HDR News You Can Use

February 2017 – Welcome Again to HDR News

It’s always nice to break out our cameras and spend some quality time in the field. When we do get out there, having the right gear with us can make getting the image a lot easier. In this issue of HDR News we’ll alert you to a piece of equipment that you probably dismissed but will improve your panoramas and your video footage. We’ll also share the stories of two intrepid British photographers who chase down tornados. Then we’ll look at the photographer who’s had the deepest access to the inner happenings in the White House, ever. Finally, we take a look at a new lens that gets you close to the results of a view camera. Let’s go!


Why You Should Consider A Fluid Head for your Tripod

We know you shoot landscapes. And, you most likely shoot multiple image panoramas during your excursions. The results created by the ball head sitting on your tripod tend to be problematic when it’s time to stitch them together to create the panorama. Starting with the far-most left or right section of the scene and then continuing with subsequent exposures across the landscape results in cockeyed images that, when stitched cause you to lose a lot of your photo to cropping.

Why not try a fluid head for your tripod? They were developed for video but their features are an excellent fit for still photography.  Contrary to common assumption, good fluid heads can be found for as little as $135.

Check out this video by photographer Hudson Henry about why you should get a fluid head; you’ll be surprised.

Watch The Video


See how easy it is to create HDR panoramas with the HDR Pano feature in HDR Expose 3
Part I:  http://pinnacleimagingsystems.com/video-tutorials/hdr-expose-3-0?yt=tVGgPgiBWCM 
Part II: http://pinnacleimagingsystems.com/video-tutorials/hdr-expose-3-0?yt=Wir1UbBR5Tk


Chasing Deadly Weather – For The Photos

Each spring for the last seven years British photographers Cammie Czuchnicki and Tim Moxon, known as Weather Studios, have traveled to the U.S. to photograph the spectacular weather stretching from central Texas north to the Dakotas and as far east as the Great Lakes during tornado season. They’ve been very productive and very lucky. Finding, following and dodging lethal weather has been treacherous but the photographic results have been beyond amazing.

Cameo Czuchnicki on her first visit: “…nothing prepared us for the impact of witnessing our first supercell (rotating storm)….The scale of the storm, strength of the wind and the speed in which it approached nearly caught us off guard as we struggled to get the car doors shut and escape to safety. We got some great photos though – and our new addiction had started!”

Read The Article


White House photographer Pete Souza

During much of the Obama presidency major publication news photographers from outlets like the Washington Post, NY Times and Time magazine were often shut out of the intimate, day-to-day photo opportunities surrounding the president. Those opportunities went to Chief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza, often under the rationale of crowd manageability but derided as control by the mainstream press photographers.

Raised in South Dartmouth MA and schooled in journalism at Kansas State and Boston University, Souza did a ten-year stint as a staff photographer at the Chicago Tribune. During this period Souza was asked to take photographs for a project documenting Barack Obama’s first year as U.S. Senator which, resulted in the best-selling photo book The Rise Of Barack Obama that featured photos from the 2005 to 2008 period. During the project Souza became close to Obama and eventually was invited to be the White House photographer.

Now that the Obama presidency is history The Guardian has published a fascinating collection of Souza’s photos that take you behind the scenes of this most public of institutions and reveals the humanity of the people inside.

Read The Article

You should think about following Souza on Instagram where you’ll view history from an insider’s perspective.


Nikon 19mm PC Nikor F4E Sample Gallery

The photos produced by Nikon’s new masterpiece of glass, the 19mm, tilt-shift lens are beyond impressive. It’s delivering interiors without the bending lines that scream “wide angle lens”, landscapes with tree trunks that don’t look deformed and, cityscapes that look like they were shot with a view camera. But at a cool $3,400 this may be a toy we’ll have to rent if we want to use it.  Nevertheless, we can dream.

Take a look at samples from dpReview and Nikon Rumors



C’est l’heure. Yes, it’s time to make one of our infrequent visits to the (Bad) HDR page on the Redditt website. It’s true, the determination of any “photography” lies with beholder. But, there are some HDR techniques that go too far in our estimation. Techniques like posterization, halos and garish saturation or de-saturation put HDR in a bad light. Hey, we’re the home of “Natural HDR”. So, it’s good to know that there are lovers of photography out there who feel the way we do.

