2. Intelligently bump contrast and color with HDR Enhance
One of the first tools you should utilize is called HDR Enhance. Found in the HDR Basic panel, it’s a newer feature available in Aurora HDR 2018 and it serves as a replacement for the clarity slider. When activated, HDR Enhance brings out the details and textures in your image while minimizing any residual artifacts such as image noise that might be introduced in the process.
In the example below, the HDR Enhance slider has been pulled to the extreme for demonstration purposes. Notice how the contrast in the foreground and the distant rocks have increased significantly, and the color in the sky really pops.
HDR Enhance at 100.
But adding too much HDR Enhance is like adding too much clarity. The rocks and sand in the foreground have so much contrast and clarity that they look unreal, and the rocks and hills in the background now have a halo effect (generally considered undesirable).