Aurora HDR 2018 is available for pre-order!

Macphun announces pre-orders for Aurora HDR 2018!

  • Preorders begin September 12 and it is released on September 28!

  • Current users can pre-order for $49

  • New users can pre-order for $89

  • All pre-orders get additional bonuses too!

Get your pre-order here!

Or, click the Aurora HDR 2018 banner to be sent to the Macphun site.

Jim’s perspective on Aurora HDR 2018

If you have been to my blog before, then it's rather obvious that I am a fan of Macphun products. Apart from managing my library in Lightroom, everything I do takes places in Luminar and Aurora HDR. You can find all sorts of tutorial videos for these products for free on my YouTube channel right here. So when I got my hands on Aurora HDR 2018 I was pretty excited to try it out. While I expected to like it, I am finding more and more to love about it each time I edit a photo and I am continually impressed with how it is handling my images.

I’ve been using Aurora HDR 2018 for about a week now. It has a lot of improvements, many of which are “under the hood”. For example, there is improved raw file handling, much better tone-mapping and a completely new engine running it all. This is immediately noticeable when your tone-mapped image first opens in Aurora. You have a much more natural look than in the previous version. In fact, I would say that all of the changes and updates made to Aurora HDR 2018 are designed to produce a more natural looking HDR photo, and it works quite well. Details and colors are more realistic and accurate. There is a new Structure algorithm for better management of details and clarity. All of these things help. But there is a lot more to enjoy with this release, including:

  • new Dodge & Burn filter
  • new HDR Enhance filter (replaces Clarity and gives more natural results)
  • improved Denoise feature
  • improved Image Radiance
  • Redesigned User Interface
  • Lens Correction tool fixes distortion
  • Transform tool allows perspective shifts
  • History panel
  • Available for Mac and Windows!

I have been editing LOTS of photos in Aurora HDR 2018 over the last week and it’s been a breath of fresh air. I see a lot to benefit from in this release, and there is even more coming over the next few months as they add some new features and make further updates to existing ones. The text section down below is from Macphun, but I wanted to add a personal note about my own use of it and my experience with it thus far. Let me know if you have any questions.

First Look and What's New video

Here is a quick video showing some of the new features. I think you will like this!

Show me some screenshots!

To illustrate my point about the natural look of the base tone-mapped image, I have included a few screenshots below. The first 3 of these is just the base HDR photo after it has been brought into Aurora HDR 2018 and the tone-mapping was automatically applied. This is prior to any edits on my part. What immediately catches my eye is that all of them appear very natural and smooth and there are no halos present in the images. As you can see starting with the 4th image, I have shown some Before/After compares just for fun.

Disclaimer: Because we are about 2 weeks out from release, I do not have a FINAL FINAL version of the software. There will likely be some minor changes before it is released, and thus I cannot guarantee that everything you see here will be in the final version. I just want to be clear about that. If something changes, that is beyond my control.  

I love how natural this HDR base image looks.

Again, very natural result from tone-mapping.

My favorite part here is how the water blended so nicely. It looks painterly. This is a 3 exposure HDR without edits. The water just came out that nice!

Here's a before/after compare so you can see that you can obviously make your own stylistic choices once you start moving filters around.

I know this split screen looks redonkulous, but I wanted to share it so you can see the dramatic difference you can make in a photo with the new Lens Correction and Transform tools (both of which were used here). I'll be back with more on those two tools really soon.

Just another before/after example to give you something else to look at. :-)

And here are some photos that I edited with Aurora HDR 2018...and obviously they have been stylized a bit.

Here's the official Macphun announcement about Aurora HDR:

Aurora HDR is not just a tool for merging bracketed images, it also provides numerous tools and countless options to create perfect HDR photos for every taste - from one-click presets and advanced tone-mapping, to layers, noise reduction and powerful luminosity masking controls. 

Offer Availability: 

Aurora HDR 2018 will be available for pre-order on September 12, and released on September 28

Pre-Order Pricing: 

  1. Current users of Aurora HDR may upgrade at a special pre-order price of $49 ($59 MSRP)
  2. New users can purchase Aurora HDR 2018 at a special pre-order price of $89 ($99 MSRP)
  3. A collection of bonuses will also be included with every purchase.

Pre-Order Bonuses: 

  1. Trey Ratcliff Deep Dive video
  2. Travel Photography Tutorial by Matt Granger
  3. Source Brackets 
  4. 3-month Zenfolio Pro website, including a complementary design consultation. $60 value.

What's new in Aurora HDR 2018:

  • Next-generation Tone Mapping – A new smart Tone Mapping algorithm automatically reduces noise, and produces more realistic and natural initial results.
  • Mac and Windows versions – Aurora HDR 2018 is available both for Mac and PC users, enabling mixed-computer households to share the same product key.
  • Lens Correction Tool* – The new Lens Correction filter easily fixes all kinds of lens distortion, from barrel and pincushion to chromatic aberration and vignetting.
  • Transform Tool* – Easily scale, rotate and shift your image to better fit your vision.
  • Dodge & Burn Filter – Selectively lighten or darken specific areas of an image to artfully direct your viewer’s eye towards the key subject of your image, similar to a traditional darkroom technique.
  • HDR Enhance Filter - Adds details and clarity to an image, adjusting colors, details and contrast without creating artificial halos or other problems.
  • User Interface – A new, modern and responsive user interface brings a powerful, yetjoyful experience to HDR photo editing.
  • History Panel – An easy-to-reference list of edits made to your image, the History panel allows you to click on any editing step to revert the photo to an earlier stage of editing.
  • Touch Bar support for Mac – Aurora HDR 2018 adds Touch Bar support to give new MacBook Pro users fast access to key editing features and speed up their workflow.
  • Image Flip and Rotate* – Perfect for correcting photos with incorrect horizons or making creative compositions or other stylistic changes to an image.
  • IMPROVED:  New Structure Algorithm – The re-developed Structure tool allows you to adjust detail and clarity of an image to get a classic HDR effect with great detail or a smoother effect with less details.
  • IMPROVED: RAW handling – An improved RAW conversion brings out more details in shadows/highlights, displays colors more accurately and reduces noise in RAW files.
  • IMPROVED: Crop tool update – Now specify custom crop sizes for even more versatility.
  • IMPROVED: Speed – Faster merging and masking performance, improvement in RAW image processing.

* Lens Correction and Transform tools, as well as image flip and rotate will be available in the Mac version at launch, and arrive in the PC version with the first free update in the beginning of October. Other tools and features that are currently available for Mac only would be added to PC version by the end of the year.

A closer look at the filters panel

For those of you that want a close up look at the filters panel, here are some screenshots...

There are several new things to enjoy here, such as Lens Correction, Transform, the HDR Enhance slider (I trust you will be using this one a lot), and Dodge & Burn (another on you will use a lot). But there were improvements and enhancements made to many of the existing filters to give you better control and to help you create more natural-looking HDR photos.  


Parting Thoughts on Aurora HDR 2018

I hope that these screenshots, images and the video are helpful. Now that I have been using this for a week I am really getting into a groove with it. I think it's a great release and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Please keep in mind that because we are about 2 weeks out from actual release, some features may change slightly in the final version.

 Let me know what questions you have, and thanks for stopping by today!

Click the banner below to get your pre-order in and the bonuses, too!