Check out Reddit’s bad HDR page and click on any of the examples on the page for a cleansing of your most malevolent HDR tendencies.

January 2017 – Welcome Again to HDR News and Happy New Year!

It’s a new year and it’s the perfect time to get some artistic inspiration. We start with a great video on processing in 32-bit mode in Photoshop. We follow with an award winning, globe trekking photographer whose images reveal a strong graphic sense.

We also take a look at a Russia-based photographer who uses long-lenses to create unique images of kids and canines: yes, his photos are inspiring. Not to forget about new gear, we’ll point you to a leading publication’s picks for the best photo equipment of 2016. Lastly, we alert you to a new movie about the photojournalist’s photojournalist.


Tired Of Photoshop’s 32-bit Limitations?

If you’re a Photoshop lover (of course, we use it too) you must have tried merging two or more files into an HDR file using Photoshop’s Merge To HDR Pro function. If you’re merging RAW files, the processing window gives you the option to select the bit depth of the resulting HDR file. If you choose “32-bit” your resulting HDR files will have a robust 32-bits per channel to assign colors to each pixel; pretty powerful.

But, you can lose functionality in 32-bit mode in many apps, including Photoshop. Just open your newly merged file in Photoshop and select Image > Mode > 32-bit. Then look at the pull-down Image > Adjustments. You’ll see that many common Photoshop tool selections are now unavailable to you including Brightness/Contrast, Curves, Vibrance and Color Balance. Wow!

Why not use 32 Float v3 to work on your HDR file in Photoshop. 32 Float uses our Beyond RGB color space so that you can adjust brightness, contrast & tone mapping parameters without affecting the color of the image. Yes, you can make your edits and be sure that your colors will remain unchanged. With 32 Float you’ll even get the full set of HDR presets and tools found in HDR Expose 3.

Working With 32 Float v3 Inside Photoshop


Travel Photographer Of The Year

There are many Photographer Of The Year competitions in various locations around the globe and the TPOTY competition based in Suffolk England may not be familiar to you. However, it has been going strong since 2003 and its judges have consistently made excellent, thoughtfu winner selections.

We are impressed with this year’s <strong>winner Joel Santos</strong> from Portugal. Unlike many travel photographers Santos’ photos cover not only the physical landscape of the land he’s travelling but he also gets into the people and culture of an area in a way that reveals the connection between a land and its inhabitants.

Visit Santos website at joelsantos.net

Visit the TPOTY website to see if this competition is right for you.


Big Dogs And Little Kids – The Great Dane Chronicles

You just can’t dismiss a well executed photograph of a young child. Combine that child subject with an extra large dog and you’ve got the theme for a book.

Yes, it’s dog photography but it’s difficult to overlook the work of hugely popular photographer Andy Seliverstoff of St. Petersburg, Russia. His new book Little Kids And Their Big Dogs is just that and it’s really worth a look. No matter how jaded you may be, his deft long-lens technique and gorgeous subjects are a joy to view.

Visit Seliverstoff’s website at www.greatdane.photography


The Photojournalist’s Photojournalist

You may not know his name but, for sure, you know his photographs. Harry Benson has literally seen it all. From the Beatles to assassinations to African famines Benson seems to have always clicked his shutter at right time and in the right places. But what makes his work stand out from most other photojournalists is he “… gets the joke about life.”

Now there is a new movie on Harry Benson titled Shoot First. Check out the trailer HERE.




Best Photo Gear of 2016

Lot’s of cool new gear gets purchased and gifted right about now. Maybe you’ve got cash left over after taking care of your loved ones and it’s now time to take care of yourself. Where do you start? There’s no better starting point than dpReview’s Gear Of The Year for 2016.

Even more interesting than the selected winners are the product categories; Best Prosumer Camera Drone, Best Accessory, Best Mobile/VR Product and more. Check it out HERE.

Early December 2016 – Welcome Again To HDR News And Happy Holidays!

What a wonderful time of year it is to be a photographer. Scenes of fall colors morph into snow enhanced wonders and eventually, everything turns white. Inspiration is all around you. We’ve been seeing some great images lately with the closing of 2016 Pinnacle HDR contest. Also, a few other photo competitions recently closed providing us with lots to admire and a few shooting ideas as well. We hope this issue of HDR News gets you out there and then back into the digital darkroom to explore your HDR possibilities with HDR Expose, HDR Express or 32 Float v2

Congratulations To The Winners!

