This is a 100% honest, 100% authentic Aurora HDR photo editing software first impressions review. Dadtography received a complimentary download of the Aurora HDR product, but we were not compensated in any way for this post. Some links below, marked as (af), may be affiliate links. Clicks on affiliate links provide a small percentage of each sale to

Last week I received an Email from Mark at At first, the email seemed to be like the dozens of others I receive on a weekly basis. He wanted me to try his Aurora HDR photo editing software for Mac.

Do you know how many photo editing apps are out there? I’m sure there are dozens, if not hundreds of options when it comes to applications to edit photos. There’s definitely no shortage, that’s for sure.

[bctt tweet=”@WeAreMacphun – sorta silly name, really good #photo editing software. #Parenting” username=”dadtography”]

But for some reason, I decided to give Aurora HDR (af) a try. I’ve been wanting to get into trying out HDR (high dynamic range) photo editing, but I struggled to figure it out in Lightroom. I needed an app that was simple to use and also provided awesome looking images.

I think I may have found that app.

Macphun Aurora HDR Standard vs Pro

Aurora HDR: Look & Feel

First impressions are pretty important to me and the Aurora HDR app did pretty well. If Aurora were a new car, the doors would shut just right. If Aurora HDR was a Swiss watch, it would be tuned to perfection, with precise movements and meticulous craftsmanship.

I really appreciate the refined look and feel of the Aurora application. It’s clear to me that Macphun have people who know what they’re doing on their design and product teams. Some image editing apps try to do too much in a small space. That’s just not the case with Aurora. I was surprised how “pro” the application is having never heard of it before.

Aurora HDR: Ease of Use

Aurora HDR’s controls are logically placed, expertly styled and perfectly functional. Most image editing applications perform essentially the same functions, and yet, the layout of the controls can make all the difference in the world.

I have come to appreciate the row of filter short-cuts along the bottom of the application. Each filter option provides a quick thumbnail preview of how the image will look once applied.

The right sidebar of the app has a standard compliment of tools – from slide controls to toggle buttons. The controls are logically grouped, easy to understand and simple to manage.

Aurora Free Trial CTA

Aurora HDR: Features and Options

The challenge for many photo editing apps is to not overwhelm the user. Photo editors can become so complex that they become almost unusable for all but the most advanced users.

The Aurora HDR photo editing software provides powerful tools, but it also feels really easy to use as well. I especially like to apply a standard filter (there are dozens available) and then fine-tune the image on my own from there. I may apply the Bright HDR filter to start, and then tweak the sharpness, noise reduction and color saturation to get just the look I want.

There’s no shortage of features in Aurora HDR. If you’re already an advanced image editor, you’ll appreciate many of the functions available, including plugins for some industry standard applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Apple’s Aperture programs.

[bctt tweet=”#AuroraHDR is simple enough for the novice and advanced enough for pro’s. #Photography” username=”dadtography”]

Aurora is still a pretty new program to me, but it’s made a great first impression. I’ve taken over 17,000 images over the past 3 years or so, and I can’t wait to go back into my library and see what I can do with Aurora HDR.

What are you using for image editing lately? Have you tried Aurora HDR yet? Tools and workflows are so difficult to change. I’d love to know what process and applications you use to edit your photos!

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