Friday, 26 February 2016

Aurora HDR Pro Presets

Aurora HDR Pro was released a year ago and is well on its way to be a bestseller. Quite a feat in the very overcrowded software market. I think it is the best on the market, better than my previous all-time favourite HDR software, Photomatix Pro. Why? Mostly because it has phenomenal features, great presets, layer masking and the best noise reduction filter I have even seen. Check it out yourself at

Looking through a derelict business, Bank St, Pyrmont
This was the 'best' exposure from a 5-frame bracket
Aurora's default HDR setting.
Quite nice from a standing start. Maybe a little too light?

Another Aurora preset - this time it is a nicer tint, better tonal density, warmer, and pretty much what I wanted from an HDR shot.
Another preset - this time with slightly more of an 'HDR-look', but cooler shadows than the previous example
Full-on, surreal preset with all the hallmarks of a solid HDR image:
over the top colour, gritty textures in the shade and the sky areas.
Surreal pt. 2
I loved this preset. Clearly wacky colour but a tint that gives a totally different read on the same scene.
You either like it or hate it!
Aurora hs a couple of neat diffusion and softening sliders.
In fact most of the tonal change sliders can be softened if needed. Here it is used more as a highlight glow
Don't forget that HDR software usually has a few black and white presets - Aurora is no slouch.
Bear in mind that I have not changed any of these images other than to apply a different preset recipe to each.
The software provides a staggering array of further tonal change possibilities if you have the time, desire or interest to investigate.
Final example is an even heavier, grainier HDR effect while still producing something that's almost real - the clouds still need a bit of work but I thought it a credible result for a preset...
For a bit of fun I also include a couple of examples processed using one of the many apps that Jixi Pix produces.
This is a favourite: Moku Hanga for a Japanese woodblock effect and, below, a paint effect...

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

How to WOW! Class - My Theme: 'Details'

HDR steps, Barangaroo park
Panasonic GF2
HDR mirror sign in the rain,
Panasonic GF2
John Lennon eat 'yer heart out...
Barangaroo, Panasonic GF2
Apartment shutters
Panasonic GF2
Dragon boat hubub, Darling Harbour
Panasonic GF2
Maritime museum lighthouse
HDR, Panasonic GF2
New ferry railing closeup
Panasonic GF2
Chinese cigarette butts, HDR,
Panasonic GF2

Yellow painted railing detail,
Panasonic GF2
Old paint, fishmarket door detail
Panasonic GF2

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

The Build So Far

Yuk! Weeks-old builders coffee.
Campos - shows a good taste in coffee - although what's left has grown a beard and dribbled out of the top...

Discarded wire given the Jixi Pix treatment
iPhone - Panoramic view over the bulkhead to see the roof timbers - waiting for the steel roof to be fitted!
iPhone - Front and rear first floor balconies went in this week at last...
iPhone - Side terrace - running over the ground floor bathroom roof to the left, and rear terrace to the right
iPhone - At last the need for the massively thick steel superstructure became obvious.
The brickies have to add seven rows of double brick above the steel to reach the height of the roof.
Finally we can clearly see the P&O art deco style appearing out of the mass of mess...