- Working with brackets and single raw files
- Loading images from Lightroom Classic
- When to load raw and when to use preprocessed files
- Preprocessing images
- Retouching in Luminar
- Enhancing color with the Color, Color Toning, and HSL filters
- Removing noise from an HDR image
- Working with adjustment layers and layer masks
- Saving and exporting files
Skill Level Intermediate
- Hi, my name's Rich Harrington, and today, we're going to explore one of my favorite types of photography, HDR, or high-dynamic range. To do this, we're going to use a tool from Skylum Software, called Aurora HDR. Now, this company used be known as Macphun. But, since the company started making software for both Macs and PCs, they recently changed their name to Skylum. Aurora HDR is co-designed with well-known HDR photographer Trey Ratcliff. As such, it has a lot of great tools that are really influenced by the way photographers work.
In this course, we're going to cover the tool in depth, helping you really understand how to get results for all different types of HDR photography, working with both single images and bracketed photos. We'll start by taking a look at what exactly HDR imaging is. High-dynamic-range imaging means that you're taking several photos, or a single raw file, and really pushing it to get the maximum amount of exposure information into a single shot, giving us much greater control over things like the shadows and the highlights, as well as contrast, clarity, and details.
We'll then explore workflows of opening up both a single file and multiple files into Aurora HDR. The app works as both as standalone application and a plugin for popular software packages, so I'll show you some different ways of working with it. Then we'll talk about some of the preprocessing steps you might take advantage of. A lot of times, when shooting HDR, you'll do it it official and proper way of a tripod, perfectly locked down, with no movement between shots. But, in the real world, you might find yourself needing to shoot hand-held, or perhaps you have things moving in the scene, like a flag blowing, or people moving through a busy street.
In that case, we have to take advantage of options to remove ghosts, or images that tend to echo or repeat, as well as potentially align the images to remove any slight shifts so that we get the maximum amount of sharpness into the photo. Once that's done, I'll walk you through all the different Develop filters. Aurora has several built-in filters to help you enhance your HDR image. You don't have to use them all, but they do serve a great purpose, and I'll walk you through what each is specifically for. We'll then explore some more advanced editing strategies.
One of the things that Aurora HDR does is allow you to work with layers. This means we could take advantage of things like actually working with an overlay of the original file and blending it in. Or adding an adjustment layer to affect specific parts of the image differently than others. We can also apply lens and perspective correction to compensate for issues like a wide-angle lens or a slight shift or an off-angle shot, where the perspective doesn't seem exactly right. Once we've done those advanced steps, I'll walk you through how to save the file.
Aurora HDR makes it very easy to capture and save a native file with all of the assets embedded inside. This means, in the future, that if you need to redevelop, make major adjustments, or refine things, you can come back to this native file later and easily make adjustments. Plus, we'll cover how to export files in popular formats, including advanced options, like sharpening and color space, so you get the results that you expect. Then, to really help you master this, I've got four challenges to help you with developing your skills.
In this case, I'm going to share with you four images that have some problems, and I'll walk you through how I did it. But first, I'll task you with just a couple of hints and give you the source files, and you'll try to develop the images on your own using the skills that you learn in this course. Then, when ready, you can watch the answer movie. It's not going to be perfect, and you don't have to do exactly what I do, but hopefully you'll have taken a similar path that gives you results that match mine. Or perhaps are even better. We've got a lot of ground to cover, so I look forward to this class.
HDR imaging is one of my favorite types of photography, so I'm going to share with you a lot of personal stories and workflows to help you get great results.