Macphun Review

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  • Check price of the Macphun Luminar, their new full-featured photo editor
  • Check price of the Macphun Aurora HDR 2017 (I worked with Macphun for over a year to build the ultimate HDR software!l)
  • Check price of the Macphun Creative Kit (Recommended for best deal)
  • Check price of the Macphun Intensify (Best artistic product for cheapest price)
  • Check price of the Macphun Tonality (a great black and white app with some surprising non black and white tricks!)

For more camera and software recommendations, see Trey’s Gear and Tools.

For a limited time you can save 20% on select Macphun products over in their store by following this link or using the coupon code STUCKINCUSTOMS during checkout.


Macphun Aurora HDR 2017

Announcing the World’s Most Advanced HDR Software

Introducing the new Aurora HDR software for Macs! I developed this software along with Macphun, an amazing company that has already created many other stunning photography tools for the Mac. The idea that after 10 years I finally got to create my own High Dynamic Range photography software and jam-pack it with all my favorite tricks was absolutely intoxicating!

I’ve been using this software now for a short eternity, and I’ve figured out all kinds of different combinations that can make your pictures come brilliantly alive. Even though Aurora HDR itself is easy and approachable, I think you’ll discover more and more uses for it over time as you begin to try new things.

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Sample Shots

Here’s a few photos I made using Aurora HDR!

Macphun Intensify Review

This program is a standalone app, but it also integrates into Lightroom and Photoshop. I never use the standalone one. For quick shots and quick edits, I use the Lightroom Plugin, but for bigger projects where I take more time, I use the Photoshop version.

The controls are very easy and fun to use. I find them even easier to use than the Nik software. Now I know Nik really well, but I remember there being a bit of a learning curve.

One big thing that I find amazing is the SPEED! It’s so fast! Nik Color Efex Pro (which I guess is the closest competitor) is super duper slow… frustratingly slow.

Here’s some screenshots so you can see it in action!


Here’s what the Intensify interface looks like. Over on the right, you can see I’ve chosen Absolute Clarity. You can also see the little slider there that lets you adjust the intensity of the intensify.


I’m often jumping here into Intensify to do some final sharpening or perhaps give it a few final looks.


As you might expect, some of the presets are more extreme than others. So you get the chance to take the photo in whatever direction you like!

Anyway, this product is highly recommended!

Macphun Tonality Review

I am enjoying playing with Macphun Tonality. It’s very similar to Nik Silver Efex Pro in its results, I must say. I’m not really a mega B&W kind of guy to be honest… but I do dabble! I do think the controls are easier than Nik and it is definitely faster. I’m still piecing together my thoughts on it, but here are a few screenshots of me using it to give you an idea of the interface and the results.

I think perhaps the most outstanding thing here is not only the speed, but it’s the presets. They are very nicely organized. Everything from Street to Dramatic to Vintage. The thumbnail previews are nice and big… and it’s a very fast way to get many different quick looks at your photos.

One of the best ways to talk about the product is just to show it! Here’s some screenies:


Here we have Tonality Pro and, as you can see, it’s looking absolutely amazing! I was quite surprised to find out that a lot of the presets have quite a bit of color left in them. My initial impression of this being a black-and-white only product was wrong.


As opposed to the photo above, I also wanted to show how it can be used for subtle looks as well. If you look there on the right at the bottom, you’ll see I’m inside the “Street” presets.


I really love some of these remarkable texture effects. They are very easy to control and help give your photos a rather unique look!


There are a variety of photo frames.


I really enjoyed playing with all the Street presets.


Down along the bottom, you can see some of the different “Dramatic” presets. Dramatic is only one of 10 different sets of presets.


I like how some of these different looks really emphasize one color over another.


I often find that the photo is more about the shapes, lines, and contrast than it is about the color. If I’m having trouble making a photo interesting, but I THINK there must be something there, I do a little conversion to Black and White. Tonality is so nice and quick and easy to use that it’s great for quick experimentation. Note I made this with an earlier version of Tonality.
  • Rick Schwartz

    Downloading now!

  • Sergio Ricardo Santos

    Amazing as always…!

  • treyratcliff

    Cool – I think you’ll like it @justenoughfocus:disqus

  • I just started using it myself a few months ago. I hate to say it but there have come many times when I don’t even use LR — I just go straight to MacPhun to edit my images. Yes, a very powerful application — best of all very inexpensive.

    Unfortunately, it’s only for the MAC.

