I just got Aurora HDR 2018 and I couldn’t wait to try it with different shots. What does it do? How do I feel working in this brand new environment? Here are my thoughts on my first hands-on experience with the software!

Landscape

I was pretty excited to edit some of the pictures we’d taken in Vegas last week. The sunrise was amazing and so was the scenery. I had an issue at the location: I forgot my tripod! That meant bye-bye to the standard three-or-more-exposures-merged-to-HDR technique and hello handheld camera. Since I wasn’t in the best situation, I was curious to see how I could pull the most out of my sensor’s dynamic range. As you can see by the pictures below, I have been blown away by the results! Aurora brings out colors and details in a fantastic way, even from a single frame. (Maybe the most discerning of you will recognize Photofocus Author Jason Hahn posing unwittingly for the camera. Thank you, Jason!)

 

 

Non-Landscape (aka anything else)

I have to be honest with you guys, landscapes are not really my cup of tea. I was curious to see how I could make Aurora work for my sports photography. Usually, this kind of work doesn’t call for HDR but since I love trying new stuff, why not go for it?! (Perhaps the photography police will wait for me around the corner but hey, you only live once!)

 

 

I often find myself in a low light situation – you know how gyms are! It is interesting to see how Aurora brings up details in the shadows (in this case the athlete’s face) while adding structure to the picture.

 

The interface

I know I still have a LOT to learn about this new environment but I also wanted to be the living proof that you can have great results with little to no knowledge of the software. The interface is very user-friendly and allows an intuitive workflow: filters, masks, sliders, brushes, presets, all the tools we are used to using in our regular editing work.

 

 

Bottom line

I really enjoyed editing in Aurora HDR and I am looking forward to trying more sports stuff. I’ll write a second article dedicated to this purpose with tips I will find along the way. Still, at the end of the day, there is no other way than to do it by oneself. Often, stepping out of your comfort zone can only remind you how creative you can be!