HDR photos are trendy this year. Apple even includes an automated HDR mode in the latest iPhones. What’s HDR?
It’s high-dynamic-range imaging which captures more range between lightest and darkest areas in a photo. By expanding the contrast range, photos can appear to pop out with stunning clarity. Here’s how to do HDR photos on your Mac.
HDR From HDRtist
HDRtist is a free Mac app which generates very impressive HDR photos and tone maps, but does it with ease instead of the typical and complicated multi-step process.
Wait a minute. Doesn’t the iPhone’s HDR make HDR photos drop dead easy? Yes, but with little control over the results.
The iPhone, in HDR mode, snaps three photos with varying exposures, then automatically combines them into a single image.
While that’s fast and easy, it’s also devoid of any controls to affect the image.
That’s where HDRtist comes in. It’s a Mac app with multiple mapping techniques and a simple slider control for adjustments.
The results speak for themselves (one photo is worth a thousand words; that kind of thing).
To get similar results with your photos, drag and drop photos onto HDRtist or use the Add Photos button to select images from iPhoto or Aperture.
Then, drag the slider bar to adjust the visual results. It’s that easy (other than having to take multiple photos of the same scene or subject).
Think of HDRtist as a free trial to get you hooked on creating HDR photos. More features are available in the HDRtist Pro app, which has a price tag, but far more granular controls for color and tone mapping.
The only real issue I’ve run into with HDRtist is that results absolutely vary photo to photo, whether using the free HDRtist app, or the pro version. Some photos look absolutely stunning, and others are rather anemic, and despite plenty of adjustments just don’t look all that great.