HDR+selective processing (LR) vs Exposure Blending (PS)

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zurubi Regular Member • Posts: 245
HDR+selective processing (LR) vs Exposure Blending (PS)

Hi Everyone. I want to ask for your opinion and how you go about this:

I don't use grad NDs in the field so I usually bracket; very easy as my camera does that automatically whatever step I dial in. For PP, my goto default is automatic HDR in Lightroom and then some selective processing with gradients, brushes, etc. (i try for the final image not to look like an ugly HDR).  Sometimes I compare to what I can get with exposure blending in PS with masks, etc (example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXsAZ03JQm8).

Even though Sean Bagshaw swears by manual exposure blending, I find that I can barely get better results than what I'd get from auto-HDR+PP in LR.

The one big issue is that PS does not auto align smart object layers. Often I shoot handheld and I find nearly impossible to get perfect alignment between the layers as there is always some rotation+translation. The tinniest layer misalignment shows up when doing exposure blending for example with bright skies against a sharp edge like a mountain, etc. So to follow his technique I need to jump through all kinds of hoops and maybe after half an hour I get to something close to what I can do with lightroom.

If you are doing this kind of thing, i.e., not using grad NDs and doing this by PP, what is your workflow ?

thanks

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