I was able to purchase Nik Software's new Nik HDR Efex a few days ahead of the official release on October 11th. To give it a shakedown, I turned it loose on my first HDR effort, a dying sunflower. The picture above is processed from three brackets. I'm very uncertain at this point about workflow. Because I could not find a way to launch HDR Efex from Lightroom, I had to find the pictures in Bridge, and kick off the tool from here. Above is more or less the a default, straight processing. Compared to Adobe's HDR Pro, there are fewer artifacts and the color is very clean.
The saturation was a bit more intense that I'd like, so I took the shot through Nik Color Efex Pro to apply the Bleach Bypass effect. This flower feels more wilted and struggling.
For the monochrome treatment, I ran the top shot through the new 64-bit Silver Efex Pro to convert, then applied the blue/sepia split tone in Lightroom 3. I love the stained edges - that was an accident, but a keeper.
So I'm baffled by the intended workflow, to the point that I shot an e-mail to Nik support. However, the tool really opens up HDR with an output that can be more subtle and satisfying than tone mapping in Lightroom.
Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: AF NIKKOR 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED "Leni lens"
Exposure: ISO 200, f/22 @ 1.3s, tripod
Lighting: Window light
Location: Grand Center Artist LoftsProcessing: Photoshop CS5, Nik HDR Efex, Lightroom 3, Nik Silver Efex Pro