Pre-order Aurora HDR 2019 now

Entirely New HDR Algorithm with Artificial Intelligence

How do you follow up from Mac’s App of the Year in 2018? That’s a tough one but we put our heads together with the team from Skylum and we’ve done it!

i-ZjfXKWw.jpgAurora HDR 2019 uses Skylum’s new Quantum HDR Engine. It is a completely redesigned HDR algorithm, paired with artificial intelligence, which took 3 years of development by Skylum’s AI lab. My favorite thing about this new version is you no longer need to make corrections on the initial results because it virtually eliminates noise, halos, and other little issues you often needed to fix. This means you can focus on your creative side. Begin by trying out the new “looks” (formerly called presets, a few of mine are included for free). And try tweaking out the “HDR-ness” of your creation with the new and improved HDR Enhance and Smart Structure sliders.

Pre-Order prior to October 4th to save $$ and get tons of freebies!

Existing users can check this link to see if you qualify for an upgrade for just $49. New users may purchase Aurora HDR 2019 for just $89.

A collection of bonuses are included with every purchase:

  • $300 USD OFF a multi-day Iceland Photo Tour
  • Landscape Photography Handbook by David Johnston
  • Exclusive interior Aurora Looks by Richard Harrington
  • Burning Mood Looks by Richard Harrington
  • 3-month 500px Pro membership
  • Video Tutorial: Getting the Most from Aurora HDR 2019 by Trey Ratcliff

What else is new in Aurora HDR 2019?

I’m also impressed with the vastly improved results of interior architecture images. These are often problematic when it’s quite bright outside but dark inside. Previous versions of Aurora HDR would handle this in a bit of a sloppy manner. And competitors to Aurora HDR still struggle with interior shots.

Aurora HDR 2019 also includes Lookup Tables (LUTs) which allows you to give your finished image a “movie / film” appearance. They’re adjustable with sliders so you can get a little bit, or a whole lot of, that “Wes Anderson / Mad Max / Blade Runner” feel. Last but not least, there’s even more dynamic range if you choose to process a single RAW image, which I now do over 50% of the time.

And YES, the Windows version and the Mac version are now exactly the same. Huzzah! Go grab it pronto! If you’re not 100% satisfied you can, of course, have all your money back with no worries. It’s a perfect risk to reward ratio. In fact, mathematically, it’s a 1::infinity ratio, so you’re in a cozy mathematical nesting of absolute certainty.

How does Aurora HDR 2019 Compare?

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Here’s a few images I created with Aurora HDR 2019!

Love Heart Island

New Luminar Tip Video

Grab the new Luminar here and get cracking with some of these hot tips! In today’s video, I show how to use “LUTs” which stands for “Look Up Tables” – I find this to be a very geeky acronym that mostly just confuses people. Despite its geekiness, it’s quite fun and powerful!

Daily Photo – Love Heart Island

Here's that little island that sits in the middle of Lake Wanaka. From the shore, it looks like a little perfect fairy island… a perfect little secret island to go have some adventures on. It also looks like you could swim out to it, except you'd defo die from hypothermia in transit. I think people are always surprised when they visit the South Island at how cold the water actually is. Some people are really into swimming in cold water, but I think those people might be kinda crazy.

There's another quirky thing about New Zealand (this might be the case in Aussie as well). Anyway, you know that “heart” shape that we use to describe the shape that is, well, a heart? Well the Kiwis call it a “love heart” shape. I think that's kind of a nice quirky thing about it… now my little girls say that, and sometimes even with a Kiwi accent!

Love Heart Island

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-05-12 14:11:30
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Two Girls Wander Through a Bamboo Forest in China

Editing Fireworks Quick Tip

Two days in a row for a Luminar Tip! Don’t forget you can download it here. This is a quick n’ dirty video that shows you how to edit fireworks and give them a bit more pop!

Daily Photo – Two Girls Wander Through a Bamboo Forest in China

This was my first trip to Chengdu, China, and I was surprised to find they had this giant bamboo forest near a temple complex. There are these cool red-walled tunnels that weave all around and through the forest. This area is also known for their giant pandas. I was kind of hoping to see one swinging around the trees, but no such luck. But there were a lot of festive people out walking around, like these two girls.

Two Girls Wander Through a Bamboo Forest in China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-15 19:01:02
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO1000
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Magical Castle at Night

Luminar Quick Tip

If you don’t have this amazing tool, be sure to get Luminar on Skylum’s website. It’s really a great tool! In this video, I show a bit about how to enhance foliage with one of their cool tools. I also briefly mention my new drone tutorial in this video, which is now available in the store.

Daily Photo – The Magical Castle at Night

Many hardcore people get angry when I call this a castle because it's actually more of a monastery on top of a medieval village. But I'm not much for semantics and the form largely ticks the “castle” pattern-recognition part of my brain. This is Mont St. Michel in the Normandy area of France. I still recommend this as an amazing destination, even if you are not into photography. It's kind of touristy in the daytime, but it really clears out in the evening. If you're looking for a “lively” place with lots of cool bars and restaurants, it's definitely not that kind of place. But if you're looking for a place where you can play real-life Assassin's Creed, well it's much more that kinda place.

