HDR Photography

HDR Photography

How to Choose the Best Image Editor

A big part of taking photos professionally has to do with post-processing. There are a lot of aspects of a photo that you can tweak only in post, and sometimes that becomes necessary to make sure you get the maximum possible quality from your images.

However, with so many editors out there, each promising to be the best new thing, it can get very hard to choose one. That is why we have compiled some important points for you to consider before making a purchase:

  1. If you want an editor that does it all, then Adobe’s Photoshop is probably the best bet. It can not only edit RAW photos but also allows you to do various other things like painting over your photos, merging different images, tweak the look of a photo on a pixel-level, and much more. However, Photoshop is not the best solution if all you want is a RAW editor and don’t need the extra bells and whistles.
  2. If you want an editor that lets you edit RAW images professionally, then you should take a look at Lightroom or Capture One. Both these editors are top of the line when it comes to tweaking RAW files. You can do everything from exposure corrections to selective editing with both, and the choice between them depends on the kind of interface you’re more comfortable with.
  3. If you want a specialty editor, then your choice depends on the kind of photos you want to create. For HDR photos, Aurora HDR 2018 is the best overall. It merges a sleek interface with more features than you’d probably need. Similarly, for applying quick filters to your photos you might fare better with something like Luminar that not only brings you pro-grade filters and presets but is also a fully functioning RAW editor.
HDR Photography

How to Edit RAW Files

One thing that most studio photographers will tell you is to shoot in RAW format so that you can eke out as much detail as possible from your shots. It is the purest form of data that your camera captures because it is not compressed into a format like JPEG. This lack of compression gives you large file sizes to work with that contain all the information your camera has recorded of your scene. You can then edit this information just the way you want without damaging image quality.

But while many photographers will tell you why you should shoot RAW, they won’t necessarily tell you how to edit the files. That is what this short guide is about. We will discuss some of the best RAW photo editors from two very different companies that you can use today so that it’s easier for you to make your choice.

  1. Adobe’s Giants

Almost naturally, the first pair of programs that come to mind whenever one talks of photo editing are Adobe’s Photoshop and Lightroom. These have been on the scene for a very long time and have developed a very high reputation. Of these two, Lightroom is the one that specializes in RAW image editing.

Upon opening Lightroom, you’ll see a collection of sliders that you can use to edit your photos. It is very simple to use because of its slider-based interface and will let you adjust every aspect of your photo that you can imagine from the exposure to noise levels. An advantage to using Lightroom and Photoshop is that both are directly compatible with one another, meaning you can tweak a RAW image in Lightroom and bring it straight to Photoshop for further creative editing.

  1. MacPhun’s Newcomers

MacPhun is a company that is relatively new to the scene of the professional-grade photo editing. However, it has become a direct competitor to Adobe’s programs in a very short amount of time. Its two most impressive editors are Luminar and Aurora HDR.

Luminar is a competitor to Lightroom and Photoshop both. It is an all-in-one photo editor that has some serious RAW editing capabilities. Not only does it have a plethora of editing tools, it also makes the whole process of adjusting RAW images very quick and easy. It allows the use of layers, masks, selective adjustments, and lot more that makes it a very serious entry into the world of photo editing.

Aurora HDR, as the name implied, specializes in creating HDR photos. It also has an easy-to-use design that is suited both for beginners and professionals alike. The results produced are natural and very quick. You can download Aurora HDR from this link.

Both Luminar and Aurora HDR are cheaper than Adobe’s programs, and both have the added advantage of providing plugins for Photoshop and Lightroom. So if you already have Adobe’s products and would like to make certain processes easier, you can always use the plugins.

 

Editing RAW photos isn’t very difficult once you get the software that is right for you. The four mentioned here are all great at what they do, so we would suggest you take each one for a trial run before settling on one.

 

HDR Photography

How to Take HDR Photos

In this tutorial we will see how you can take HDR photos of landscapes or architecture in a few easy steps.

Why HDR:

HDR photos can be very helpful in dealing with tricky exposure settings, especially for landscape photos where the sun might be too bright resulting in the sky being completely washed out. An HDR photo combines multiple exposures for the same photo to provide you with a picture that has everything well exposed, from the sky to the darkest corner of your scene.

 

What You’ll Need:

For taking HDR photos, you don’t need anything specific in your gear. Even budget DSLR cameras are capable of taking HDR shots. A tripod is suggested but not absolutely necessary. However, the one thing you will need to invest in is a top notch HDR image editor for creating the final image. A highly suggested one can be found at hdr software web site.

The Process:

For taking an HDR photo, you need to take multiple bracketed photos of your subject from the exact same angle. A tripod does help in doing this, but you can do it handheld as well if you’re confident about it. Take at least three exposures, one for the highlights, one for the midtones, and one for the shadows. Try to always take your photos in RAW so that you can easily edit them later without losing quality.

Once you are content with your images, open up Aurora HDR, or any other HDR editor of your choice, and merge the different brackets in it. The program will automatically combines all the different exposures and create an HDR photo out of them. You can then edit the final look of the HDR as much as you want, or just use the various available presets.