The 2016 Pinnacle HDR Contest ended with its usual rush of fine entries which made it difficult to identify the exceptional photos. This year’s winning image by Stanley Klasz is a finely processed waterside scene that is hauntingly calm and nuanced.Congratulations to Stanley and the great Honorable Mention winners!


USA Landscape Photographer Of The Year

mt-rainer-200The USA Landscape Photographer Of The Year competition was created by photographer Charlie Waite who started the UK version of competition in 2006. Judging was done by some of the heftiest names in landscape photography; Art Wolfe, Marc Muench and Tim Fitzharris. The 2016 winner is Alex Noriega for his sunrise lit image of Mount Rainier as it rises above low clouds. A visit to the competition website will truly inspire your photography. Make sure you click into the site to view the winners video.


Useful Winter Shooting Advice

winter-berries-200It’s that time of year when the photo magazines run their “winter shooting tips” articles. They tend to focus on how the colder, wetter weather affects your equipment but provide little in the way of content ideas. It was surprising to find this useful articleHow To Capture Winter Photos Like A Pro” in the British daily newspaper, The Telegraph.

It’s a quick read and it should get your creative motor going.


netherlands-200Off The Grid In The Netherlands

Netherlands photographer Gerard Kingma set out on a project to document the abandoned industrial area near his home in the northern most province of the country (a subject for many HDR photographers). What he found was a group of people living “off-the-grid”. He says: “The group welcomed me into their way of life without wariness or argument. They showed me a different way…”  

After each shoot he presented the group with the photos. Using a 4×5 camera and sheet film required the cooperation of the subjects. The results smash our windmill and wooden shoe preconceptions of the country.


dali-200Inspiration From The Greatest

“You don’t have to be an artist to appreciate the sage advice offered by icons like Jackson Pollock or Frida Kahlo. Nor do they all apply just to making art” The editors of thenew book titled “Art Is The Highest Form Of Hope” went deep into iconic artist’s letters, diaries, interviews and more to create a collection of well-researched quotes that are insightful. This article gives you fifteen of them.

Here’s a representative quote from artist Salvador Dali; ““Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature.”Check out the article, it may give you a boost!


October 2016Welcome again to HDR News!

Most likely you’ve got a ton of beautiful images from your summer shooting excursions and quite a few family photos as well. In this issue we’ll point you to some great info on making sure you never lose those price- less photos. We’ll also discover the back story to one of the great portraits of the last century and we’ll look at some great new photography as well.

After Labor Day is the time to dig into processing your great images made during your summer shooting. We hope you find a few gems on your memory cards and work them up in HDR Expose, Express or 32 Float.

Enter The 2016 HDR Contest – It’s Fun, It’s Free!






Autumn is truly the golden season. The sun is lower in the sky, casting sculpting shadows across your scene. It’s the perfect time for shooting bracketed exposures and creating big, open photographs. Right now is also the time to submit those photos in the 2016 Pinnacle HDR Contest and have a chance to win the $500 grand prize. The contest is free to enter.

Learn more: https://pinnacleimagingsystems.leadpages.co/hdr-contest-landing-page-2a/


What If Your Hard Drive Crashed?

Archiving your work in 2016 is not like the old days when shooters had file cabinets full of negatives, contact sheets and prints. Finding a location secure from fire or water was the primary concern. Despite all the advantages of digital photography a photog- rapher’s collection is more at-risk than it’s ever been and the reason is: hard drives. All it takes is one electrical surge to fry your working hard drive and decades of work and family memories could be gone forever.  It takes a good strategy, multiple hard drives, backup software and even a cloud service to adequately protect your prized files. The good news is you can pick up a great 2TB hard drive for under $100. Great backup software is even less expensive and cloud backup services are reasonable. So, there’s no excuse for not having a good backup system in place. Here are a few good sources of information to get you going.

