digital darkroom

How to Finish Your Wild Animal Photos With Tone Mapping

Funny thing about animals is they move around, a lot. So a technique like HDR, which requires several images that are nearly identical in everything but exposure values, is usually not an option for wildlife photographers. Often thought of as mainly a tool for landscape and architecture photography, High Dynamic Range photography captures a series of shots at multiple exposures to provide detail in both highlights and shadows a camera cannot capture in one frame. But, in the case of a running horse or flying bird, even at high shutter speeds and frame rates there will be large differences in their position from frame to frame. This makes multiple exposure HDR pretty impractical, if not nearly impossible, for wildlife and other action photography.

While the multi-shot HDR technique may not work well for high-speed creatures, software like Aurora HDR is a useful tool to put the finishing touches on your wildlife photos. Instead of capturing a series of shots at multiple exposures as you would for landscapes, you use a single shot in a process called “tone mapping”. This is a fast and easy way I use Aurora HDR to Tone Map a single image and add some extra pop and punch to wild animal images.

How to Remove Noise with a Luminosity Layer in Aurora HDR 2018

HDR (High Dynamic Range) processing of your photos by its nature can result in a lot of noise or graininess in your final image. While Macphun’s new Aurora HDR 2018 for PC’s does a great job overall reducing noise, there are still times when noisy areas appear in your processed HDR. This can be caused by many reasons, but most commonly it’s due to your settings in camera (such as shooting at too high of an ISO) or any image processing you have done to your images before merging them in Aurora (such as exposure adjustments). Regardless of the cause, you can remove most of this noise by using a “Luminosity Layer”. This technique saves a lot of time, giving you consistently good-looking results, quickly.  

How to Make Wildlife Photos Look Great with ACDSee Ultimate

With wildlife, moments are fleeting and there are, literally, once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities. While it is ideal to “get it right in the camera”, I also believe that while we create photos in the camera, we finish them in the digital darkroom. Some moments we capture are worth a little extra work to rescue if a mistake is made in settings or the light wasn’t quite right at the time.

In this article I’ll take you through how I process my wildlife images in the Develop Mode within ACDSee Ultimate 10 to get them looking their best, or to rescue shots that need a little extra help.

How to Capture Fantastic Photos of Rainbows

Few natural phenomenon can cheer people up faster than the beauty of a rainbow. Getting great images of one is a challenge, they are difficult to predict and constantly changing, occurring due to a specific set of conditions. These tips will help you photograph rainbows when they appear, and get great results when processing your rainbow pics in the digital darkroom.

Lightning Over Palo Duro Canyon

Are Your Photos Getting the “Blurts”?

One of the ultimate compliments for a photo is when it makes someone just blurt out a one syllable word or sound. “Wow”, “ooh”, “awww”, “damn”, “whoa”, “spoon”… you get the