If you can’t afford professional-grade photography and image processing software, and/ or are tired of losing precious detail in your photos to unfavorable ambient lighting, we have just the thing for you. Fresh out of the oven, Fusion is a free, easy-to-use image processing tool that, with only a few clicks, allows you to automatically align and merge any number of photos with same or differing exposures using HDR (High Dynamic Range) tone mapping or simple summation. Merging multiple snaps of the same scene, each with a different exposure setting, you can preserve image details in both the brightest and darkest parts of the scene.
In our test-run, we took four photos of the same scene with five megapixel smartphone camera, increasing the exposure from minimum to maximum with each snap. As various thumbnails in screenshot above indicate, each image was shot using an entirely contrasting setting.
Don’t have a camera stand? Can’t hold your camera stable enough to easily capture your snaps in an aligned form? No worries. Fusion allows you to align your photos with a single click. Simply click on the Align Images button in the toolbar above or select Processing > Alignment from the menu bar and the application will compensate whatever misalignment exists between your photos.
As exhibited in the screenshot above, the HDR operator compresses the collective dynamic range (pixel values from the brightest to the darkest) of all photos into one low dynamic range (LDR) result, preserving the details that you would not be able to see in each of the individual photos.
You may then make further lighting adjustments to the result before saving it to your computer. The screenshot below shows a high-exposure photograph of the test scene (left) in comparison to the result of HDR tone mapping (right).
The Summator (Processing > Summator), as it is called, merges photos either by averaging pixels according to the value/percentage set for each photo in the group or by adding them as per adjustment Priorities (Sharpness, Contrast, Saturation, Exposure, Radius and Smoothing).
For photography enthusiasts who can’t find the time to acquaint themselves with relatively advanced tools the likes of Adobe Photoshop, Fusion is an adequate alternative and, unlike the former, it’s absolutely free. Below is the link to the app’s main download page that also lists various payment routes that users can take in order to purchase the full version of the app.