John Omvik's blog

Catch the HDR Express 2 Webinar

HDR Express 2 is packed with new features and technology that takes HDR processing to a whole new
level. In this one-hour webinar you'll discover how easy it is to make your HDR photos really pop.

You'll see our break though Adaptive Tone Mapping that matches the tone mapping
process to your particular image. And, you'll see all the new workflow enhancements like our
Visual File Browser and Merge Assist.

See the links to sign up for the webinar at the bottom of this post.

The new HDR Express 2 Merge Assist and Visual File Browser interface

Here's John Omvik's thoughts on the new Merge Assist in HDR Express 2

One of my favorite new features in HDR Express 2 is "Merge Assist". Nothing takes the fun out of making HDR images like searching through endless file names like DSC01277.NEF, DSC01278.NEF & DSC01279.NEF in the finder to start the merge process. Photography is a visual medium and we knew this aspect of the HDR workflow was prime for improvement. We needed to create a new interface that takes the guess work out of merging photos.

Merge Assist automatically displays the thumbnails then groups bracketed image sequences based on the time interval between exposures. All that's left to do is select the bracket group and click on the merge button. The new merge interface displays a histogram of the selected photo and it displays the relevant image metadata so you can be certain that you've selected the correct exposure sequence.

Title: Introducing HDR Express 2
Date: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Time: 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm PST (GMT 01:00, Thursday, Nov. 29)

Reserve your seat now:


Title: Introducing HDR Express 2
Date: Friday, November 30, 2012
Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am PST (GMT 18:00)

Reserve your seat now:

VP Marketing John Omvik Demos HDR Express 2

Pinnacle Imaging Systems is a small company and out of necessity we’re very hands-on. We love to shoot and we rely on our own products in our personal and professional photography. We don’t use committees to make product design decisions and we don’t hide behind off-shore call centers. Most importantly we love our customers, which drives us to develop innovative tools to create photographs that were impossible to produce before.

One of the most significant new photo editing innovations introduced with HDR Express 2, is Adaptive Tone Mapping technology. It’s the result of a photo workshop I attended at Ft. Point in San Francisco. On a sunny day, this historic Civil War era fort is a thought-provoking venue for HDR photography because of its very high contrast scenes and tons of detail.

In typical landscape photography clouds tend to be the brightest highlight point in a scene but this day was cloudless. The classic brick walls of the courtyard held most of the highlight detail in this scene. When I returned to the office to process the images, I noticed that there was a great deal of color, contrast and detail in both of these highlight areas that I was not able to render properly. I could render the details in the shadows or the details in the highlights but not both.

That same day, I sat down with our V.P. of Research and Development to demonstrate the problems I experienced and we set out to fundamentally redesign our core tone mapping technology. The new Adaptive Tone Mapping method automatically generates a custom non-linear tone curve for each image. This enhances the contrast locally in the tonal areas that need it the most. Now I’m able to optimize the color, detail and contrast retention in both the shadows and the highlights to create natural true-to-life results. And, we’re pleased that we can make these very complex algorithms work automatically behind the scenes in our entry-level HDR application.

I am very proud of what our team accomplished in HDR Express 2. We incorporate our own software into our own photography and that’s the best way to innovate – walk in the shoes of our customers. I urge you to try this software risk free for 30-days by downloading our free trial version.

If you are ever in San Francisco and are interested in visiting this historic site, click here for more information

Time For Some Serious HDR

How many times have you searched for HDR photography and seen photos of broken down rusty cars or a post-industrial apocalypse wasteland landscape with ominous skies? HDR is one of the most misused terms in the photographic lexicon.

True color HDR techniques recreate what we see naturally with our own eyes. From the moment you open your eyes in the morning until you close them at night you are viewing the world in HDR, actually 3D HDR Video to be exact.

