HDR Photo Software for Mac

High contrast scenes create fantastic views that photographers always dream to capture. Unfortunately, digital cameras turn these brilliant moments into boring images. How can you regain the scene you see in front your your eyes on your Mac screen without any data loss? You can do it with the help of HDR software for Mac OS. What is HDR? A high dynamic range photo that keeps all the details of dark and bright areas. The only way to receive such photo is to merge bracketed shots on your Mac.

To make HDR photos, you can use any digital camera you have. All you have to do is to adjust exposure values manually or automatically and take a series of shots. Different exposure values will capture even the slightest details of the scene. Usually, you will need three shots for most of cases. Set your camera to -2/0/+2 EV for each shot. If you doubt about the number of shots you have to take, have a look at the table below.

Scene type The number of bracketed shots
Overcast Windy Landscape 3
Sky Landscape with Clouds 3 – 5
Scenes at Night 1 – 3
Sky Landscape without Clouds 3
Buildings on a Bright Sunny Day 3 – 7
Foggy Landscape 3 – 7

HDR Photography Software: Mac OS Versions

When you are ready with your shots, you can proceed to merging them into fantastic or realistic photography. Choose one application among the four below and enjoy the formation of a new masterpiece.

Application Operating System Costs Final Grade
Aurora HDR Pro Mac OS X $39.99 / $99.00 Excellent
HDR Darkroom 3 Mac OS X or Windows $89.00 Ok
Easy HDR Mac OS X or Windows €23.20 (non-profit use) €39.20 Good
HDR Projects 4 Mac OS X or Windows $99 / $189 Good

Aurora HDR Program for Mac

This software takes the first place for its splendid features and compatibility with Adobe products. You can install the Pro version as a plugin and use it at any time you wish. Aurora HDR became the choice number one for Editors in the App Store. I completely agree with their decision. Why using this very Mac HDR software? Aurora provides the biggest number of controls that you can adjust to your photos. You can get the photo you need without using any additional apps. It provides a fast and reliable tone mapping algorithm, so you get a realistic effect right after clicking on Create HDR.

You will find such tools as color, contrast and tone controls. Every tool is available for selective or global editing. It means you can change only the sky of your landscape without influencing the ground or vice versa. Masking adlayers are advanced options for ultimate results. One-click presets make your work fast. You can make adjustments manually or choose signature presets by Trey Ratcliff to improve your results. Aurora supports all common image files such as native raw files, JPG, PNG and TIFF.

Darkroom 3 HDR for Mac

This software can process raw files with quite nice results. You can work with it if you do not need any manual modes or controls. It does everything without your assistance. It may look useful and convenient, but it suits only for high-quality source images that you took with a tripod. You will not be satisfied with results in other cases. You can choose auto-aligning option and ghost removing tool. That is all what you can change. One algorithm for all the images does not suit a workflow of professional photographers despite its ability to reach great results only with professional shots.

Mac HDR Projects

You can try several versions of this application depending on your requirements and needs. You will be able to process raw files only with the pro version from one single shot or several bracketed. there are few options that you can adjust in this software, but the work fine. If you shoot moving objects, remove half visible shadows with the ghost removal tool. Built-in tone mapping algorithm does not give you a great result without additional adjustments. There are few post-processing controls, but it better to use other apps together with Projects.

There are no unique or fantastic feature that will make you photo stand out, but it will suit you for simple editing of simple photos in a simple way.

Easy HDR Mac Software

The name of this application contains the word Easy hinting at how difficult the process of HDR merge is going to be. However, nothing is so easy as you may think. I would say everything is too complicated here. There are two versions of it: one for profit use and another for non-profit use. If you want to make money with the photography, you will pay more for it. How will the developers know how you use it? You will find few controls besides the main HDR merge one: chromatic aberration and ghost removing tools and built-in presets. You can create your own presets and share them with other HDR software Mac users.

What is the Best HDR Program Mac OS?

If you start you way on a new road, you will spend some time learning and building the route. When you start your professional photography workflow with building up HDR photos, you will need to choose and learn the features of corresponding software. When making a choice, we compare and decide what application meets our needs. If you plan to try creating HDR photography, but you are not sure you will add it to your workflow, choose trial versions of apps. If you know what high dynamic range photography is and want to explore more features of it, your choice if Aurora HDR Pro.

Professional approach to creating splendid and catching images has made Aurora the best applications for beginners and experts. One-click presets by Trey Ratcliff allow you to dive into the ocean of unlimited opportunities to express your creativity and talent through photography.