Apple made HDR photography about as easy as possible by putting it into the iPhone. What about Mac users who want to venture into the high dynamic range imaging of HDR photography?
Start with the free HDRtist app.
This clever Mac app creates genuine HDR photos which reproduce a greater dynamic range of luminosity in an image, and tone maps them in a single, simple step, but with plenty of options for granular control over the image.
The HDRtist interface is straightforward, though the Inspector can be intimidating with a plethora of options.
You’ll still need to start with multiple images of the same scene (slightly overexposed, to slightly underexposed– something iPhone’s camera does well), though the app can work magic on a single photo.
HDRtist uses one of four different tone mapping systems, and reads most every photo file format you can run into these days (JPEG, TIFF, GIF, PNG, BMP, PICT, SGI, JPEG-2000, Photoshop, PDF, ICO, TGA, ICNS, MacPaint, FlashPix, xBitmap, EXR, Radiance and various flavors of Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus & Panasonic RAW file formats).
HDRtist is a good way to put some sparkle and life into boring photos. There’s also a pro version which has multiple tone generators, HDR and exposure blending, an improved tone mapping system, and a set of one-click styles to create HDR-enhanced photos with less effort.