More than just a special effect or grunge treatment, real true color HDR offers a unique toolset for professional photographers to shoot in lighting conditions that are difficult if not impossible to handle otherwise. One application that literally screams out for HDR treatment is architectural photography. Being able to balance dark interiors with bright windows and exteriors has always been a challenge. Add to that a lot of glass, mirrors and shinny surfaces and you have a recipe for disaster. This is exactly where true color HDR tools like HDR Expose 2 and 32 Float v2 can come to the rescue.

Creating HDR Panorama Photos with Richard Sisk

This week it was a real thrill for me to host a live webinar with photographer Richard Sisk to talk about HDR panoramic photography. Richard has been shooting panos professionally for many years and was able to share some of his legacy work as well as tips and techniques for creating digital HDR panoramas. We recorded the webinar and have so you can view it here

Part 1:
Part 2:

Many people had questions about the motorized tripod head that Richard used for these photos so we've also posted a quick demo of the Seitz VR Drive that he used at Crater Lake that you can see here.

This webinar was one of the most popular we've done to date, and we look forward to hosting similar events with other professional photographers in the future. Click here to sign up for our newsletter to stay informed of upcoming events. Go to the bottom of the right hand column to enter your email address.

Click here for a complete list of video tutorials on product features and workflow tips.


Initial Reviews Are Coming In...

HDR guru Christian Bloch runs the HDR Labs blog ( ). He has written several books on High Dynamic Range Imaging tools and workflow has just published a review of HDR Expose 2 and 32 Float v2. Christian has a great understanding of our Beyond RGB color technology and has seen our products evolve from our first product, HDR Photostudio in 2009 to HDR Expose 2 released just last Tuesday.

His review covers many of the new features as well as the improvements made since the 1.0 release. It is a great read and is especially valuable for any 1.0 users thinking about upgrading.

32 Float Now Available – New Plug-in Provides Unprecedented 32-bit HDR Editing Capabilities To Photoshop

I am very pleased to announce that 32 Float the latest product based on our patented Beyond RGB color technology is now available for purchase and as a 30-day trial download. 32 Float provides an unprecedented level of editing capa­bilities to Photoshop, allowing you to actually edit the tone and color of 32-bit images and return them as layers without tone mapping. This is especially useful for images with very wide dynamic ranges where you may want to process the highlight information different than the mid-tones or shadow and use layer masks to blend them.

Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Bee...

In 1964 Muhammad Ali announced that his strategy to win the heavyweight championship against Sonny Liston, was to "Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee," and summarizing his strategy for avoiding Liston's assaults, said, "Your hands can't hit what your eyes can't see." I have always loved the butterfly and bee quote, but was not aware of his follow-up line until recently, about not being able to hit what your eyes can't see.

Today, Pinnacle Imaging Systems is announcing 32 Float, the first 32-bit HDR Plug-in for Adobe Photoshop based on our patented Beyond RGB™ color space, and much like Ali's quote about being elegant and nimble, I think the line about not being able to hit what your eyes can't see is even more compelling.

The Big Day Is Here, HDR Expose Now Available!

We've received a tremendous amount of interest from the press and photographers since we officially announced the product last week. Many of the discussions I had leading up to the launch had a common theme. Photographers wanted HDR tools that produced natural looking, real HDR images. Most folks said that they had seen enough of the grunge, hyper realistic, Harry Potter movie (insert your own adjective here) look that has unfortunately become synonymous with the term HDR. While I admit there is a time and place for every special effect, I believe this "Look" has been over used, and achieved the same special effect status as the "Auto Tuner" in the music world.

Change Is Coming ...

Today, I am thrilled to announce the launch of our new website and HDR Expose™. HDR Expose is our latest 32-bit HDR Editing application. It builds on the proven features of HDR Photostudio and our patented Beyond RGB™ color technology, with improved features and a whole new UI. Our customers asked for better integration with Adobe Lightroom and Apple's Aperture programs, so we've added seamless "round trip" support with all new export plug-ins. We've improved our RAW Image processing, included support for new camera RAW files and added three new ghost removal algorithms.

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