Skylum have just updated their Aurora HDR program, and I thought I would give it a spin.
Now, I decided to use some of my own images, and not the stock images.
Here goes. I gave it a spin using two sets of images – one for interior photography, and one for landscape.
Before I go on, let me get two things off the bat
- what is HDR
- what is the offer
What is HDR
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. When you are photographing the interior of a building, an architectural monument, a landscape etc., what you will notice, is that parts of the scene (the sky, for instance) is much brighter than other parts (the mountains, for instance). While our eyes adjust to the different levels of brightness, the same is not true for our cameras. Which is why certain parts of a scene may look over, or under-exposed.
The way to handle this, is to mount your camera on a tripod, and to take 3-5 photographs, each with a different exposure (normally, by keeping the aperture constant). These are then blended together in programs like Lightroom, Photoshop, Photomatix (which, has traditionally been the industry leader) or Aurora from Skylum.
I have used all, and in my view, Aurora stands out to be the best. The photographs are natural, if you wish, or grungy if you wish. They offer many presets, and in the current offer, many overlays as well.
The controls, with the sliders, are a dream to use. What is also beautiful, is that you can vary the opacity of a layer, and add another preset as a layer. the possibilities are boundless.
Aurora is now my default HDR engine.
So, here it is:
Current users of Aurora HDR may upgrade for $59 ($49 with my coupon code RAJIV).
New users can purchase Aurora HDR 2018 1.2.0 for $99 ($89 with my coupon code RAJIV).
A collection of bonuses will also be included with every purchase.
OFFER AVAILABILITY: June 20 – July 4
Bonuses included in the offer ($148 value):
119 Dramatic & Romantic Sky overlays ($29 value) – The ultimate collection of 119 dramatic high-res sky overlays to turn photos with boring skies into eye-catching works of art.
Complete HDR Tutorial by Trey Ratcliff ($99 value) – This entirely new HDR tutorial is perfect for beginners to mega-advanced professionals who want to see all of the latest post-processing techniques. Lisa and Trey discuss their artistic inspirations and challenges, how they compose a shot, their camera settings, and much more. You’re then transported back to Trey’s studio where he slowly takes you step-by-step through his latest techniques.
Deep Dive into Aurora HDR 2018 video by Trey Ratcliff ($20 value) – Trey Ratcliff, the most famous HDR photographer, shares his editing process in the new Aurora HDR 2018.
So now, here are two examples that I have blended together. Bear in mind – I have not done any processing at all, in Photoshop. I wanted to show you how the photographs look right from Aurora. I would, in Photoshop, need to clean up the sofa, dust spots etc!
What you see above, is the set of 7 images that I combined into the program. The range of exposure between the outside scene and the inside.
I also wanted an image that was light, airy, and somewhat cheerful. So, I chose a preset that reflected this.
In the image above, what you see, is that the scene looks absolutely natural. It is quite stunning, in my view.
And now, the final image
What is the beauty of this image?
It is actually, practically complete!
Second, the one thing that I would like to point out, that this photograph was taken at a rapidly flowing river. As you can not step into the same river twice, you cannot photograph the same river twice.
Yet the de-ghosting feature in Arora HDR is so good that you do not know that the different flow patterns of the river have been blended together. This is absolutely stunning.
The Screen Interface
In the two images below, you will see the screen interface. In the lower image, you see the screen with all panels collapsed (on the right).
As you will see, Aurora gives you an extremely powerful set of tools that allow you to edit the picture.
The film strip at the bottom represents the various presets, which have been categorised as Basic, Interior, Architecture, Landscape etc. Use the presets as a starting point with which you will then move on to the rest of your editing.
So, for those who want to take advantage of the price, and the offer, and who want to take their photography the next level, look no further!