Merging Your Exposures
The next step is to launch Photomatix Light 2 and bring the exposures together to create the merged image preview. You can do this either by dragging image files (I typically use raw files, but JPEG is okay, too) into the dark grey box or by clicking the Browse button shown in Figure 1. The “launch screen” for Photomatix Light makes it easy to quickly set up you preferences, bring your bracketed exposures together, and even find some help info if you need it!
You can also use this window to set your alignment and noise reduction preferences. When shooting at a relatively low ISO, I find the following settings to work well, especially when there’s no time to make raw edits first: Align Images - Always; Align with method - By Matching Features (Crop Aligned Images); Reduce Noise - Always; Apply noise reduction on - Underexposed image(s) only.
When you’re ready to start editing, click the Next button (located next to the thumbnails). After several seconds, the main editing window will appear, displaying all of your editing controls at left and preset styles (as thumbnails) at the right, with the main preview in the middle, as shown in Figure 2. The Photomatix Light editor provides all the controls and information you need in a compact space.