Working with 32-Bit HDR Images within Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.1

May 29, 2012 | | Comments 13

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.1 is Now Available!

32-bit HDR image built using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.1 and Photoshop CS6The first official Update for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 has been released! This free update fixes some irritating bugs and adds support for raw files for a host of new digital camera bodies including the new Canon EOS 5D Mark III, the Fujifilm X-Pro1, the Nikon D800, and the Olympus OM-D E-M5. Like all official updates, I strongly recommend installing these improvements. Click here for more info on Photoshop Lightroom 4.1′s Technical Improvements and Additional Camera Support.

Bug fixes are always welcome additions but there is a lot more to this update than first meets the eye. Hidden below the surface are some huge advances in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom’s Develop Module technology.

New Color Fringe Repair Tools

With the Photoshop Lightroom 4.1 update we gain a whole new set of color fringe removal tools. Lightroom 4.0 already does a great job removing color fringes created by lateral chromatic aberration and now we have additional tools to battle those weird colored stripes that appear elsewhere in our images and that are cause by other problems.

Lightroom 4.1 Color Fringe Removal Tools

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.1's New Color Fringe Removal Tools

If you find that your images often require color fringe repair work then I recommend reading this detailed Tutorial on Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.1′s New Color Fringe Correction Controls from brilliant Adobe software engineer Eric Chan.

But Wait There’s More!

Fixing small color fringes is great but this is not the feature that I am the most excited about in this update. What excites me the most about Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.1 are the understated words “now able to work with 32-bit HDR files.” In geek-speak this means that Photoshop Lightroom can now work with 32-bit Tif HDR images. In plain English, this means that we can now polish up our high-bit High Dynamic Range images using all of Lightroom’s powerful and efficient Develop Module tools.

As a professional landscape photographer I have dabbled with exposure blending techniques for many years. Over the years, I have tried to master at least four different HDR image compositing programs but none of them ever felt fluid for me. I still need an additional program to merge my bracketed exposures together but now I can 99% of the work with tools that I already know and love. Thanks to this new feature in Lightroom 4.1 I can now go from Photoshop Lightroom 4.1 to Photoshop CS6′s to create my 32-bit High Dynamic Range Tif file and back to Lightroom for further image refinement in almost no time. I am so pleased with this new routine that I made a video tutorial just to demonstrate this techniques speed and simplicity.

With every update Adobe Photoshop Lightroom becomes a stronger asset management tool for professional-grade photographers and visual artists. To end this post, I feel like I must point out how great it is that we can use Lightroom 4.1 to index and enhance digital camera raw files, jpeg files, tif files of any bit-depth, psd files, and video files from most consumer and professional-grade DSLR cameras. Check out this tutorial for more tips on Working with Video Files Inside of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.

P.S. I have been having so much fun working with the new 32-bit HDR editing tools that I spent a whole day revisiting old exposure blending projects. All of these images were created while I was on the road Teaching Photoshop Lightroom Seminars or Digital Photography Field Workshops. All of these images were pulled together using only the tools that I demonstrate in today’s video tutorial and none of them took me more than half an hour of work in Lightroom and Photoshop CS6. Thanks again to all of the Adobe geniuses for creating tools that allow us to take our photography to new heights!

Pemaquid Point Light, Maine

Sagebrush at Sunrise in Yellowstone National Park

Rainy night in the Mill City Museum District of Minneapolis, Minnesota II


Filed Under: (06) Lightroom Image Enhancement (Advanced)(10) Using Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop TogetherAdobe Photoshop Lightroom Tutorials


About the Author: David Marx is a digital photography instructor whose engaging teaching style inspires photographers of all skill levels. David is an Adobe Certified Lightroom Expert. To learn more about David's Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software training seminars and digital photography field workshops please visit or follow David Marx on Google+.