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Learn how to get the most from Aurora HDR 2019’s Detail Boost filter

The improved HDR Details Boost filter in Aurora HDR 2019 improves image sharpness without increasing digital noise, creating unnatural ghosting or halos in an image. Here’s how apply this powerful tool to improve the quality of your images.

Understanding the HDR Details Boost sliders

The HDR Details Boost filter has 5 sliders, Small, Medium, Large, Protect and Masking. Each setting can be used alone or in combination with the others. Fight your first instinct to move all the sliders around and see what happens. Instead, experiment and understand how each setting affects the image independently. This will give you a clear view of each setting and how they can be combined to process your image. The best way I’ve learned to do this is to push the settings to their extreme. Working with one slider at a time, move the slider to the far right and then to the far left, watching how it affects the image. Here’s a breakdown of each one.


The Small slider sets the sharpness of fine details. At 0, the effect is not applied. Moving the slider to the right will intensify the clarity of small details while moving to the left, will somewhat washout the fine details. A moderate increase in the Small control has a positive impact on the sharpness and quality of any image.


This Medium slider sets the medium-sized parts of the image sharpness. At 0, the effect is not applied. Moving the slider to the right increases the sharpness, while moving the slider to the left decreases it.


This Large slider sets the sharpness of the global contours of objects in the image. At 0, the effect is not applied. Moving the slider to the right increases the contour sharpness, while moving to the left decreases it.


The Protection slider will protect fine details from being negatively adjusted. This will save you from having to manually brush in or out the effect in the fine details area.

Results of protection


Think of the Masking slider as applying the amount of the effect. This slider controls the zone of detail amplification. When moving the slider to the left, the number of zones increases and the image becomes more detailed. When moving to the right, the number of granularity zones is reduced. Optimal masking comes from a setting in the range of 30 to 70.

Results of Masking

Results of the HDR Details Boost filter

Applying a combination of settings

Now that you have a good sense of how each slider will affect your image, you can start having fun and push the sliders around. Pay close attention to how each setting works with the others. Sometimes it’s hard to see a slight change. When this happens, take the setting to an extreme and then dial it back down until you find what you want. Also, take advantage of hiding the filter effect by clicking on the filter’s visibility icon (eyeball). This will allow your eyes to adjust and see the changes you are making.

Pony Express: Made with Aurora

You’re not done yet!

The HDR Details Boost filter is just one of 15 filters in Aurora HDR 2019. Explore the other filters one at a time using the same concept you just learned. Soon, you will be able to look at an image and know exactly which filter and settings to use.

Use this link to save on Aurora HDR 2019 and get training videos, Looks, and LUTs as a free bonus!

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