5 Reasons to Get Aurora HDR 2018 Right Now

5 Reasons to Get Aurora HDR 2018 Right Now (Like, Today)

Aurora HDR 2018 is the latest version of Macphun’s award-winning HDR software, and it’s fabulous. I got my hands on a copy a couple of weeks ago, since I am currently creating a bunch of videos for the Macphun site. This basically means that I have been using it for several hours each day as I dive in, experiment, and create videos explaining how to get the most out of it (they will be on the Macphun site soon).

The more I use it, the more I find that I love about it. I’ve already shared an overview video as well as a video about some of the new features, but what I haven’t done yet is sit down and write out some thoughts about why this is such a good release. So, here you go!

  1. Natural HDR is automatic and easy

  2. Lens Correction and Transform will literally change how you look at your photos

  3. Dodge & Burn will become one of your favorite new features

  4. HDR Enhance is an amazing replacement for Clarity

  5. The User Interface is modern, elegant and awesome


Prefer to watch a video instead of reading this? No problem, here ya go!


Let’s look at each of these a little closer…

1) Natural HDR

The biggest knock you hear about HDR is that it isn’t natural looking. People always complain that HDR is extreme, over the top, whatever. Sure, we have all seen and probably created monsterpieces in HDR but frankly you can do that in any program, regardless of whether it’s HDR or not. 

But in Aurora 2018, your base image is just so natural and beautiful and realistic. Macphun did an AMAZING job with it. Photos just look great. Colors are right, skies look great, and everything is realistic and natural. Sure you can go extreme if you want to - and sometimes it’s just fun - but you can totally make a superbly beautiful and natural HDR quickly and easily.

This is the base HDR photo after importing, with no adjustments. So natural and realistic!

2) Lens Correction and Transform tools

While I have used these tools in Lightroom in the past, I never really paid them a lot of attention. But now that they are front and center in Aurora HDR 2018, I am using them a LOT. And WOW, what a difference they make (I usually use them together). You can not only remove distortion but you can fixing “leaning buildings” and more in just a few seconds. It has literally caused me to approach each photo with a different sort of eye. This stuff is just great to have at your fingertips!

Fix those leaning buildings quickly and easily!

3) Dodge & Burn filter

Gone are the days of adding a new layer, changing the exposure values, and then masking that change into the photo. Now you just open the Dodge & Burn filter and start painting. Quick, easy and incredibly effective.

I used Dodge & Burn to darken the walkway on the Right side of the frame - only took about 10 seconds!

4) HDR Enhance slider

If you are like me, you used the Clarity slider on every photo in the previous version. So when I heard that Clarity was replaced with HDR Enhance, I had to check it out. After using it on countless photos, I can firmly declare that this is a huge win. This filter is perfect. It accentuates details and textures in the right places, without causing a lot of artifacts and other unwanted elements to appear in places where you don’t want them, such as a beautiful sky. Now I use this filter on every photo! HDR Enhance is the new Clarity!

HDR Enhance gives rich details and textures to a photo.

5) User Interface

I love it when a User Interface gets updated - there’s just something about getting a new and shiny thing to play with. The UI changes in Aurora 2018 are just perfect. It has a modern feel but remains very intuitive. I jumped right in the first time and started editing photos without delay. It just feels so much more streamlined and modern.

OK, I lied - there are 6 reasons to get Aurora HDR 2018 right now. #6 is that the pre-order bundle price is awesome! (See below).

These are just some of the things I am loving about the new Aurora HDR 2018. It's not an exhaustive list of new features. There’s just too much to write about. So, here’s a screenshot from the Macphun site that gives you a bit broader perspective on all the new stuff in this version (click to enlarge):

In short, Aurora HDR 2018 is a total win in my opinion. My photos are looking amazing and I am having more fun creating HDR than ever before. This release has literally rekindled my love of HDR. Ok, time to go edit some more HDR photos. Thanks for stopping by!


Get Your Pre-Order in Before It’s Too Late!

The pre-order period for the new Aurora HDR 2018 goes until September 28, then the special price and all the bonus material you get with it are gone forever! 

You can place your pre-order right here on the Macphun site.

You can read more details about it right here on my blog.

Want to see it in action?  My introductory overview video is right here.

Thanks again and let me know if you have any questions!