Many times we have tools in our quiver that we forget to use. There’s a feature I have not leveraged with Aurora HDR — a single image process. Now that I have revisited the possibility, I’ll be using it lots more.

HDR capture

I often use ability of my cameras to create multiple exposures of a scene. My standard, especially if I am on location, is to bracket five images separated by one stop. In the past, if a scene had an extremely high dynamic range I might even go for more. Now that I have revisited single image HDR, I might even go for less exposures.

A screenshot of four of the five images from my bracket, each one stop apart.

Expose to the right — straight out of camera

As a micro four-thirds photographer I need to be careful about underexposure. Most of the noise in an image lives in the darker 3/4 tones. I’ve learned to expose to the right side of the histogram in order to work with the cleanest pixels possible. Single image HDR processing is perfect for this workflow.

Here’s the image straight out of camera. In the past I might have blown right past this photo — now it is the type of capture for which I look. It appears to be overexposed, but the file has all the detail I need after running it through Aurora.

Straight out of camera exposure with which I worked. Captured with a Lumix G9 and Leica 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 lens.

After processing with Aurora HDR

I’ve gotta tell ya, I forgot how powerful Aurora HDR can be. This image is about 1-1/3 stops overexposed yet still contains all the highlight detail I need.

After a quick process with Aurora

Revisit older files

I’ll be heading back into my library of images to do some reprocessing. What I especially like about single file processing is I get an even cleaner output than I was able to accomplish with multiple brackets. High dynamic range in an image without the ‘HDR look.’ Yay!

Looking to try Aurora HDR? Get a free trial here.

Yours in Creative Photography, Bob