I have been thinking about my photography for some time now. I feel like I have been doing the same things for a long time now. This is both image capture and image processing.
I am looking to change things in 2019, starting with my image processing. My needs have changed recently, so now I am asking myself the question - Aurora HDR vs Lightroom – which is best? Can Aurora HDR replace Lightroom in my workflow?
And can I use Aurora HDR 2019 to batch produce images for an entire website?
In this post I will explore some of the features that are important to me in Aurora HDR, and show you some of the things Aurora HDR can do.
This all came out of a comment I made in an Improve Photography article, where I stated that I had bought Aurora HDR but had not got round to using it yet.
Due to the popularity and authority of Improve Photography this comment was picked up by Skylum who got in touch with me.
I’m sorry but I cannot bring myself to say “reached out” to me - is that just me being typically English do you think?
And they offered to help me learn how to use Aurora HDR. How utterly nice of them.
And teach me is exactly what they did.
One to one training with Abba from Skylum
I had an hour and a half with Abba, which was most excellent. Not only did I get to grips with Aurora HDR 2019, but he also introduced me to Luminar. And that was on a Sunday evening here in the UK.
I had bought my own version of Aurora HDR. Since Skylum made contact with me I have become an affiliate for Skylum, and you can buy any of their software using my affiliate link here. Enter my own discount code MCEVOY and you will get £10 off your purchase.
This is the first time I have ever had my own discount code which I think is pretty cool!!
Skylum also gave me a version of Luminar for me to have a play with and write about.
As I said, that is one for another time, but Luminar might give me what I am looking for as well. Lets stick with Aurora HDR 2019 for today though.
OK – that is all that stuff out of the way at the beginning.
Why am I using new software anyway?
This is the point of this post really.
I mentioned before that I am looking for something new and different. I think I am after a change having done the same or similar for years.
Before I go on, a bit about what I am using now to process my images
I have been using Lightroom since release 1.0 in 2007. That is 11 years ago. Lightroom has evolved over the years into Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC and Lightroom Mobile.
And I have evolved with Adobe over this time.
Now I have to state categorically that there is absolutely nothing wrong with Lightroom. I use it day in day out, and all my images are stored in a single Lightroom Catalogue.
Every image I take is imported into Lightroom, processed in Lightroom and exported out of Lightroom in Jpeg format for use outside of the bubble that is my office.
I use Photoshop for final editing of images when I have to.
So Lightroom is at the very core of my digital photography workflow, and is also tasked with looking after my Lightroom catalogue.
What is the problem then?
The world has moved on rather a lot since I started using Lightroom. I am 11 years older. I have hit the ages of 40 and 50 since Lightroom 1.0.
Now I know that Lightroom has evolved, but has the methodology that Lightroom uses evolved?
Has the workflow that I use evolved along with technology? I think not – I think that things can be done in completely different ways these days.
Advances in technology
The advances in software and technology are of course remarkable and seemingly never ending. And I want to make use of them as and when I can.
This is not using technology for the sake of it – this is about using the technology to give me better results quicker.
I want to align my workflows with the best that technology can offer. Hopefully I will be able to produce more better images quicker.
I need to word that better – I feel a catchphrase coming on.
Making the most of technology in photography – better images quicker and more of them!
Sorry where was I?
Oh yes - what am I looking for from software?
I have three distinct areas of work.
This is the work that I do for clients. Clients book me and I photograph their buildings for them. This work needs a consistent workflow, and Lightroom is just fine for this at the moment.
I have a structured workflow with which I can produce the quality of images I want to consistently.
So for now that is just fine and will stay just as it is until I have mastered architectural photography processing using Aurora HDR.
The trial with Aurora HDR produced an image that I really liked – I just need to dial it back a bit.
And to see some of these images check out my updated architectural photography portolio page.
This is a completely different business area for me. This is work done for me for publishing on travel and travel photography websites. And quickly. I have produced a travel photography portfolio page where you can see a selection of this work.
But I want a distinctive stylised look that is all mine.
This is my new thing.
How I create my travel photography images.
The images on my Photos of Santorini website were created using Lightroom and Photoshop.
I am not sure how I am going to create the photos for Paxos Travel Guide.
But for my trial website, name to be determined, I am going to try the Aurora HDR/ Luminar approach exclusively.
I can do this as I can’t do any harm on a trial website!!
This was a website I was already intending creating to practise with Wordpress themes - the thing that I have a complete mental block with at the moment.
So I am going to create a new website, produce 25 images super quick and get them posted along with short posts. This will get that website up and on the internet quickly and will be the third experiment with websites.
This will be a test in quickly producing a travel photography website.
Tell you what – lets go with Barbados Photos, or a variant of that. Yes it will be my website with 25 photos of Barbados.
Marvellous – glad that is sorted.
I rather negligently forgot about my landscape photography work in the original post, so I will mention this quickly here. Better still go to my landscape photography portfolio page to see a selection of my work.
These are my three main areas of work, and I have just added a portfolio page for each to my website. Apologies for that digression, now back to the subject in hand.
How will I do this?
Well first I am going to play around with one image and describe the processing of that image, and then go on to the batch processing.
Here is the next image to be processed using Aurora HDR