Is there any opensource command-line batch tool that more or less automatically creates basic HDR images? I got only a single .CR2 shot of each position.

I already tried:

  • ufraw and realized it's dead since 2017. Installation on recent ubuntu isn't trivial.
  • imagemagick relies on ufraw and thus simply fails.
  • nconvert from xnsoft - I cannot find a guide on how to do HDR.
  • HDR with darktable is way beyond my skills and far too much work for every single pic.
  • hugin seems to be rather panorama oriented

Should I put more effort into one of the above or should I try something else?


  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi! I would try to get more familiar with darktable. Once you use its HDR function, you will become faster. \$\endgroup\$
    – jng224
    Jul 27, 2020 at 10:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jonas I tried darktable again, but I simply don't get it. I will update the question to make it more clear what I want. \$\endgroup\$
    – JPT
    Jul 28, 2020 at 8:03

2 Answers 2


Hugin is primarily advertised to do panoramas, but also does a great job with HDR and focus stacking. You can use Hugin's GUI interface or you can do it via command line. If you want to batch convert, I would use a couple of Hugin's programs, align_image_stack.exe and enfuse.exe. Since these are command line programs, you can use them in a batch script.

align_image_stack.exe is used to align your images. Unless you have a rock solid camera mount with VR or IS disabled, it's best to align your images. Most tripods are not rock solid unless you use a heavy-duty telescope mount.

enfuse.exe uses fusion to blend HDR images to produce a natural looking HDR, as opposed to the garish HDRs that other program produce. You'll need the PDF manual for the program as enfuse can stack to improve signal to noise ratio, HDR, and focus stack. Within each of those activities, there are many options to optimize your results.


I found myself a solution I can work with:

I tried Luminance HDR and this is the program I used before. It offers a few presets to choose from and doesn't require too much knowledge.

  • import the raw image(s). The result is shown in faded colors because it's a HDR image now that cannot be displayed on a LCD.
  • select a preset on the right. Let's say Ashikhim (2, 0.5). Use the preview to find out what you like.
  • Use save as not quick export to create the tonemapped finale LDR image.

Let's see if we can automate this process.

  • \$\begingroup\$ on importing keep an eye on the profile as it will massivly effect the resulting LDR \$\endgroup\$
    – JPT
    Jul 28, 2020 at 8:20

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