Mirroring Your Photo Library To A Second Drive And The Cloud:  https://photofocus.com/2016/10/02/mirroring-your-photo-library-to-a-second-drive-and-the-cloud/

MacBackup Software Reviews:    http://www.toptenreviews.com/software/backup-recovery/best-mac-backup-software/

Best free and paid-for backup software and services for Mac:   http://www.macworld.co.uk/feature/mac-software/best-mac-backup-software-3641849/

dali-wpThe Story Behind An Iconic Photograph

One of the most famous and intriguing portraits of an artist is Phillipe Halsman’s photo of Salvador Dali caught in mid-air together with cats chasing flowing water and even a chair. Halsman and Dali were good friends and their collaboration for the photo shows how imagination and patience can create magic.


horses-photoThe Ethreal Horses Of Southern France

The Camargue horse is an ancient breed indigenous to the Camargue area in southern France. They are feral creatues who live in the marshes. Drew Doggett traveled more than 6,000 miles to meet them in person. His Book Band of Rebels: White Horses of Camague is the result. Camagues are all white so it takes good photographic technique to do them justice. Doggett did them justice.  Check it out.


August 2016 – Welcome again to HDR News!.

It’s Coming! Readers of HDR News are the first to know that later in August we’ll be announcing the 2016 Pinnacle HDR Contest. Keep an eye on your Inbox for our formal announcement and start planning to execute some great HDR entries during your summer vacation and fall shooting excursions. Entries will start being accepted in August and continue into September. Stay tuned!

Get Off The Beaten Path

This summer it’s very likely that you’re headed off to do some serious shooting at a National Park. The parks are treasures and have been photographed over and over again but likely not by you. You’ll probably have many of the park’s iconic scenes in your mind as you start off on your journey with the goal of replicating them for yourself. What you won’t expect is the army of visitors elbowing you for the same shots like Delicate Arch in Arches NP, the Hoodoos in Bryce NP and Yosemite Valley in Yosemite NP. This article implores you to “…leave the signs behind”.


Drone-250Drone Mounted Flash For Action Photography

What do you do when you need to capture kayakers tumbling down an almost dark water shoot? The kayakers are moving fast and you’re too far away to use a strobe that will give you a short enough flash duration to stop the action. What do you do? Mount your strobes on a drone and position the flying rig right over the diving kayakers. Read how Canon Master Krystle Wright made it happen.


Magnum-Awards-250Magnum Photography Award Winners

Previously in HDR News we alerted you to the wonderful Magnum Photos – Lens Culture Photography Awards. The winners are in and represent an extremely broad view of current photography. Check out the award winners and be prepared to be startled, pleased, instructed and even moved.


Lives-With-You-250When It Sticks With You

When you’re shooting news and human interest stories with a short lens you’re in close with your subjects. That’s when you also get involved with your story in a personal way that in some cases can stick with you for a lifetime. Here’s a compelling look at a California-based New York Times photographer who still has a particular image from one of those stories stuck in her mind and she’s still searching for a resolution.


Shitty-HDR-135“My eyes are crying blood”

To you, our fellow lovers of natural looking HDR photography there is a little area on Reddit that regularly displays HDR photos that are so badly over-processed you simultaneously laugh and lose your breath at the same time https://www.reddit.com/r/shittyHDR/. Check out the whole page and then pay special attention to this one titled by the submitter “My eyes are crying blood” that truly earns the moniker “priceless”. https://i.imgur.com/XMsfKFW.jpg

May 22, 2016 – Welcome again to HDR News!

We hope you’re out there executing on all the creative photo ideas you’ve collected over the winter months. With the longer days we have great opportunities to catch warm, golden late afternoon light.  It’s HDR time!


No matter how long you’ve been pursuing your love of photography there comes a time when you need to revisit the fundamentals of the craft and, indeed, the basics of visual arts.  Following the rules and breaking the rules of framing, composition, shapes and more are the thought processes required to help you execute a photographic inspiration.  We found this great little article that whittles those rules down to a quick read that will refresh all you knew about the basics and more.  Check it out:  https://www.slrlounge.com/simple-photography-tips-5-tips-frame-perfect-photo/


3-Product-Boxes-200x200If you’re looking to move up to HDR Expose 3, just get started in HDR with HDR Express 3 or add powerful HDR editing to Photoshop you can SAVE $20 when you purchase one of the our products anytime on or before May 25th

Need Pro Capabilities?; Upgrade to HDR Expose 3.  Here are just some of the advantages of upgrading:

  • Selective color tuning to exactly dial in a selected color without compromising the entire image
  • Manual alignment and de-ghosting let’s you select the right image in your merge group for the best movement stopping results
  • Veiling Glare correction that clears up the lens barrel haze that can be amplified when merging multiple images
  • 32-bit color neutral dodging and burning for exact color reproduction
    • …. and much, much more

Need To Make HDR Easy?  Try HDR Express 3.  When you need speed or just don’t want to wrestle with detailed HDR editing HDR Express 3 will get the job done, beautifully.