The Magical Castle at Night

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2012-11-13 22:50:04
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time15
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length250.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+3

The Long Plane Ride to Antarctica

Tip Video – Making Grass more Supple and Dreamy

In today’s video, I show how to use Aurora HDR to make the grass look extra soft and alive. I have a theory about landscape photos in that people imagine walking around inside of them. A lot of people imagine walking barefooted around inside… so I like to do little things like make the grass look extra squishy or sand look extra warm and soft. Anyway, enjoy!

Daily Photo – The Long Plane Ride to Antarctica

Now, I always get a bit of feedback from plane experts when I give the model number of this particular unit. But I THINK it is a CL-130 Hercules. It's modified so that it lands on skis instead of wheels for the giant ice runway on the mainland of Antarctica. As you can see, it's not exactly built for comfort and business-class service specs on board. But, all things considered, it was actually quite comfortable. I spent most of the time up, walking around and taking photos. I got to be good friends with Randy the loadmaster and a lot of the rest of the crew too. There was plenty of time because I think it was about a ten hour ride! On board here were people from all four bases. I was on my way to the New Zealand base, but the other nations represented were the US, Italy, and Korea.

The Long Plane Ride to Antarctica

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-06 10:04:15
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/45
  • Aperture
  • ISO2000
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

Flying Into Auckland

Luminar Tip – Dehaze

Here’s another tip for one of my favorite editing programs, Luminar. This one has to do with De-haze!

Daily Photo – Flying Into Auckland

I've made the flight back and forth to Auckland probably 20 times now. It's a beautiful 1.5 hour flight where you get to sail across the top of New Zealand. About half of the way, you only see ocean, but it can make for some amazing clouds as they form on the coast. We get a warm wet wind that blows in from Australia across the Tasman Sea. When it collides with the NZ coastline, you get all kinds of fancy clouds like this.

Flying Into Auckland

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2012-08-13 03:01:09
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture5.3
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length98.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Entering the old bits of Fez, Morocco

Video How-To with Dotzsoh

When I was in Singapore, the local influencer we met up with was @Dotszoh and we spent a few days shooting together. One time to get out of the heat, we went back to process photos together. I decided to go ahead and record one of our post-processing sessions for you! Enjoy!

Daily Photo – Entering the old bits of Fez, Morocco

Well, all of Fez is old, but the oldest part is the labyrinth-like bazaar. There are a few entrances to this place, and this is one of the grand gates. It's unbelievable how lost you can get inside the old bazaar! But there's really nothing to worry about. Whenever I had four hours to go out and shoot, I would wander randomly for three hours and then leave myself the last hour to find my way out. Sometimes I'd end up at a completely different gate, completely turned around. But that was part of the fun! And, I typically have a Very Good Sense of direction… I think this is because I play so many first-person shooter games!

Entering the old bits of Fez, Morocco

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-03-03 23:46:52
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

A Royal Panorama

Reflection Tip from Milford Sound

Here’s a quick hit tip about making imperfect reflections in Milford Sound.

And here’s one of my favorite photos from this same spot!

The Pink Milk Filled The Bay

Daily Photo – A Royal Panorama

I don't make a lot of panoramas with my quad, but I thought this was the perfect situation. Usually, it shoots at such a wide angle that panoramas are not even necessary. But I wanted to do something that would end up with a much higher resolution. So I got a lot closer to the castle then normal and took four or five photos across.

A Royal Panorama

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-17 21:08:04
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Filming at The Hills

The New Tutorial for Beginning Photography!

This has been a huge hit. I don’t know why I didn’t make it five years ago! Go grab it now in the store or get it included for free if you are a passport member!

Daily Photo – Filming at The Hills

I took this photo while we were getting a few pickup shots at The Hills country club with Bel. I typically do a little bit where I talk right to the camera, and since I stumble around a bit, we need to make some edits so the final video is smoother. So, after I finish my bit to the camera, Bel runs around me while I stumble around and take photos. While we were working on the video tutorial above, Bel was getting some B-roll while I took this photo. So, it might seem in the b-roll that I am pretending to get photos, but this is one of the photos I was actually getting!

Filming at The Hills

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-05-03 16:36:17
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

The Lighthouse on Key Biscayne

Today for Passport, Part 7 in Antarctica!

In today’s video for Passport Members I show how I am getting pictures of snowflakes on black wool gloves in Antarctica while camping out in the Dry Valleys. This is the seventh part of some Antarctica videos I have created for Passport Members, so enjoy!

If you want to jump to the “Lesson” part of this video where I talk about shooting snowflakes, then go right to the middle. In the beginning, I talk about peeing in a bottle and in the end I show the extremely awkward way of getting into and out of the little hole entrance for our tent.

Exclusive content for Passport members

Unlock Now

Daily Photo – The Lighthouse on Key Biscayne

I visited this lighthouse many times while there in Key Biscayne. On my final night, there was a great sunset so I got the quadcopter up to see if I could get a better shot. It turned out to be 100x better than the shot on the ground. My first idea was to line up the sun with where the light comes out of the lighthouse. It looks pretty good but felt a bit forced. I then moved it over just to the left and thought it looked a lot better.

The Lighthouse on Key Biscayne

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-01-08 17:44:30
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/50
  • Aperture3.2
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

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