Sometimes I wonder if anyone at Adobe actually uses their own software, or at least observes it being used by real professionals. (ie not the people on stage talking about photography, but the professional photographers out in the world actually 'doing' it.)
HDR Merge - It would be great to be able to stack similar images and run a process that merges all scripts automatically. There's too much wait time. I don't always have the same number of images to merge. If I could stack images I want to use and then use a script that says, "Find stacks", Merge all stacks in selection. I'd love to be able to walk away while that's running or multi-task.
The new Lightroom HDR creates the most accurate, realistic blends I have ever seen. The results are amazingly accurate, especially because the merged file is a .dng and not a .tif. The control I have over the blended image is phenominal. I still have access to the color profiles and can white balance more accurately. I use it mainly for Interior photography and Twilight.
But even with the power the new Lightroom HDR possesses, on low budget Real Estate jobs, I find myself going back to Photomatix because I can batch process photography and not have to sit around to individually initiate each image blend!
In a crunch situation, Lightroom HDR takes way too to process.
Please add batching to this incredible new function of Lightroom. I have specific workflow ideas and would be happy to provide feedback.
Hopefully one of the developers catches up the topic. This can't be so complicated to get it into the next LR update... Thanks!
Essentially, they just need to add an option to the "HDR Merge Preview" window that says "process each subsequent set of X images with these settings" and then let it run.
I really like the method that LR Enfuse uses - putting the bracketed exposures in a stack - as a way to execute the batch. I would simply use that, but the results from LR HDR just look better.
For a program that is all about getting through hundreds of photos quickly, I really can't figure out why this feature was ever released as a one-by-one implementation.
This isn't as useful as what many are asking for in this thread, but it has helped many to speed their work.
I'm using LR Classic for merging HDR DNGs from multiple RAW files (for commercial interior photography, landscape photography etc.) and current tools consume to much of my time for simple tasks. It's not a question of engine performance - it's a question of how it works. Let me explain in detail:
1) Auto Stack by Capture Time - does not work well because the total exposure time may vary greatly and "Time between stacks" isn't reliable for stacking because of it. It can take the camera 1 second or even less to capture all 5 frames in a 3EV bracketing (1/8000s + 1/1000s + 1/125s + 1/15s + 1/2s), or it can take 90 seconds and more when I do bracketing in low light, while shooting evening landscape or interior using low ISO. With current version of LR Classic I can't simply ask the app to "stack HDR exposures" and need to do it by myself, losing tons of time. I think a feature like "Auto Stack by time between captures" needs to be added and it has to use the time it took the camera to do the capture based on EXIF data. If the time was <1s (including exposure time in EXIF) than it means the photographer used HDR mode or continuous drive mode. I mean that if the 1st frame was taken on 18:55:01 (1/125s) next one on 18:55:01 (1/15s), next one on 18:55:02 (1/2s), next one on 18:55:03 (4s) and the last one on 18:56:07 (60s) they all need to stack together because it was one HDR 5x3EV capture. The LR engine has to include exposure time together with time between captures for stacking. This also definitely will help when stacking reportage photos when I used fast continuous drive mode like 10-20-30-60FPS on my Sony A7R3 and A9 or my Olympus EM-1 Mark II and there can be more improvements in future LR versions for reportage photographers to help them faster cull series.
2) HDR merging - I often use the Ctrl+Shift+H shortcut to merge a stack to HDR. The problem is that there is no delayed queue and the merging process starts immediately. This slows even my powerful desktop PC, and on my MacBook Pro results a great slowdown. Right now I do need to select every stack by myself and press the shortcut to start merging - when the CPU is overloaded with merging even the selection with the mouse works really slow, and I have to spend lot of time simply sitting with the computer and pressing, pressing and pressing the shortcut, waiting few seconds every time because the system is overloaded with calculations. My idea is that it would be great to have an option to add all merges to a queue and later execute it when I do not need my computer. Also an option "Merge all stacks to HDR" would be great. This also applies to panorama merging - batch/queue and sending all stacks to merging will improve photographers performance. For most of photographers merging a lot of work into a big batch, starting it and leaving a computer calculating for few hours is better then siting in front of the display with sluggish interface when the computer is overloaded with rendering.
P.S. Options like "Automatically create Smart Preview for merged photos" and "Automatically create 1:1 preview for merged photos" would be great too.
BTW, most things in LR could benefit from a batch/queue feature. If somebody in Adobe is interested in a feedback from users who use LR for working with hundreds of thousands of photos every month you can contact me for detailed explanation :-)