Each of the kids have two or three cameras. My wife and I have four or five cameras (each). Some are point and shoot. A few are DSLR models. It’s save to say that all those cameras requires that each of us have our own digital photo library in iPhoto.
Our latest photographic fad is HDR photos. High dynamic range. What’s that?
HDR is a photographic method that allows a greater range between the lightest and darkest areas of a photo. That’s a fancy phrase of a way to turn average everyday photos into eye popping vibrant art.
One way to do that on the Mac is with a true HDR app, such as my favorite– HDR Darkroom. This isn’t one of those $1.99 HDR one-trick pony apps from the Mac App Store. This is one you can try before you buy. You’ll still need to take multiple photos at difference exposures to create an HDR photo, but the result will be worth that extra effort.
Once you’ve captured multiple photos drop them into HDR Darkroom. In many cases you may not even need to tweak a photo but the tools give you controls over noise reduction, tone mapping, alignment (especially useful if you don’t use a tripod), and ghost reduction (you’re actually blending multiple photos).
The samples page gives you a quick look at what can be created by putting your photos into HDR Darkroom. Your mileage may vary, of course, but suffice it to say that good photos get better.
You can try HDR Darkroom before you buy, but it’s also available in the Mac App Store.
I do have a few issues, though. The color controls require a lot of trial and error. Your original photos need to be of high quality (RAW is good) with proper exposure and lighting. The controls are also not exactly intuitive (much more like a Windows app than a Mac app).
Also, reviews are mostly divided on the Mac App Store comments section. I suspect that many who don’t like it had the same trouble I had– controls. It takes time to get a good HDR image from average photos.