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Macphun announces Aurora HDR, Mac photo editing app developed with HDR expert Trey Ratcliff


Expanding its suite of outstanding photo editing apps, Macphun today announced Aurora HDR, a powerful but easy-to-use tool for creating High Dynamic Range images. Co-developed by leading HDR photographer Trey Ratcliff, Aurora HDR automatically combines several exposures of the same image, bringing out bright colors and shadow detail that are lost by a single exposure.

Unlike typical HDR compositing, which yields a finished image that’s hard to meaningfully edit, Aurora HDR includes nearly 40 one-click presets to change the look of the image, including Signature Pro presets developed by Ratcliff. The app can be used in standalone or plug-in modes, and incorporates a large collection of detail, noise, and intensity adjustment tools borrowed from Macphun’s Creative Kit 2016 (reviewed here), notably including selective adjustment brushes.

Aurora HDR will be available in standard ($50) and Pro ($100) versions on November 19, with discounted $90 Pro pre-orders starting today from Macphun’s web site. Additional screenshots and details are below…

“Aurora HDR is like no software I’ve ever used and I think it’s gonna blow people’s minds,” commented Trey Ratcliff, founder of “Over the past 10 years I’ve been trying to find the ultimate HDR software, and it wasn’t until Macphun came along in this amazing partnership that I was able to finally build my own. You can go from mild to extreme HDR, add special glow, use layers, and — even better — you don’t even need Lightroom or Photoshop!”

The Key Benefits of Aurora HDR

  • Revolutionary HDR algorithms make possible the entire spectrum of HDR looks, from natural to highly stylized.
  • Total HDR editing experience with the most complete set of tools available.
  • Powerful one­click presets, including Signature Pro presets by Trey Ratcliff, yieldfantastic results instantly.
  • Layers, masking and brushes provide the ultimate in selective editing.
  • Unique Radiance controls and custom texture blending for creative versatility.
  • Detail enhancement to increase drama in images.
  • Extensive color and toning controls for vibrant color combinations.
  • Approachable user interface makes for a comfortable, understandable experience.
  • Built­in sharing supports popular photo communities and social networks.
  • RAW, JPG, TIFF and other popular files support for the greatest flexibility.
  • Workflow tailored to any style with support for using as a standalone app or as a plug­in to popular host applications.

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  1. Macphun (@wearemacphun) - 7 years ago

    Thanks for the write-up Jeremy. Always an honor to see a mention of Macphun on 9to5mac.

  2. Joe - 7 years ago

    This sounds like a bad luck brian meme for me: Buys Macphun creative kit for better photography – Macphun releases new photography software, not part of creative kit….I love Macphun, but this is kind of sucky…..

    • Macphun (@wearemacphun) - 7 years ago

      Hey Joe. Creative Kit and Aurora HDR are two completely different products, use them for different purposes. There will be a custom price for CK owners by the way. Let us know, if you have more questions:

      • Joe - 7 years ago

        Listen, I’m excited for this and I know it’s going to be absolutely killer, but it just seems odd to not add it to Creative Kit. Intensify and Tonality are two different products for two different purposes as well, but they are both in Creative Kit. Snapheal and Noiseless are two different products used for different purposes, but they are in Creative Kit. If all of them are designed to make your photography better I see no reason to NOT add Aurora.

        Either way, I know it’s going to be amazing. I love your software and I love Ratcliff. This is a match made in heaven, but since I saved up for Creative Kit and don’t have any more money in the budget then I won’t be able to experience this for a while.

    • Macphun (@wearemacphun) - 7 years ago

      Hey Joe, these are two completely different products. Though there will be a custom price for CK owners. If you have more questions, let us know:

  3. Pj Bell - 7 years ago

    How well does this program work with Nikon 810. e.g. Will the program allow you to load the camera cards directly to Auroa HD. like Photoshop/lightroom does (Bridge). Will the files show up as NEF and have to be converted to DNG. Can you save the finished product in jpeg, raw and tiff files? I’m looking for a simple quick way of processing.

    • Macphun (@wearemacphun) - 7 years ago

      Hey Pj Bell, Aurora HDR Pro supports JPG, TIFF, PNG, RAW formats for import. Moreover, you can save photo in a variety of file formats including JPG, TIFF, PNG and even PSD. However, a RAW file is just the camera’s way of preserving all data from the image, compared to saving it as a JPEG. Once you edit the photo in any software, you cannot save it as a RAW again, but you can save it as JPG or TIFF.
      You are welcome to try free trial right now! –
      If you have more questions or concerns, feel free to contact us via

  4. Keith Cuddeback - 7 years ago

    I’m an HDR landscape photographer and bought the pre-release of Aurora with high expectations. In the past several days since it’s release I’ve been testing it against my old workflow and against Photomatix Pro. My call is that Aurora HDR Pro is the most capable HDR software available today and replaces Photomatix Pro as top dog! On my blog I’ve shared my thoughts about how Aurora helps me be a better artist with it’s cool implementation of a layered workflow. Another huge plug is that Aurora always produces fully finished images. No more do I need to go into Photoshop for final tweaking. Kudos to the Macphun-Ratcliff team!