Frequently Asked Questions

Aurora HDR™ support.

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What is Aurora HDR 2017?

Aurora HDR 2017 is a joint project between Skylum and Trey Ratcliff to produce the most powerful, simple and fast HDR photo editing software in the world. Using Trey’s vast experience with the current tools in the market, and advanced technology from Skylum, Aurora HDR is state-of-the-art software to help photographers of all skill levels make amazing high-dynamic-range photos.

Aurora HDR contains every imaginable tool needed to produce high-quality HDR images, as well as one-click presets, support for layers, custom textures, native RAW support and more features that will appeal to every photographer.

What makes Aurora HDR 2017 the best?

Aurora HDR is the world's most complete and powerful HDR photo editing software. Here are the top reasons why we’re confident it will become your favorite:

1. Aurora HDR brings every tool imaginable to create beautiful HDR photos. You don't need any other software, like Photoshop or Lightroom to get the results you want. Moreover, you won't find a complete set of tools like this in any other HDR software.

2. Aurora HDR combines Skylum's proprietary tone-mapping algorithm with Trey Ratcliff's amazing photography vision. You'll achieve highly realistic, high quality natural photographic results in no time.

3. You get scores of high-quality, carefully crafted presets that will give your photos an amazing HDR look in a single click. You don't have to be a professional photographer, or know every tool, to start getting incredible results with this software.

4. Aurora HDR features a unique layer system that supports blend modes, custom textures and using original exposures as source images. Image Radiance, brushes, masks, lighting, vignettes and much more help you achieve any artistic vision.

5. Aurora HDR works as a standalone app, as a plug-in to Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture, or as a Photos for Mac extension. The bottom line is that Aurora HDR is available anywhere you edit photos.

6. Skylum is known for industry's best customer support and user education. You get 24/7 support and a guaranteed reply within 24 hours (usually faster). Plenty of tutorial videos, user manuals and other educational materials like blog posts and recorded webinars will help you get up to speed with Aurora HDR in the shortest period of time possible. Visit to get everything you need or contact our friendly support team at:

7. Satisfaction and money-back guarantee. We know you'll love Aurora HDR, but if for some reason you're not quite happy, there is a 30-day money back guarantee with no questions asked.

Why Trey Ratcliff?

Trey Ratcliff is the world’s most renowned HDR photographer, with over 14 million fans and over 115 billion views of his images on his website, Google +, Facebook and other outlets. When Skylum looked to create the best HDR software ever, we turned to Trey to assist at all stages. Together we agreed on a class-leading feature set, interface design, workflow and more. Of course, both Skylum and Trey’s team will continue working on future versions of Aurora HDR.

Will there be a Windows version?

The short answer is YES, there will be a Windows version, although we don't have an exact timeline yet. We want to make Aurora HDR the best HDR software on all available platforms and Windows support is definitely one of our main goals in 2017.

What's the difference between the standard and the PRO version?

Aurora HDR 2017 comes in two versions. The standard version is available exclusively on the Mac App Store for $39.99. Aurora HDR Pro, priced at $99.00, offers more advanced tools and improved performance, including:

- Native (and fast) support for RAW file formats.
- Increased number of layers.
- Unlimited number of brackets.
- Plug-in support for Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop and Apple Aperture.
- Increased number of default Presets.
- Trey Ratcliff Signature presets.
- Possibility to use one of the individual HDR exposures as a source image for layers.
- Navigation View.
- Luminosity Masking.
- Gradient Masking Tool.
- Chromatic Aberration Reduction.
- Automatic de-ghosting.

What languages are supported?

Aurora HDR 2017 is available only in English. Shortly we plan to localize the software into German, French, Japanese, Portuguese and more languages. New versions will come as a free update to all current customers.

Will Aurora HDR 2017 work as a plug-in?

Yes, Aurora HDR 2017 will work as a plug-in to Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Photoshop Elements and Apple Aperture. It will also let you export images to social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Flickr; share photos to gallery sites like SmugMug and 500px and export to Photos for Mac and other Skylum applications that are part of Creative Kit 2016.

Will it work as a Photos extension?

The answer is YES. You can use Aurora HDR 2017 as a Photos editing extension. However, because the current version of Photos for Mac doesn’t permit any photo editor to open up multiple images, Aurora HDR will only allow you to edit a single photo. As soon as Photos for Mac supports multiple images, we will support them! 

What are exposure brackets?

In order to create a High Dynamic Range (HDR) photo, Aurora HDR 2017 combines multiple photos of the same scene taken at different exposure values. This is known as a “bracket.” For example: a 3-shot bracket might consist of a photo taken at +1 stop of exposure, 0, and -1 stop of exposure — one lighter, one neutral, and one darker.

When these exposure brackets are merged into a single image, the exposure range will naturally be much greater. It will be very close to what your eyes see.

Can I use it with a single photo?

Yes! When opening a source image, simply choose one photo instead of multiple exposures. Aurora HDR 2017 will then display all editing tools and controls whose effects can be applied to a single photo. Notably missing will be tools related to tone compression (a function only required when blending multiple exposures together). Even though you can use the software with just one photo and get some great results, for the best HDR results, we recommend you import multiple exposures. 

Can I install Aurora HDR 2017 on more than 1 Mac?

We know that a lot of people have several Macs in use, so Aurora HDR may be installed on up to 5 computers owned by the same person. You’ll simply need to use a single email and a single activation code.

To learn more about Aurora HDR 2017, visit these links:

How to install Aurora HDR?
How to open and import photos?
Aurora HDR Interface walk-through
Presets in Aurora HDR
Layers and Textures
Masking and selective editing
Luminosity masking
How to use the crop tool
Auto Alignment, Deghosting, Chromatic Aberration Reduction
How to export, save and share photos

System Requirements
Full Feature List
Frequently Asked Questions

Download the full Aurora HDR 2017 User Guide in PDF Format

Download Aurora HDR 2016 User Guide in PDF Format

Celebrate Macphun becoming Skylum

Get special Skylum bonuses with every Aurora HDR.

Plus Special Bonuses Worth $54

"Accelerate Your Photography" Ebook by Anne McKinnell. Preview.

Deep dive Video Tutorial from Trey Ratcliff.

Warm & Beautiful Preset Pack. Preview.

$99 + Bonuses

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