Tone Mapping

First look: Aurora HDR 2019 from Skylum

(Editor’s note: Aurora HDR 2019 is a powerful update that has several new, and, frankly, compelling features. Photofocus author Vanelli takes us on a tour of the most significant new addition

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.

New to Photomatix? Start with a Preset

The photo above is the normal exposure of a Waffle House near my studio. Periodically the company remodels one of their restaurants. I saw this one was under what looked

The Best Photographers Practice Finishing

Practicing with your tools on daily pictures will make you a better photographer when it counts. Having your camera with you isn’t enough to make you a better photographer. You