Is this soft­ware a must-have, or is it way too pow­er­ful to pro­duce re­al­is­tic shots?

Digital Photograper - - Reviews -

On pa­per, High Dy­namic Range can im­prove the con­trast and de­tail in your pho­tog­ra­phy to cre­ate larg­erthan-life, cin­e­matic ver­sions of your ex­ist­ing shots. De­spite this though, HDR has a very mixed rep­u­ta­tion among pho­tog­ra­phers, many of whom pre­fer more nat­u­ral, less car­i­ca­tur­ist ap­proaches to their shots.

Aurora HDR 2018 is a pro­gram that aims not only to please those who en­joy HDR, but tries to win over those who re­main un­con­vinced by the tech­nique. Macphun is a com­pany that spe­cialises in con­trol when it comes to edit­ing – its Creative Kit pack of apps fo­cuses on just about ev­ery edit­ing tool you could think of – so while you can re­ally dial up the in­ten­sity in Aurora, Macphun has also catered to nat­u­ral­ness too. Take the new Tone Mapping fea­ture; it re­duces noise and cre­ates more re­al­is­tic-look­ing fin­ishes with nat­u­ral re­sults.

Aurora is, for the first time, avail­able on Win­dows, but that’s not all that’s new to the party. The Dodge and Burn and HDR En­hance fil­ters can help im­prove clar­ity, but these are dis­ci­plined tools ca­pa­ble of sub­tle ed­its. The RAW han­dling is sig­nif­i­cantly quicker than the 2017 ver­sion and the Lens Correction fea­ture is a wel­come ad­di­tion. This is eas­ily the most com­plete ver­sion of Aurora, with many nig­gles from pre­vi­ous years ironed out.

If you love HDR, you’ll love Aurora, but it’s worth giv­ing a chance even if you don’t. This is a pow­er­ful pro­gram packed with some ex­cit­ing fea­tures, but that doesn’t mean it can’t han­dle sub­tlety.

SRP: $99 ($59 for ex­ist­ing Aurora users) OS: Win­dows 7 or later, OS X 10.11.5 or later

Right SPLIT-SCREEN See how your ef­fects are tak­ing shape as you edit by us­ing the Be­fore/Af­ter but­ton to split the screen in two AURORAHDR.COM SUM­MARY EASE OF USE VALUE FOR MONEY FEA­TURES QUAL­ITY OF RE­SULTS OVER­ALL AURORA HDR HAS GREAT HAN­DLING...

Above top PRE­SETS Macphun’s prod­ucts are fa­mous for their pre­sets that can trans­form your images in sec­onds; Aurora’s are of su­perb qual­ity

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