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Photoshop HDR Effect Filter Tool for Merging Bracketed Shots

Photoshop is a famous image editor with various features for image processing. Why is this application so popular nowadays? Photoshop performs really high-quality graphics editing tools and controls.

Adobe has developed a user-friendly interface a wide range of users from beginners to photography experts. One tricky thing about Photoshop is its compatibility with various plugins from other developers.

It is very convenient if your main working tool is Photoshop. To expand its features, you will need to add some plugins.

Photoshop HDR Effect Filter Tool for Merging Bracketed Shots

Get Started with Photoshop: HDR Effects

I finally got a new camera. As I had been photographing for few years, I wanted to learn something new and impressive. I have long heard about HDR, but never did such photos and do not know what it is.

It’s high time to discover everything about it. What is HDR? High Dynamic Range is a general name of technology when the brightness of an image exceeds the range of the standard image displaying technology.

HDR technology has many practical ways of use such as capturing natural high contrast scenes, storage and processing HDR content, creation of LDR images based on HDR shots and achieving different artistic effects with HDR photography.

First Steps to Photoshop HDR Effect

What is the main method of creation such photos? In a nutshell, you must take 3-7 photos with different exposures depending on case (overcast, the sun is shining into the lens etc.). Exposure is the amount of light that enters the matrix of your camera.

Exposure depends on the brightness of the scene, the lens aperture, light and the camera matrix. Usually, you will take three shots at -2/0/+2 EV for further regaining all the dark and highlighted scene parts in one final photo. You can easily edit them in Photoshop.

HDR Filter for Photoshop

When your shots are ready, it is time to use Photoshop tools for merging them into one HDR pic. It very easy:

File → Automate → Merge to HDR Pro → Browse → choose bracketed shots → ok. Do not get afraid of what you see.

The ability of Photoshop to create high-quality HDR images is weak. If you are satisfied with what you see at the end of your editing routine, you can save the file. If you want a greater performance, it is a good idea to install Aurora HDR plugin. There is nothing difficult in installing this software.

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Aurora HDR: Photoshop Effect in Action

Aurora HDR is a powerful application for making high range photographs. It has two ways of using such as a plugin or an ordinary application. Installation of Aurora does not differ for same process with any other software.

The process of installation Aurora as a plugin consists of the following steps:

Download Aurora → Install the app → Launch Aurora HDR Pro → Aurora Plugin drop-down menu → Install Plugins → Click Install button next to those apps where you would like to use Aurora plugin → Click Done and close Aurora application.

Now it is available as a plugin at any time of day and night in corresponding apps.

Photoshop: HDR Effect Tutorial

Launch Photoshop as usually and open your images in it. You will work with Filter tools for merging pictures into one photo file. Your task is to open three (or as many as you have)

bracketed photographs as three different layers. If you just open your images in Photoshop app window without creating corresponding number of layers, the plugin will create an HDR image from one pic. Follow the tutorial below with the detailed description of each step to make the best high dynamic range photograph ever.

Step 1: Dreaming about HDR Effect. Photoshop Launch

Launch Photoshop as usual and remember where your bracketed shots are stored. Click File → Scripts → Load Files into Stack → Browse → go to the folder where you saved your photos and choose the right ones by clicking on each photo and holding command button on your keyboard for selection of multiple items → click Open button → click ok → wait a bit until each shot will go to a separate layer.

Step 2: Get Acquainted with HDR: Photoshop Filter Tool

Now it is high time to move to a new Filter tool inside the application window. You have several layers that you have to turn into high dynamic range pictures separately. Then you will be able to merge them into one.

Filter → Macphun Software → Aurora HDR Pro → now you should consider the variant of chromatic aberration reduction to get rid of so called purple fringing → Create HDR.

Step 3: HDR Filter, Photoshop Plugin Efficiency

Aurora HDR Plugin will launch and you will see a fantastic result even without any additional adjustments. If you are not glad with the effect of the photo, you can easily modify it with the help of enormous number of tools.

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The photograph you get right after clicking Create HDR button has a natural and realistic effect. If you aim at more dramatic or even extreme effects, feel free to express your creativity and talent through easy one-click presets or manual controls.

Step 4: Save your Masterpiece or Start Making it Again

To save new high dynamic range image, click Apply button. You will get back to usual Photoshop app window where you will find your image as a separate layer. If you are not happy with what you see or you want to change the source image for a new HDR pic, you can just click Cancel and start the process from the very beginning.


It is easy to make something beautiful or great by means of reliable software. Even if your camera takes shots of low quality, an HDR plugin will remove any drawbacks. Photoshop is a necessary part of photographer’s workflow that has no any equal competitors providing so many features for its users.

Aurora HDR Plugin adds range of capabilities to a default set of tools for image processing. Get the most out of HDR effect using Photoshop with Aurora HDR Pro.

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Rick Bosley

Rick Bosley is an accomplished senior editor in the field of security and networking, bringing a wealth of knowledge to his role at Nice, Inc.. His expertise covers a wide range of topics, from HDR and editing software to device monitoring apps.