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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Aurora HDR 2017™?

    Aurora HDR 2017™ is the latest version of Aurora HDR, a joint project between Macphun and Trey Ratcliff to produce the finest HDR software in the world. Using Trey’s vast experience with the current tools in the market, and advanced technology from Macphun, Aurora HDR 2017™ is state-of-the-art software to help photographers of all skill levels make amazing high-dynamic-range photos.

    Aurora HDR 2017™ 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 2017™ 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 2017™ 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 2017™ combines Macphun'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 2017™ 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 2017™ 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 2017™ is available anywhere you edit photos.

    6. Macphun 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 2017™ 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 Macphun 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 Macphun and Trey’s team will continue working on future versions of Aurora HDR 2017™.

  • What are the system requirements for Aurora HDR 2017?

    Here are Mac requirements for Aurora HDR 2017:

    • Processor Core 2 Duo from late 2009 or newer
    • Minimum 4 GB RAM
    • OS X 10.10.5 or newer
    • 2 GB free space on hard drive
    • Display resolution 1280 x 800 or higher
    • Retina displays supported
  • 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 2017™ the best HDR software on all available platforms and Windows support is definitely one of our main goals in 2017. 

  • What is HDR?

    High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography is a popular photographic technique designed to overcome the limitations of image sensors in digital photographs. This process utilizes multiple exposures of the same subject, each shot at different exposure values (“brackets”). Those are then automatically merged into a single shot which encompasses a greater exposure range.

  • 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.

  • What's new in Aurora HDR 2017™?

    Here is the list of new & improved features of Aurora HDR 2017™:

    • NEW - Polarise Filter.
    • NEW - Powerful Zone System for Luminosity masks.
    • NEW - Feather & Density brush parameters for layer masks.
    • NEW - Radial Masking tool.
    • NEW - Batch Processing, including automatic recognition of brackets, support for sub-folders and Batch presets.
    • NEW - Top & Bottom Adjustment controls. Replaces Top & Bottom Lighting
    • NEW - Image Resize/Sharpen on export.
    • IMPROVED - Support of different Blend modes for Layers and Textures. Added Darken, Color Burn and Lighten
    • IMPROVED - Advanced Tone Mapping controls. Better recovery of "washed" highlights.
    • IMPROVED - Color Temperature tool. Produces more realistic results
    • IMPROVED - Advanced Structure & Clarity technology for better sharpening.
    • IMPROVED - Color Filter/Selective Color tool. Added Hue adjustments
    • IMPROVED - Over 70 categorized HDR presets, including new sets from Trey Ratcliff, Serge Ramelli & Captain Kimo
    • IMPROVED - Gradient Masking tool.
    • IMPROVED - Native RAW files support, including better DNG handling.
    • IMPROVED - Reduced noise and better color rendering on initial tone-map
    • IMPROVED - Open HDR dialog. Added ability to remove images from exposure series prior to merging. Improved alignment. Increased speed of merging.
    • IMPROVED - Revolutionary tone-mapping technology. Reduced introduction of noise, improved realism of initial results
    • IMPROVED - Overall application speed.
    • IMPROVED - Layer masking painting performance increased by 50%
    • IMPROVED - User interface. Cleaner, more modern style.
    • IMPROVED - Maximum zoom level increased to 3000%.
  • Can I use it with a single photo?

    Yes! When opening a source image, simply choose one photo instead of multiple exposures. Aurora 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.

  • What's the difference between the previous versions of Aurora HDR™ and new Aurora HDR 2017™?

    Aurora HDR 2017 is the latest version of Aurora HDR, a joint project between Macphun and Trey Ratcliff to produce the finest HDR software in the world.

    You're welcome to check detailed side-by-side comparison of different version of Aurora HDR™ here:

    Aurora HDR 2017 is also available on the Mac AppStore. However, due to Apple sandboxing, this version does not have the plug-ins feature. If you buy the app on the AppStore and would like to get the full version with plug-ins, please, contact us via

  • So I don't need Photoshop or Lightroom?

    That's right. The capabilities of Lightroom are very good, but Aurora HDR 2017™ is much more advanced for HDR photo creation. You can still use Lightroom to organize photos and to process some of them that don't call for HDR. You can also use Aurora HDR 2017™ as a plug-in for Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture.

    In addition, Aurora HDR 2017™ offers over 70 presets with live previews that deliver fantastic results with a single click. This is not available in either Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop.

  • 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 Macphun 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 2017™will only allow you to edit a single photo. As soon as Photos for Mac supports multiple images, we will support them!

  • 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 2017™ 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.

  • What languages are supported?

    Aurora HDR 2017™ is available in English, German, Spanish and Japanese. More languages are coming soon. 

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