  • Alex @ Macphun Software

    Thanks for the terrific feedback, Trey. More to come from our side as well…

  • Rick Schwartz

    Wow, super fast, easy to use and a lot of fun. A nice addition to the toolset. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Michael The Geek 

    Nice one.

  • TY

    Wow MacPhun must be a really really good program
    because this place is not as beautiful as
    your amazing photos shown here…. I will get it!!!

  • treyratcliff

    Cool – yes I think you’ll like it ! 🙂

  • treyratcliff

    Thanks @alexmacphunsoftware:disqus – just added a bit more

  • Alex @ Macphun Software

    Thanks for the Tonality mention, Trey. The app went live today, so looking forward to getting more feedback from your blog readers. For more information about Tonality, check Thanks again.

  • Thierry Dehove

    As always photos are stunning and great review for a product I am using since few months and I agree with you. Faster than NIk plug in. Be safe and Carpe diem

  • Angelika Perry

    Would be really great if they made that software for Windows as well. 🙁

  • treyratcliff

    Yeah -just mac for now I guess!

  • treyratcliff

    Glad you also found it faster!

  • rfe777

    So Trey – macphun or Photomatix for HDR? Which one would you choose?

  • treyratcliff

    I’d still choose Photomatix for HDR… but this one for quick, powerful edits

  • Any info about how it’s different than Silver Efex Pro? Also, will you develop a Windows version?

  • Alex @ Macphun Software

    Start with a native 16-bit RAW support, which other guys don’t have. Speaking of the rest, get the free trial and check for yourself. A number of things are the same, but many – are different. Re: the Win version – not in the plans. I know that may sound strange, but Macphun is Mac only. Thanks, Mike.

  • Robert Tobin

    Trey , I’m a big fan of On One and have some of your pesets for Photomatix Pro ( love ‘a little sumthin sumthin) where does this fall into the scheme of things?i know you did a review of On One some time ago and I use this rather than Photoshop via Lightroom.That sort of clarity your getting from macphun is Awesome.

  • Thanks for the review. I’ve been using Snapheal for a long time and FX Photo Studio Pro for fun projects along with iOS versions. I hadn’t checked out Intensify yet, so am downloading the demos today to try the pro versions of everything. Like you, I work mainly with Photoshop via Lightroom on project workflows, so appreciate the ability to do something like this as smart objects with opacity sliders and create actions for some project workflow consistency. I have Nik/OnOne/Topaz suites, but mainly just use Topaz with Photoshop near the end of the workflow for fine tuning. I’m curious how you fit Intensify into your normal routine as you become more familiar with it’s output.

  • treyratcliff

    Yeah – I think this is another tool like On One – but much faster — to give you a lot of looks. Sometimes I’ll use MacPhun for a final clarity bump or to give it something extra!

  • Robert Tobin

    I downloaded the full suite – the discount code didn’t work but the package discount did.
    This is a fast programe. Ran an 8 bit file through intensity pro and it didn’t render – it just appeared – Magic!
    Thanks Trey

  • Jane Sheers

    Trey, thanks for posting this info. It looks very interesting indeed and I’m trial it today. But I have to ask where is that amazing temple. It’s looks like Khmer architecture but where is it please?

  • Marc Weisberg

    Trey just downloaded a trial of Tonality Pro and after using Nik Silver EFX Pro for a couple of years, Tonality Pro blows it away in ease of usability as well as final outcome. I’m sold. Thank you for turning me on to this excellent software. p.s. Also digging their cool frames. Happy travels! p.s. You can see a recent portrait that I did using Tonality Pro in post here:

  • treyratcliff

    Awesome – glad you like it Marc! 🙂

  • FlyingWalloon

    Just a one second black level adjustement in any photo retouching software… Don’t see the exploit, sorry !

  • Steve

    Trey – I understand that Aurora HDR Pro, used as a plugin, can not process multiple bracketed images. Is this right? I’ve already purchased the Pro version and can’t seem to make that work. It’s always been an important feature for me. Photomatix and Nik HDR efx have that ability. Any feedback?

  • Hi Steve,

    This may be related to some bugs in the program from the latest Lightroom update. Check in with [email protected] in case the issue you’re having is not related.

  • Mark Wood

    Hi Trey, thank you for the write up. I have six pro version products from Macphun and love them as standalone products but I am having difficulty in using them as plug ins with Lightroom. I can’t get my head round the workflow. Is it normal that there is always a second image stacked once any of the plug ins are used?

  • football news here : Thank author.

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