  • Auto tonemapping presets that give you great HDR results in one click
  • The same 32-bit, super powered technology under the hood as HDR Expose 3
  • 3rd generation HDR Merge, Auto Alignment and De-ghosting
  • The same Adaptive Tone Mapping technology in HDR Expose 3 that adjusts tonemapping to each individual image

Want To Stay In Photoshop For Your HDR Editing?  Install the 32 Float v3 Photoshop Plugin and get the same 32-bit editing capabilities of HDR Expose 3 (uses Photoshop’s file merge function).

Use the code MEMORIAL16 on checkout to get the savings.  Offer ends May 25th.  To learn more click here: http://unifiedcolor.leadpages.co/memorial-weekend-sale-fb/


Magnum-AwardsLensCulture magazine and the legendary Magnum photo agency are teaming up to run an excellent opportunity for photographers all over the world to be recognized and rewarded for their work.  Entries will be juried by an all-star panel that includes Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey, Magnum CEO David Kogan and MSNBC Director of Photography Amy Pereira.  

The grandaddy of all independent photo agencies is Magnum.  Born during the heyday of print photojournalism it’s founding members and following members came back from their missions with incredible and memorable images. Magnum was formed two years after the end of World War II by photo icons Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger and David “Chim” Seymour.  Some of the most recent photo essays on the Magnum website are “The Cycle of Rice” by John Vink, The Fall of Flint by Matt Black and China Too Fast by Patrick Bachman.

Magnum Photo Contest



It’s spring and spring means flower photography.  It comes in all forms from landscapes of blossom carpeted fields to macro close-ups of lily stamens that look like Georgia O’Keefe paintings.  Here’s a great collection of tulips in Germany that could very well jumpstart your flower photography.

Tulip Blossoms In Germany



With nearly 1.4 billion people (that’s B as in Billion) photographs of China tend to show crowded public areas, fierce congestion on the roads and foul air that looks like the result of an out of control forest fire. The photographer Bence Bakonyi sees things a little differently.  His series, Segue, resulted from a six-month solo journey through China in 2014.  His work is a radical departure from the expected that is certainly unique and thought provoking.  Take a look:

China Without People 



You wouldn’t think that the military thinks much about editorial photography, only images of targets and equipment.  But, they do.  Military activities can be dramatic in their own right but when they are captured by a talented photographer those photographs can surpass some of the best photojournalism out there. 

“More than 2,432 photos were entered into the annual Visual Information Awards Program which is run by the Department of Defense.  The program celebrates the work of photographers, videographers, journalists, mass communications specialists and graphic artists serving in different branches of the Armed Services.”

See the winners, it’s really worth few minutes spent:

Military Photo Awards


April 17, 2016 – Welcome again to HDR News!  

Spring is in the air. Temperatures are moderating and blooms are carpeting many areas right now.  This is the time when you can make close-ups of lovely blossoms or vast panoramas of flower covered fields and hillsides. Any way you go, shoot bracketed exposures for HDR processing to open up the detail in your shadows and obtain nuanced highlights.

To get started with HDR processing you can always download a free, 30-day trial of the most powerful HDR software available, HDR Expose, HDR Express and 32 Float here:

– HDR Expose 3: http://pinnacleimagingsystems.com/download-hdr-expose-3

– HDR Express 3: http://pinnacleimagingsystems.com/download-hdr-express-3

– 32 Float v3: http://pinnacleimagingsystems.com/download-32-float-3


CubaWe’re fortunate here at Pinnacle to see a ton of great photography. It ranges from the obvious HDR subject areas like landscapes and interiors of aged buildings to high-key sports. Our endless search for visual inspiration brought us to, what we believe, is a photo story that is extraordinary in composition and technical excellence.  Photographed by multiple New York Times photographers it tells a romantic story of a Cuba whose culture has been trapped in amber since the 1960’s and will soon disappear as tourists flood the tiny island. 

