Big news today for fans of HDR photography and highly detailed images.  The folks at Macphun have started taking pre-orders for Aurora HDR 2018. The update is focussed on creating highly realistic, detailed, and natural-looking images to unlock the beauty in your photography.

The Photofocus team is hard at work on multiple reviews, so we’ll bring you hands-on testing feedback shortly.  But here’s the big news.

Aurora HDR is Cross Platform!

Co-developed with renowned HDR photographer Trey Ratcliff, the new Aurora HDR 2018 is available for the first time ever for both Mac and Windows users. It features a completely reddesigned user interface and new tools, plus brings speed improvements.

This means no matter how you like to edit your photos, you can do so on your favorite platform!

What’s New and Improved

This is a big update and first tests have been very possitive with the application.  It is responsive and fast, while producing images with rich details and color.  Here’s what’s new in Aurora 2018.

  • NEW: Next-generation Tone Mapping – A new smart Tone Mapping algorithm automatically reduces noise, and produces more realistic and natural initial results.
  • NEW: Mac and Windows versions Aurora HDR 2018 is available both for Mac and PC users, enabling mixed-computer households to share the same product key.
  • NEW: Lens Correction Tool* The new Lens Correction filter easily fixes all kinds of lens distortion, from barrel and pincushion to chromatic aberration and vignetting.
  • NEW: Transform Tool* – Easily scale, rotate and shift your image to better fit your vision.
  • NEW: Dodge & Burn Filter Selectively lighten or darken specific areas of an image to artfully direct your viewer’s eye towards the key subject of your image, similar to a traditional darkroom technique.

  • NEW: HDR Enhance Filter – Adds details and clarity to an image, adjusting colors, details and contrast without creating artificial halos or other problems.
  • NEW: User Interface A new, modern and responsive user interface brings a powerful, yet joyful experience to HDR photo editing.
  • NEW: History Panel An easy-to-reference list of edits made to your image, the History panel allows you to click on any editing step to revert the photo to an earlier stage of editing.
  • NEW: Touch Bar support for Mac – Aurora HDR 2018 adds Touch Bar support to give new MacBook Pro users fast access to key editing features and speed up their workflow.

NEW: Image Flip and Rotate* Perfect for correcting photos with incorrect horizons or making creative compositions or other stylistic changes to an image.

  • IMPROVED:  New Structure Algorithm – The re-developed Structure tool allows you to adjust detail and clarity of an image to get a classic HDR effect with great detail or a smoother effect with less details.
  • IMPROVED: RAW handling An improved RAW conversion brings out more details in shadows/highlights, displays colors more accurately and reduces noise in RAW files.
  • IMPROVED: Crop tool update – Now specify custom crop sizes for even more versatility.
  • IMPROVED: Speed – Faster merging and masking performance, improvement in RAW image processing.

The features with the asterisk are Mac-only omn launch, but the company is already testing them with windows users in beta and promises to ship in the PC version with the a free update in the beginning of October.

First Impressions

Aurora HDR offers fast and responsive editing.  It could open every raw file I threw at it from 8 different cameras.  The alignment tools for brackleted photos easilt handled HDRs shot from a drone (which are often tough to align).  The new algorithims and refinements made it easy tom get natural looking photos with rich color.  I especially loved the ability to create compelling black and white photos. The powerful batch-processing tools make it easy to merge several photos or even process a large shoot of non-bracketed images. If you’re into landscape photography, product photography, or are a fan of teture, depth, and color this is a must have.

Detailed reviews and free presets coming this week from Photofocus team members.

Pre-order your copy now



Pre-order will run from September 12 until September 27. Pre-order customers will receive a bonus pack:

  • BONUS: Trey Ratcliff Deep Dive video
  • BONUS: Travel Photography Tutorial by Matt Granger
  • BONUS: Source Brackets
  • BONUS: 3-month Zenfolio Pro website, including a complementary design consultation. $60 value.


Mixed-computer households can share the same product key for Mac and PC which can be activated on 5 devices.

$5 from every Aurora HDR 2018 sale in September will be donated to support people affected by Harvey, Irma & José hurricanes.