maisel that you need to see.  The article contains a quote that we really take to heart, “Any picture that I’ve done, that’s really worth anything, I’ve been terrified the entire time I was shooting it. If you’re not scared that you’re going to lose it, it ain’t that great [of a] picture.”

Feeling Like You Need A Bit Of A Jolt? – If you want to get your photo juices going why don’t you try the latest versions of HDR Express, HDR Expose and 32 Float by downloading a free, 30- trail version.  You’ll be happy you did!

HDR Expose –

HDR Express –

32 Float –

Don’t forget to download our free guide “Five Steps To Great HDR Photography”

HDR News You Can Use

February 2015

Welcome to our newly revised newsletter “HDR News You Can Use”.  We know your InBox is jammed with deals and discounts and frankly, we’re as tired of them as you are.  So, we’ll share photo information that you can actually use and hopefully will inspire you to even better photography. For information about our products HDR Expose 3, HDR Express 3 and 32 Float v3 please visit our main website at


5 Steps First Page-400

So often we’re asked by photographers new to HDR to help them quickly understand how to shoot the bracketed exposures required for merging into a single HDR file.  Problem solved!  We’ve created “Five Steps To Great HDR Photography“, a free guide that gives you a simple process to ensure that you shoot the right exposures to cover all the brightness levels in your HDR scene.  You can download the free guide here


Max Rive

We’re constantly on the hunt for great but a bit out of the mainstream photographers whose work can inspire us. Max Rive is a Dutch mountaineer photographer whose images are bold yet thoughtful.  He is known for his unique style of injecting human elements into his landscapes.

Max’s images demonstrate a wonderful compositional balance while capturing a wide range of exposure levels.  His processing doesn’t force the issue of wide dynamic range by resorting to garish, on-the-edge colors.  You can catch a nice collection of his work at


Jet Moon

Shoot The Moon – News photographer Raul Roa is a veteran photojournalist based north of Los Angeles in Whittier.  He covers everything from sports to politics to hard news.  He has the distinction of living directly under the flight path of landing flights at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).  One evening on his way home from an assignment he caught a beautiful full moon.  He noticed how perfectly silhouetted landing planes were as they past the moon.  Mr. Roa said “… Two or three planes went by and i snapped a couple of shots.  And there it was.  I had it.”  It was a photo of the sharp outline of a plane framed within the moon.  Check out this article on the New York Times’ Lens blog for the full story:

Strange Lenses

Other Worldly Results – Sometimes you want to grab the individual exposure levels of six or seven images and not engage with HDR software (hey, it’s OK).  We came across a high-level implementation of Photoshop blending modes on the blog Through Strange Lenses by Jimmy McIntyre that yields really interesting results.  In this blog post titled A Lonely Lighthouse (, McIntyre takes you through Rapid Blending and Luminosity Masks to achieve an other-worldly result.

HDR Video Is Ascending – Even a nominal amount attention paid to this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) revealed that HDR televisions were attention getting products.  But, to make full use of HDR televisions you need to start with HDR video content.  The BBC recently conducted a test of video HDR using an Arri Amira cinematography camera.  This article is an interview with Stephan Ukas-Bradley, director of strategic business development at Arri where he explains the significance of this test and the role of HDR video:

2015 HDR Contest – This year’s HDR Contest is coming this spring.  Over the coming weeks visit our Facebook page to see examples from last year’s finalists to get yourself pumped up for a submission into this year’s contest.