Photographically the processing of the images really caught our eyes.  There is richness evident in the colors of each image that at the same time seem almost colorized.  The result makes you recall the results from the color film stock of four decades ago. Click on the link and spend a few minutes with this wonderful story. 



Manual-FocusThere sure is. There is a way to set the focal length and focus of your prime lens so that everything between predetermined distance ranges will be in focus. Many photographers who learned their craft in the days of manual everything cameras know this technique as “hyper-focal focusing”.  The technique works for all forms of photography and it’s especially useful in situations where the subjects are quickly changing as in event and street photography.  The technique is simple and really works.  Check out this feature by Tokyo-based photographer Lukasz Polka on how to do it.




If you’ve never experienced a TED talk, or even if you have, you need to hear what TED has to say about photography. According to Wikipedia, TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a global set of conferences run by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation under the slogan “Ideas Worth Spreading”. This collection of memorable TED talks on and around the subject of photography take you beyond just photographs but reveal the underlying social effects and the joy of the craft. These eleven talks on photography are pure gold. Visit the page if for no other reason than to experience the inspiring presentation by Sebastiao Salgado.



80DHave you been diligently working at your photography with a Canon Rebel and your gut is telling you you need more dynamic range?  At the same time are you saying to yourself I just can’t afford a $3,000 camera to get the quality I need?  The Canon 80D may just be the answer to your dilemma. The oracle of camera reviewers, DP Review had this to say about the 80D; “For Canon system users, specifically enthusiasts considering an upgrade from either a Rebel or an older camera, there is an awful lot to like about the 80D.  (With) an easy-to-use interface….and a familiar design (and) toss in the fact that it offers maybe the best dynamic range of any Canon DSLR to date…the 80D has even more appeal.”  Check out the review and samples:


February 8, 2016 – Welcome again to HDR News You Can Use!

The holidays are over and winter has set in. This is when the weather can bring you crystal clear air and new fallen snow or the wet mess of a storm.  Either way getting out there and photographing will up your game and reward you with some winners.  


Winter provides incredibly beautiful opportunities for the HDR photographer but, there are variables you need to manage in winter to be successful.  Snow will throw your camera’s meter off by as much as 3 stops, auto focus can be rendered useless by falling snow and battery life is greatly shortened by the cold.  A great article by Rick Sheremeta in Outdoor Photography will show you how to manage these and other pitfalls in winter photography. It contained winter shooting tips that were new even to us! Sheremeta and his wife Dody own and operate Alpenglow Productions, LLC in northwestern Montana.



ViktorHDRViktor Elizarov is a Montreal-based photographer who produces the informative blog Photo Traces (www.phototraces.com).  Viktor is an accomplished landscape photographer who often uses HDR techniques.  Viktor’s workflow is based on Lightroom and he’s taken the HDR Expose 3 Lightroom plugin through its paces.  He was quick to realize our application’s superior, natural results.  Viktor:  “As a photographer, I use HDR technology to produce balanced and natural looking photos. HDR Expose 3 gives me complete creative control and helps to achieve my goal.  It is great to see another very capable player in (the) HDR space”


Memorable-photos-heat-mapWHAT MAKES A PHOTO MEMORABLE?

Would it surprise you that the historic photos of 1989’s “Tank Man” in Tiananmen Square and Neil Armstrong walking on the moon are only moderately “memorable”?  According to an algorithm developed by MIT researchers these photos and most landscapes are rated as having low to medium memorability.  

What’s really memorable? Weird and counterintuitive images do well, according to the algorithm. A stop sign spray-painted with the word “go,” a peculiar chair, a man in a sumo suit dragging a snowboard or a shirtless man wearing a bear mask.”

Here’s the link to the article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2015/12/29/forget-beautiful-sunrises-embrace-absurdity-heres-how-to-take-memorable-photos/

Want to see how memorable your photos are?  Run your own test:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2015/12/29/forget-beautiful-sunrises-embrace-absurdity-heres-how-to-take-memorable-photos/


In case you missed it, Nikon introduced two cameras at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas; the pro-targeted D5 and the enthusiast oriended D500.  The D5 replaces the professional workhorse D4S at a hefty list price of $6,499.95.  More interesting for the up-and-coming photographer is the long awaited D500 which replaces the D300S after a six-year wait.  Check out the interview with Nikon DSLR Product Manager Mark Soares to get an idea of the features .



