How to Create HDRs for Free on a Mac

HDR photography is all the rage these days amongst photographers who want to capture as much detail as possible in their landscape and architecture shots. HDR photos are known for the control they provide over the dynamic range of a scene by merging together multiple exposures. The end product is a photo that has a fantastic amount of detail both in the highlights as well as the shadows.

hdr on mac

An HDR photo has well exposed highlights as well as shadows.

To create HDR photos, you need to use a dedicated HDR editor on your mac. You can use something like Photoshop to create HDRs as well, but sometimes people just need something that can do the job for them in an easier way. And if that software is free, then it really is the cherry on top.
If you want to use a free HDR editor on your mac computer, the following two options are pretty great at what they do.

Create True HDRs with HDRtist

HDRtist is an app on the Mac App Store with a very high rating, and for good reason. The editor strives to make the process of creating and editing HDRs as simple as possible. After you have imported your multiple exposures into the app, your HDR is ready in a few clicks. You can use a very handy slider to alter the ‘strength’ of the final image, letting you create a very pleasing HDR photo in a matter of minutes.
HDRtist also boasts the use of four different kinds of tone mapping methods. You can choose whichever one you like best before adjusting the strength slider. It even lets you combine multiple tone mapping methods to get the results exactly the way you want. If you don’t have multiple images to merge into a true HDR photo, the software also has a pretty convincing fake HDR preset that can make dull photos come to life with a single click.

high dynamic range photo

HDR can also be used to produce artistic images with ease

Another great thing about HDRtist is that if you ever feel like you need more control over your photos, you can upgrade to the Pro version and keep on editing your HDRs without having to learn a whole new software.

Create One-Click HDRs Online with Pixlr

If you would rather use an HDR editor online without having to download one on your mac, then Pixlr is the best way to go. The editor comes from CAD software giant Autodesk, and is packed to the brim with features and tools both novice and advanced users will appreciate. Not only is it easy to create one-click HDRs with Pixlr, but editing them further with the variety of tools on offer is also a breeze. There are many adjustments you can make to your photos, and some tools are even akin to what you would find in something like Photoshop. So if you want a quick fake HDR photo, Pixlr’s web app is the best choice for you.

There are many other HDR editors available that you can use, but the two mentioned here are the best ones for their categories. HDRtist is great for those people who want basic HDR functionality and the ability to work with RAW files for free, and Pixlr is perfect for those who want to fake the HDR look in dull photos and don’t want to be bothered with downloading and installing something on their computers.