The Easy Way to Create HDRs on a Mac

The prospect of starting to work with HDR photography can seem like a daunting one at first, especially if you are not someone who is exposed to photo editing. However, the actual process and science behind creating HDR photos is very simple. By following a few simple steps, you’ll be able to create your very first HDR:

  1. Choose your scene. This can be a landscape or a building, as HDR photography really shines with these two kinds of subjects.
  2. Set up your camera to take multiple brackets of your shot. You can also do this yourself by taking three separate photos at different exposure levels. You can also work with two photos, or take more than three, but three is a good place to start. Make sure one of your photos is exposed for the highlights, one for the mid tones, and one for the shadows.
  3. Once you have these photos, transfer them to your mac and merge them together in an HDR editor.
  4. Play around with the final image’s settings to get the desired look.

So in four easy steps, you can create your very own HDR photo on your mac. Now, if you’re wondering which software you should be using to create these HDRs, here are some good ones to take a look at:

1. EasyHDR

EasyHDR is a great starting point for people who just want to get a taste of HDR photography. It is a no-frills editor that focuses on making the process of merging images into an HDR shot easy and quick. There are presets that you can choose from, each producing a different kind of look for your scene. The results produced by EasyHDR are very pleasing and look natural. And for just $30, this may be all the HDR prowess you need if you are not a professional or advanced user.

2. Aurora HDR

If you are a professional user and would like something more powerful to use on your mac, then Aurora HDR is the way to go. This is a highly well-designed and developed piece of software that is perfect for both beginners and advanced users alike. People new to HDR photography can use the editor’s excellent presets and tweak their strength to adjust their photos while advanced users can dive into detailed editing with the large number of tools at their disposal.

The software handles HDR processing very well, producing natural results that don’t look at all artificial or forced. The ability to work with RAW files means that the overall image quality is maintained throughout the process.

3. HDRtist

If you want to just dip your feet in the world of HDR processing and don’t want to spend money at all, then take a swing at HDRtist. This is a completely free application available on the Mac App Store, and has many editing tools to help you create HDR images. It can also work with RAW files, which is impressive given the fact that the application is free. Presets are present here as well, and different types of tone mapping methods also help you achieve the exact look you want for your final product. If you want to get even more control over your photos, HDRtist Pro can be bought at any point.

Taking HDR photos is a very fun and practical way to capturing certain kinds of images. You can create realistic and well exposed, or completely artistic photos with HDR photography. The process itself, as you have no seen, is not complicated at all. You just need to do some planning before heading out and taking your photos. At the beginning you can just go out and shoot, but as you progress it is important to have an idea of what kind of photo you want so you can plan your exposure brackets accordingly.