a series of photos of a river in the middle of a forest.

LR Enfuse Guide: Free Lightroom HDR Plugin

Do you find it difficult to create natural-looking HDR photos? Check out the Lightroom plugin LR/Enfuse. It's fast, free and easy to use.

Did you know that you can blend multiple exposures into one picture?

This technique is called HDR photography and you can easily do it in Lightroom using LR Enfuse.

If you already do HDR photos using the built-in Lightroom feature, in this article, you’ll learn how LR Ensure is different.

You’ll also learn what else you can do using LR Enfuse. This way, you can decide whether it better suits your needs or not.

Also, if you’ve never done HDR, don’t worry!

In this guide, you’ll see how easy it is to do – from the installation to the final image. It will open a world of possibilities.

If you’re ready to get started, let’s dive right in!

What is Lightroom Enfuse (LR/Enfuse)?

a web page for a photographer's toolbox.

  • Non-destructive to original images
  • Seamless integration with Lightroom
  • Produces natural, realistic HDR results
  • Allows for manual control of blending
  • Less control over tone mapping
  • Can be slower than other methods

LR Enfuse is a Lightroom plugin that creates a convenient interface inside Lightroom to access the open-source application Enfuse.

Enfuse allows you to merge multiple images into one. One of the most common uses for LR Enfuse is to create HDR photos. This feature is the one I’m exploring in this article.

HDR technique allows you to blend multiple exposures together so that you achieve greater dynamic range.

Using LR Enfuse, you can blend bracketed shots without leaving Lightroom.

Enfuse is authorized by Adobe, so you don’t have to worry about any malfunctions in that regard.

You can find Enfuse listed as one of the ‘Export plug-ins’ on Adobe’s Lightroom Classic website.

What Can You Do With LR/Enfuse?

LR Enfuse is one of Lightroom’s plugins that lets you combine multiple images into one photo. This feature has many applications.

As I mentioned before, you can create an HDR photo by combining multiple images captured with different exposures.

Also, you can create a greater depth of field by blending focus-bracketed images.

This technique is called focus stacking and it’s very common in landscape, product, and macro photography.

It’s also possible to blend long exposure night shots to build a natural-looking composite. This is often useful when you want a photo of long star trails in the night sky.

LR Enfuse has a batch mode that lets you composite many photo stacks at the same time to make your workflow smoother and faster.

How to Install LR/Enfuse

Enfuse is not a native feature of Lightroom. So, you’ll need to install the Enfuse application to your computer and the plugin into Lightroom.

Here’s how to do it.

1. Download

Start by downloading Enfuse. You can do this on the Photographer’s Toolbox website.

On the right side of the Photographer’s Toolbox page, you’ll see the button Download LR/Enfuse and the current version of it. Click on it.

This will open a browser window for you to choose the destination for the zip folder containing Enfuse.

2. Unzip

Once you’ve downloaded the file, unzip it. You can do this by right-clicking the file and choosing Extract All from the menu if you’re using a PC. On Mac, you can double-click on it.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a file called LREnfuse.lrplugin.

3. Install the plug-in

the lightroom plug - in manager screen with the lightroom plug - in manager.

Now, open Lightroom Classic and go to File – Menu > Plug-in Manager.

Then, click Add, select Enfuse, and click on Add Plug-in.

If you’re using the free restricted version, click Done. Instead, if you donated you can input the registration code you were given to unlock the trial version, then click Done.

Please note that the free trial version limits the size of the final photo to 500px.

4. Install the Enfuse Application

a screenshot of a computer screen with the configuration section highlighted.

Now you have the plugin installed, but that’s just an interface that needs to connect with the actual Enfuse application.

So, you’ll need to install the application on your computer. You can do this from inside Lightroom as well.

To do it, you need to start the plugin as if you were ready to create your HDR picture. Go to File – Menu > Plug-in Extras > Blend Exposures Using LR/Enfuse.

