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5 Best HDR Software For Mac Users to Try in 2017

5 Best HDR Software For Mac Users to Try in 2017

Every photographer strives to take that perfect shot. While a natural eye, great timing, and a high-end camera will get you close, the truth is that creating perfection is only possible with software that enhances the raw material.

HDR software is designed to help visual artists capture the true depth of imagery, and present it to their audience. But as with any software, each one offers a different set of benefits.

If you’re looking for the best suite, try packages with a trial period, or talk to colleagues about what they recommend. Editing is a personal, expressive process, so take your time.

So, what is the best HDR software for Mac?

1. Aurora HDR

This Mac-only suite is as close to perfection as possible.

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Billed as a one-stop shop for editors, Aurora HDR offers users the perfect balance of simplicity and power. The interface is simple and easy to use, with a range of presets that can be reset at the touch of a single button.

The ability to create natural and hyper-real imagery is a real testament to software.

Overall, it’s the best product on the market and is affordable too.

2. Machinery HDR

As contradictory as it sounds, a lot of HDR fanatics use their equipment to achieve greater realism in their images.

A skill in itself, recreating the world calls for a good camera and an editing suite that’s less about creating fantasy and more about subtlety.

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Machinery HDR is a Windows-run suite that’s easy to install and simple to use thanks to a drag-and-drop interface. It also includes a range of presets for quick touch ups but has a depth of options that won’t take your images straight into the over-produced space.

It’s an affordable, agile option for the purists.

3. HDR Darkroom

Capable of running on either Windows or Mac OS, HDR Darkroom is touted as a big hitter across various HDR platforms and forums.

It’s a blend between technical and easy to use – you can expect the convenience of automatic DE ghosting, but because you’re working with RAW files, there’s no drag and drop interface.

For more advanced users there are 3 tone mapping options, which, when coupled with the manual options, means you should be able to get the effects that you’re looking for.

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If you’re prone to using JPEGs, you might want to check out rumors that the upload is a bit heavy on the magenta, although this is not consistently reported.

While the functionality you get is a step up, whether it justifies the steep price tag (around $90) is debatable. If you’re looking to invest, then you might want to research more popular suites.

4. HDR Projects 4

This suite is like a utility knife. It has all the advanced features you need, coupled with a range of presets for smaller changes.

Most impressive is the seamless integration with Lightroom, which is included in the suite. The ability to edit across both offers a real range of creative possibility and provides the opportunity to generate enhanced, natural images or more creative visions.

Although there are countless options to edit the presets, these can be a little tedious. Therefore, many choose to incorporate Lightroom and tweak presets. This software is not for beginners, but a solid option if you are a more seasoned editor searching to create a distinctive personal style.

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5. easyHDR

As the name suggests, easyHDR is an entry-level suite designed to help you come to grips with the possibilities of HDR software.

The interface is simple and intuitive, allowing you to manipulate JPEGs and raw files by merging an array of exposures. It comes with a handy Lightroom plugin and a series of preset features for quick edits and updates.

There is also a tool for removing unwanted objects, correcting the alignment of your image, and even noise removal filters.

While this is a good way to start developing an understanding of image editing, the use of presets and filters is better for aspiring photographers. True artists looking to really design their images and evoke distinct textures and tones will probably want a more advanced program, but this software provides a good starting point for those just getting into editing.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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Ryan Kh

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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