Aurora HDR Pro 2017 Performance Review

Macphun Software last week released the newest version of Aurora – Aurora HDR Pro 2017 a MUCH improved version of their Mac Only HDR Software

Now you may have noticed something, I never did a review of the Original Aurora HDR Pro, which may seem odd for a site dedicated to HDR. The reason was, it simply was not up to my standards and not ready for prime time. This really is not that unusual for 1st releases. The same was true when Nik Software released HDR Efex Pro. It just wasn’t good but when they ramped up to do release  2 and they consulted with the HDR crowd including me, they released a great, for the time, HDR software. So the fact that a first version wasn’t that good is pretty normal. Aurora certainly had the feature set right, but for me the only thing I am interested in is performance and it was there that it lacked.

All that has changed with the release of Aurora HDR Pro 2017. Continue reading »

New from Topaz Labs Texture Effects 2 with Discount Code

texture-box-3dTopaz Labs introduces Texture Effects 2

On September 27th Topaz Labs will introduce an update to their popular Texture program Texture Effects 2

Many peopel love the look of adding textures to their images. What they don’t like is the hassle and learning curve of doing so in Photoshop. Texture Effects allows you to add texture  effects in a snap and manipulate them in endless fashions of your choice and masking.

In the update in Texture Effects 2 they’ve taken it a step above with more lightning fast features, custom effects, and even professional textures from Hazel Meredith and 2 Lil Owls.

Not only that but from September 27th through October 30Th They are offering a Discount coupon worth $10 off the purchase price, Reg $69.99 now just $59.99. Just click on the banners and use coupon code ” TFX2 ”  As always the update is free for current users of Texture Effects

Here is a great Example of the power of Texture Effects 2 Order Now!

Topaz Labs Texture Effects 2


Topaz Labs Texture Effects 2




ON1 Photo RAW Sweepstakes

600x300gif Our great friends over at ON1 are having an incredible sweepstakes to celebrate the coming release of the newest RAW editing program: ON1Photo RAW.  There are a BUNCH of really amazing prizes so make sure you enter.

Here is the press release and details and don’t forget I can save you 20% on all ON1 Products. See the Coupon Code page for details

Portland OR ­– September 18, 2016 – ON1 Inc. today announced the Photo RAW Sweepstakes, ahead of their November release of ON1 Photo RAW.

Individuals can enter for the chance to win ON1 Photo RAW and some great photography prizes including Wacom® tablets, Sony® Mirrorless cameras, both B&H and Amazon® gift cards, an Apple® Ipad® Pro, and a DJI® Phantom 4 Quadcopter. New prizes are awarded to lucky winners each week for the next 8 weeks.

The ON1 Photo RAW Sweepstakes
Each week for the next 8 weeks new prizes will be awarded to lucky winners. Individuals can enter once per week within the dates listed below. Winners of the weekly sweepstakes will be selected in a random drawing and announced each following week. For official rules and eligibility, visit New videos showing the key features of their new raw processor, ON1 Photo RAW, are available also.

Sept. 18-24: ON1 Photo RAW and a Wacom Cintiq 13 HD Interactive Pen and Touch
Sept. 25-Oct 1: ON1 Photo RAW and a 12.9-inch Silver 128GB Apple iPad Pro
Oct. 2-8: ON1 Photo RAW and a $1000 B&H Photo Gift Card
Oct. 9-15: ON1 Photo RAW and a Sony Alpha α6300 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm Lens
Oct. 16-22: ON1 Photo RAW and a Wacom Cintiq 13 HD Interactive Pen and Touch
Oct. 23-29: ON1 Photo RAW and a Sony Alpha α6300 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm Lens
Oct. 30-Nov. 5: ON1 Photo RAW and a $1000 Amazon Gift Card
Nov. 6-12: ON1 Photo RAW and a DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter with 4K/12MP Camera

Enter to Win:

About ON1 Photo RAW
Coming in November, ON1 Photo RAW is the Future of RAW Photo Editing. It combines a fast browser, state-of-art RAW processor, a powerful effects engine and a layered pixel editor into one cohesive, fast and affordable app. ON1 Photo RAW will feature a new, modern raw processing engine, tuned for today’s sensors and graphics chips. Combined with the extensive set of ON1 tools, Photo RAW will bring photographers the world’s fastest, most flexible, and easiest to use raw processor and photo editor available. ON1 Photo RAW will continue to work where you want, as a standalone app, a plug-in for Adobe® Lightroom® and Photoshop®, or as a host app for other editing apps.

About ON1
ON1, Inc. is a leading developer of innovative software tools for professional, advanced amateur, and enthusiast photographers. Founded in 2005, ON1, Inc. is a privately held company located in Portland, Oregon.

Boy you can’t beat those great prizes and I’m really excited about the new On1 Photo RAW and can’t wait to give it a whirl!



Coming Soon Aurora HDR 2017

Aurora HDRMacphun Software announced today they will be introducing a new version of their Aurora HDR Pro – Aurora HDR 2017 (Mac only)

Some of the new updated  features will be:

Aurora 2017 introduces a number of new tools and improvements including batch processing, a reworked tone mapping and bracketed image merging technologies, a polarise filter, plus all new presets created by HDR pros. The official launch of Aurora 2017 will be on September 29th, and will be available for pre-order starting September 15th.

Features and Improvements List:

  • New Batch Processing

  • New Tools, including polarise filter and radial masking tool

  • New presets by Trey Ratcliff and other recognized pros

  • Updated tone-mapping and bracket merging technology for more realistic looking HDR images

In all, Aurora 2017 will come with over 20 key improvements and new features.


  • Aurora 2017 will be available for pre-order September 15th and will officially launch September 29th.