This will launch a dialogue box. By default, it will open on the Configuration tab. Here, simply select ‘Use applications hosted by the Photographer’s Toolbox (recommended).’ Then, click Install Apps.

You’ll see a status bar filling as it downloads the files. It will let you know when it’s finished.

Of course, you can do this process independently if you’re an advanced user. However, this method works well for most people.

If you get a message saying that an error occurred, simply close Lightroom and launch it again. It should work now.

How to Blend Exposures with LR/Enfuse

You can easily create a natural-looking image by blending pictures with different exposures using LR Enfuse. Here’s how to do it.


1. Import your images into Lightroom

LR Enfuse works like any other HDR software – it needs a few bracketed images to blend. The most basic HDR uses three images with different exposures.

You should have a regular exposure, another one that’s underexposed to get the details from the highlights and one with a longer exposure to get the most out of the shadows.

You need to import these photos into Lightroom.

2. Apply basic edits

Before you blend the photos, you can apply some basic edits to them. It’s not a necessary step, but it will help you to get better results.

3. Blend images

Now that you have your images ready, is time to start the blending process. Select the photos and go to File > Menu > Plug-in Extras > Blend Exposures Using LR/Enfuse.

This will launch the Enfuse plugin dialogue box. If you have everything already installed, you can leave the default settings in the Configuration tab.

Then, go to the Auto Align tab and make sure the ‘Automatically align images before blending’ option is enabled. This is especially useful if you didn’t use a tripod.

Next, go to the Enfuse tab. Here you have three sliders. As you’ll see in the instructions, you should give priority to exposure when using LR Enfuse for HDR photography. So, move the Exposure Weight slider all the way to the right.

The Saturation Weight and Contrast Weight are less important in this process, feel free to experiment with different settings to find what works best for your image.

Lastly, go to the Output tab. Here, you can specify where you want Enfuse to save the final image and what will be the file name.

You can also choose the output size, whether you want a JPG file or a TIFF and the color space. If you want to continue editing your image afterwards, enable the Reimport into Lightroom option.

Then, choose the metadata you want to copy and click Enfuse Images. The processing time will be different according to the size and number of photos and the speed of your computer.

Once it’s done, you’ll get an image with a larger dynamic range as it will have the information from all three shots in a single frame.

Why Is Lightroom Enfuse Good for Real Estate Photography?


Most people think about landscape photography when you talk about the HDR technique. However, most photographers in the real estate photography industry use HDR too.

The reason why real estate photos benefit from the HDR technique is because of the often contrasted ambient light. For example, in interior shots, there’s a darker area inside and strong highlights on the window itself.

The same problem may happen with real estate photography outdoors. You’ll often have to capture the front of the house when the sun is setting behind it.

So, the best way to fix this problem is by doing a blended image. If you use Lightroom for regular workflow, incorporating LR Enfuse into it will be quick and easy.

LR Enfuse FAQs

What is the difference between Lightroom HDR and Enfuse?

Lightroom has a built-in feature to blend images into a natural-looking image with HDR. However, it doesn’t offer many options. The only choice you can make is the Deghost amount.

Instead, in Enfuse you can choose the format and output size, and customize the exposure, saturation, and contrast weight, amongst other settings.

While none of them offers the level of customisation you’ll find in HDR software, Enfuse does give you more control.

Is Enfuse free?

Enfuse is a donationware product. This means that you can download and use it for free but it will have some restrictions. In this case, it limits the output size to 500px.

The author requires a small donation to unlock the full functionality. There isn’t a fixed fee, you can donate whatever you can afford. To do it, you need to register and pay via PayPal or credit card.

How do I batch Enfuse in Lightroom?

To batch Enfuse images, you need to create stacks with each bracketed shot. To do this, you can use the Library module in Lightroom.

Then, enable the Batch mode in the Output tab of the Enfuse plugin window. Click the Enfuse Images button to start.

Shotkit Writer & Camera Gear Reviewer

Ana Mireles is a Mexican researcher that specializes in photography and communications for the arts and culture sector.

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