HDR photographers can tend to lean toward viewing landscape photography.  But every so often it’s good for the creative juices to look outside your comfort area.  We were impressed with this photo set of the Dakar roadrace that, in addition the action, shows great landscapes.  Check it out.


December 20, 2015 – Welcome again to HDR News!  We hope the Holidays are bringing you tons of joy. This is the time of year when the air becomes clear and the golden hour arrives early.  We hope you’re finding the time to get out there and make some memorable images.


These stressful times can leave a dour expression on anyone’s face. If you’re making a portrait of someone their underlying stress can jump through your lens and leave some sadness on your camera’s sensor. This high school photographer spoke a simple expression that transformed her subjects from sadly blasé to ebullient.  You need to see this short video. It’s especially poignant during the Holidays.



If you’re into HDR you know about exposure bracketing and the limitations your camera may have, especially when shooting longer exposures. Low light HDR shooting will force you to use the bulb setting on your camera which means you’ll have to be near your camera and manually time and trip each shot.  If you’re doing time-lapse shooting you’ll need to return to your camera at each exposure interval to trip the shutter.  Wouldn’t it be nice to automate those functions and even have access to additional exposure settings that are not native to your camera?  You need to check out the Promote Control.  The Promote Control can shoot up to 45 exposures per setting at shutter speeds ranging from 1/8000 sec to several hours ( we bet your camera doesn’t have those settings!).  Right now you can save $100 on a Promote Control and HDR Expose 3 bundle.

Learn about the Promote Control – HDR Expose 3 bundle:  http://pinnacleimagingsystems.com/products/ultimate-hdr-package


This is the time to dive into HDR photography with HDR Express, enhance your Photoshop capabilities with 32 Float v3 or upgrade to the full-featured HDR Expose 3.  Any way you go, you’ll be getting the best HDR software out there.  All three applications are based on Pinnacle’s full 32-bit Beyond RGB color space, which virtually eliminates color shifts and data loss in your photo editing. The latest versions have improved de-ghosting algorithms and a new automatic noise reduction feature that will produce even better results under the most challenging lighting conditions. HDR Express 3 and HDR Expose 3 also have improved merge capabilities.

Use the code HOLIDAY2015 at checkout to get your $20 discount.  The sale ends December 26th.



The Aurora Borealis or The Northern Lights are the result of collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere with charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere. Variations in color are due to the type of gas particles that are colliding.   Once you’ve shot the Northern Lights a number of times you’ll be competent with the exposures but then, what do you do to make your images more creative?  Photographer Paul Zizka (http://zizka.ca/) is an expert in the difficult pursuit of photographing these lights and he shares his tips here.

The article: https://iso.500px.com/getting-creative-with-aurora-photography/


Flipboard has a section titled The Photo Desk where it displays its Pictures Of The Week. Whether you agree with their picks as being the best of the week or not you’ll usually be impressed by some of the photos and those photos will inspire you to push your own photography to a new heights.

Check out the Photos Of The Week for 12-10-15:  http://cdn.flipboard.com/content/thephotodesk/thephotodeskgalleries/items/1449767348000.html?utm_campaign=photodesk&utm_medium=photodesk.1211&utm_source=email


The first affordable, professional class digital camera, the Nikon D1 became available in June of 1999; just sixteen years ago. Photoshop was introduced in 1990 but at that time most of the work done on Photoshop was on scans of film.  Ah, film!  Prior to the late 1990s film was the lingua franca of photography.  The great photographers Henri Cartier Bresson, Alfred Eisenstadt, Alfred Newman, Eugene Smith, Irving Penn, Helmut Newton and on and on and on all made their famous images on film.  And, most often that film was Kodak Tri-X.