Upgrades and Pricing

  • Current users of Aurora HDR Pro can upgrade to Aurora HDR 2017 at a special pre-order price of $49

  • Current users of the standard version of Aurora HDR can upgrade to Aurora HDR 2017 at a special pre-order upgrade price of $69

  • New customers can pre-order Aurora HDR 2017 for $89

  • Pre-order customers will also receive special bonuses that will be announced soon

To keep up with the news on Aurora HDR 2017, please click on the link and sign up for the Newsletter which will update and tell you more as the release nears

Aurora HDR 2017 Info


Why Dynamic Range is NOT Tonal Range

Why Dynamic Range is NOT Tonal Range

Now, it could be…but it’s not

It’s like a square is a rectangle but a rectangle is not a square…so let’s explore this

I recently was reading an article explaining dynamic range, in it, the author went on to explain when a camera has a limited dynamic range it will only show shades of gray not black and white. And I thought, no, that’s limited tonal range, not dynamic range.

Most everything we use in photography has a Full Tonal Range when lit with the same constant light source

  • Our Eyes; can see the full tonal range from Black to White
  • A High End Camera; can reproduce the full tonal range from Black to White
  • A Low End Consumer Camera; can reproduce the full tonal range from Black to White
  • Most decent LCD Monitors: Can produce a full range of tones from Black to White
  • Most Better Photo Printers: Can produce a NEAR full range of tones from black to white (Limited by Paper white {DMin} and Black Ink (DMax} )

Continue reading »

New From Topaz Labs Impressions 2

Topaz Impressions 2Our friends over at Topaz Labs announced today an update to their popular Impressions program to Impression 2!

Impressions is a plug in filter that allows you to take your photographs and stylize them as Paintings- Brushstrokes to Canvas. Sometimes I find this look just fits certain ones of my photograph that feel to me painterly in the first place, Impressions 2 allows me to take it to the next level. It’s really a lot of fun and makes some beautiful images.

Continue reading »

By Starlight in ON1 Photo 10

By Star Light – Milky Way Astrophotography Composting in ON1 Photo 10  Final Composite Milky Way Image

Soooo, you know those amazing images you see of the Milky Way with that awesome foreground and the caption next to it says…Lit by Starlight. OK ehheemmm. OK sorry to break this to you but, well, They are 100% bull@#$%…Yep. Having spent many a night during a New Moon (No Moon) out in the middle of the desert. I can tell you, the stars don’t light up much. In fact you don’t really know how dark  dark is till you’ve done just that. Continue reading »

How Viewpoint changes an Image

in Photography and art, often times our Viewpoint can change the look and what our photograph says completely.

Viewpoint is “Where we view our subject from” and in Art it is not synonymous with Perspective, although it is used that way in common use. Perspective is the relationship of one object to another to show depth as I discussed in my last article: Why we use different lenses and why we move 

These two images shot in the Mojave Desert of a dry lake bed illustrate this point and I hope you can get the different “Feel” that these two images portray (Click mages to enlarge)

Continue reading »

Why we use different lenses and why we move

Zoom with my Feet

Zoom with my feet

Why do we have so many lenses or zoom lenses? Why do we move or not move?

I’m often surprised when I hear photographers talk about lenses and well even more surprised when I read photography blog articles about lenses and what they think “does what” when it comes to lenses and why we may choose one focal length over another. After all can’t we just “Zoom with our feet”? So why do we even have more than one lens, cuz really what would be the point? So this is a small excerpt from a larger article I had in mind to write to show; “What Does What” and why we need more than one lens and even why we may not. Continue reading »

ON1 Photo 10 and Lightroom HDR

It’s no secret that Lightroom does a pretty darn good job with HDR, it makes a great NATURAL looking HDR which of course as my long time readers know, is my preferred look. But I’ve come to terms with the  fact that that is not the look everyone desires. Everyone has differing Artistic Visions and so they may want to deviate from a Natural Look to a mutitude of looks from mild to wild. The problem is besides a bit of use of the Clarity slider, there is not a lot you can do in Lightroom to push beyond Continue reading »

ON1 to Release Photo RAW this Fall!

ON1 to release Photo RAW this Fall!

This should be VERY Interesting

Photo RAW

ON1 Photo RAW


ON1 20% Off Coupon Code

In my last post I told you why you should have the ON1 Suite of Photo Editing Tools and this is just a BIG reminder you get my Readers get 20% off all ON1 Products

Simply click the link or the Banner Below and enter Discount Code: HDRIG16 at check out ON1 Software

ON1 Coupon Code

Why On1 is SOOO much better than Free Software

I’ve been a user of ON1 Software since I think 2007/8 when they introduced Genuine Fractals (Now Perfect Resize) and since 2010 I’ve also been a Marketer for them (FTC Truth in Ad) We have always had a good relationship but it’s one that really is gonna get better. More on that in a bit.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know that a big conglomerate has been giving away Photo Editing Software for free as of late. If you don’t know, just “Google™” it. Now that software was good software developed by great people working for another great company, a good number were my friends. Great People, doing great work..well except when Mr. conglomerate came along…120 of them all lost their jobs in the acquisition. Continue reading »

Topaz Labs introduces DeNoise 6 and Sale

Our friends at Topaz Labs have introduced a major update to their popular DeNoise Program (Noise Reduction)

and this is really a Major Overhaul. The most important new features are: Continue reading »

New From Topaz Labs – Texture Effects -Coupon Code

Topaz Labs is a very cool company. They have the most extensive lineup of plug-ins and effects around. Now I’m a very Old School Shooter so I’m pretty traditional in my editing. So they have a lot of Plug-Ins that I “think” won’t interest me. but then I start to play with them and I find, I’m wrong. They are a ton of fun. I found that with Topaz Restyle and Simplify and I defiantly found that wish their newest release – Topaz Labs Texture Effects Continue reading »