Today I am going to do something that I do not do too often. Recommend an app. Just do it. If you’re a Mac using photographer who loves HDR, try this app. If you’re a Mac using photographer who’s never ventured into HDR, try this app.
HDR is something of a mini-rage, a growing trend in photography. It means high-dynamic-range which is a buzzword that makes photos have a range of luminance somewhat similar to what our eyes capture but which traditional photos do not. Many Mac photo apps have HDR features, and Apple includes HDR as an option in iPhone.
Aurora HDR 2017 is an updated photo app from a developer group known for photo enhancement apps. Think of them as the Adobe or Microsoft of photography for Mac users.
Multiple Images Or Not
Apple’s version of HDR in the iPhone is decent because it can capture multiple images at multiple exposures and, generally speaking, that’s a requirement for fully developed HDR photography. There’s lots more where this came from but here’s an example of HDR in action, before and after.
The first question that comes to mind is ‘How do I get that HDR look?‘ That’s exactly what you won’t get on your iPhone but the multiple images captured by the HDR setting are a good start.
What Aurora HDR does is provide granular tools that give you adjustment capability on every aspect of color, shadows, and effects to generate a one of a kind HDR image. That’s one reason I suggest that anyone who uses HDR or wants to try HDR should try Aurora.
As is the case with the developer’s other Mac photo apps, Aurora HDR blends the ease of use of multiple presets for the beginner to an array of granular slider controls for the experienced photographer.
That makes it easy to get started in HDR photography with less effort, but as experience grows, the tools are available for more complex HDR images. There’s no other way to put it. This is a classy– and expensive– HDR editor with capabilities that got beyond anything you’ve ever used.
Aurora does RAW images, comes with layers, custom textures, and color toning tools that rival anything in Photoshop.
The app works standalone, but also as a plugin for Photoshop and Lightroom, so it’s easy to integrate into your workflow. You control multiple layers and the blend modes for each. If you’re not intimidated by Photoshop and Lightroom then you’ll pick up quickly on the slider and settings controls. If you’ve never used an HDR app before, there’s a trial version to get started. The only caveat here is to note that all the granular controls can be intimidating for anyone who’s never ventured into quality photo enhancement or HDR, so take your time; trial land error is your friend.
Here’s another sample, this one from le Louvre, not far from where I work.