While we are helping define the future of digital imaging here at Pinnacle we still honor and respect the giants of film photography and their tools.  Here’s a quote from a neat story on the awesome history of Tri-X:

“The…important innovation (of Tri-X) was aesthetic.  It is hard to describe exactly the look of a Tri-X picture.  Words like “grainy” and “contrasty” capture something of the effect, but there is more, something to do with the obsidian blacks produced by the film and with a certain unique drama that made ….”  Read on:  



Canon recently introduced the 5DS and 5DS R cameras that sport a 50-megapixel sensor. Do more pixels mean a higher quality image? Here’s what the venerable DPREVIEW has to say: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-eos-5ds-sr


November 22, 2015 – We’re back!  Changing our company name from Unified Color Technologies to Pinnacle Imaging Systems was quite a project.  Now this process is complete! We’re pleased with the results and our new website and we hope you like them too.  During this transition, our team was also hard at work finalizing the latest free updates to all our HDR applications. We’ve improved our merge and de-ghosting algorithms as well as implementing a new automatic noise reduction feature that will produce even better results under the most challenging lighting conditions. If you haven’t already you can download the free updates here:

HDR Expose 3:  http://pinnacleimagingsystems.com/download-hdr-expose-3

32 Float v3:  http://pinnacleimagingsystems.com/download-32-float-3

HDR Express 2:  http://pinnacleimagingsystems.com/download-hdr-express-3

Veiling-Glare-ScreenYOU’VE GOT A PROBLEM – You’ve got a photography problem that you may not know about. Your camera’s lens is made up of multiple glass elements separated from each other inside the lens barrel.  When the light of your image passes through each element a small portion of the light is reflected back into the lens barrel creating a haze effect known as veiling glare.  The more high-end your lens the better the coating on the lens elements and the less veiling glare you’ll experience but even the best lenses produce tiny amounts of glare.  Now, when you merge multiple images together this haze is multiplied and becomes a problem that needs to be corrected.  HDR Expose 3 and 32 Float v3 eliminate this problem with our special Veiling Glare tool. Take a few short minutes to see how it works. You’ll be surprised to see it’s effectiveness:  http://pinnacleimagingsystems.com/video-tutorials/32-float-3-0/2

ted-gorePHOTOGRAPHERS WE LIKE – L.A. based photographer Ted Gore was recently named U.S.A. Landscape Photographer Of The Year by the organization of the same name.  It’s a competition which calls itself “A new international photography competition that puts the spotlight on talented photographers from around the world and celebrates the rural and urban landscape of the U.S.A.”  Ted Gore is the real thing and deserving of his new title. Ted’s compositions push the tried-and-true landscape to the next level with a laser focus on where he wants the viewer to look first and then, keep on looking. His post processing takes firm control of the wide range of brightness in his scenes and delivers a thought provoking mood.  Visit his site.  It’s worth the time spent:  http://www.tedgorecreative.com

peacheeHDR AND BOURBON – It turns out that HDR blends well with bourbon over ice with a twist. Not really but HDR does blend with bourbon distilleries.  In 1919 when Prohibition was signed into law there were over 200 distilleries making bourbon in Kentucky.  By the time Prohibition was repealed in 1933 only 61 reopened which left a lot of beautiful steam engines, bottling lines, scales, barrel runs, fermenting tubs and springhouses to slowly deteriorate; perfect for the HDR photographer.  That photographer is Carol Peachee who spent five years photographing bourbon’s remains and at the same time uncovering a bygone culture.  Now, we’re not fans of the often seen, unsightly, garish HDR over processing and Peachee skirts that genre of HDR but the compositions more than make up for her enthusiastic processing.  You can get a sampling of the photos in her book The Birth Of Bourbon here: http://gardenandgun.com/gallery/tour-kentuckys-early-distilleries#slide-0 

PIX 2015, A TALK TO GET YOUR CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING – You may have heard that old saying that when you’re making a photograph, turn around for find an even more interesting scene. Photographer and author Tim Grey makes a similar case and a whole bunch more at his 2015 PIX talk that you can see on the DP Review website. The talk will get you thinking and maybe twist your creative faucet a bit:  http://www.dpreview.com/articles/2958299752/pix-2015-tim-grey-and-reframing-your-story

canon-hdr-videoCANON’S PHOTO EXPO BEST TECH SHOW EVER? – Every five years Canon pulls the advanced stuff out of it’s labs and takes it on a four-stop demo show that will leave your jaw on the floor.  “There are 250-megapixel imaging sensors, 8K surround-view movie theaters, cameras that record detailed color video in the pitch-black darkness and inkjet printers the size of three-bedroom apartments.  Check it out here: http://www.wired.com/2015/09/wildest-futuristic-tech-canons-photo-expo/#slide-1 

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