Post-processing, also known as photo editing, is the art of fine-tuning your images to really make them pop. Aurora HDR – an easy-to-use but powerful photo editor from Skylum – allows even beginners to post-process like pros. With just a few tips, you’ll be ready to create images you’ll have to share with your followers.
Learn about HDR
High dynamic range (HDR) is a photographic technique that combines multiple exposures into one image. This simulates the capabilities of the human eye, something a camera can’t do on its own.
To do this, you combine three images – one that is underexposed (the bright parts are better), one that is overexposed (the dark parts are better), and one that is in between. You’ll also need a tool like Aurora HDR to combine the three images.
Achieve Great Lighting Every Time
Now that you know a little more about HDR, let’s make it easy! Aurora HDR has a sophisticated imaging engine based on AI, which “tone-maps” every image. This means that even when opening a single image, Aurora will make it look awesome.
If you took images where the lighting was a bit off, Aurora HDR can help. For example, maybe you took a photo of your best friend outside with a bright sun overhead. Your friend’s face might be darker because your camera got “fooled” and exposed for the entire scene. No problem. Just open that photo in Aurora HDR and the first result should look decent. If you still need to brighten up the shadows a little, just open the “HDR Basic” filter and move the Shadows slider to the right. Easy!
Recover Lost Details
Sometimes, in the excitement to snap a photo, your image might come out blurry because of camera jiggle or low light. Once your photo is opened in Aurora HDR, the tone-mapping engine should automatically do a good job of adding details back. If not, add more clarity and details using the HDR Enhance filter and moving the Clarity and Smart Structure sliders until you like the result.
Develop a Fine-Art Black & White
Have an image that just screams black & white to you? Aurora HDR makes it easy to make it happen.
First, go to the Color filter and move the Saturation slider all the way to the left. This removes all color and makes your photo black & white. You might like that first result or want to refine further by adding detail (remember the HDR Enhance filter!) or even a strong Vignette to finish the image.
Use One-Click Looks for Instant Creativity
Not into a lot of tools or sliders? No problem. Aurora HDR comes chock full of built-in one-click pre-sets called “Looks”.
If a filmstrip of Looks isn’t present at the bottom of the editing window, go to the View menu in the menu bar and choose “Show Aurora HDR Looks Panel”. To apply a Look to your image, simply click on the thumbnail that you like the most. To browse different categories of Looks, click the pop-up menu titled Collections at the top of the Looks Panel.
Explore Creative Bounds
Aurora HDR is a world-class image editor offering almost limitless creative options. These options are too numerous to cover them all in detail, but be sure to explore filters like Image Radiance, LUT Mapping, and Color Toning. You might also love the Dodge & Burn brush, which lets you lighten and darken parts of your image just by brushing those tones into the photo.
In this three-part series, we’ve covered basic photography tips, shooting and composition techniques, and how to use software like Aurora HDR to put the tasty finishing touches on your photos. Now you’re all set to get out there and have fun shooting!