Luminar is my go-to image editing program. but sometimes I need to tone map a single or a set of bracketed images to pull out its dynamic range. This is when I turn to Aurora HDR — software specifically designed for HDR. Here’s how to use Aurora HDR as a Luminar plugin to tone map an image, then continue developing it with Luminar.

Step 1: Launch Aurora from inside Luminar 4

To get started, click Edit from the file menu. Then select Plugins and choose Aurora HDR.

Step 2: Tone map the image with Aurora HDR

Once Aurora HDR opens, click the Create HDR button to begin tone mapping the image.

Step 3: Add an Aurora HDR Look

Once the image is tone mapped, apply your favorite Aurora HDR Look. I chose the Bright Sun Look to bring out the golden tones in the rocks.

Step 4: Apply Aurora HDR and return to Luminar 4

Click the Apply button to return to Luminar 4. Notice Luminar created a New Adjustment Layer and names it Aurora.

Step 5: Apply your favorite edits in Luminar 4

I like using AI Accent to bring out hidden details in an image. To make the image appear richer in color, I also added a Color Style (LUT) called Palm Springs. This helped to warm up my image some, and add that finishing touch I was looking for.

Final results

Aurora HDR tone maps the image and increases its tonal range, while Luminar 4 completed my vision of the image.

Don’t have Luminar or Aurora HDR yet? Get both and save 45%, through August 22, 2020. Click here to learn more.