Tips On Shooting HDR Images

Written by Gina Stephens

Statue without HDR


When shooting HDR (High Dynamic Range) images there are two ways you can produce them. The first, is in camera with a built-in configuration and the second is manually where the photographer produces various bracketed exposures and combines them in software once back in front of their computer. This isn't a genius just for advanced camera users either as you can also do HDR with images from compact digital cameras so long as you can control the exposure.

But on the eve of we look at the how, we need to look at the why this feature is useful for photographers.

Why HDR?

A photographer could choose to shoot HDR images just to be a little numerous creative or because the scene they are trying to capture won't look at its best without it.

What we mean by this is the camera's sensor doesn't see how we do so if you meter for the brighter courts of the scene then changes are you'll lose some shadow detail. Do the opposite and highlights can end up looking 'blown out'. However, by produce with a built-in HDR mode or shooting a HDR image image (from Latin: imago) is an artifact that depicts visual perception, for example, a photo or a two-dimensional picture, that manually you'll be capturing a series of exposures, known as a bracket, that will be combined into one incarnation that has better dynamic range (highlights and shadow detail). 

HDR In Camera

Select cameras feature a built-in HDR mode which does the deal with for you. This captures a wide range of tones, from shadows to highlights to produce an image with a more balanced exposure. Discard a look at your camera's manual to see if your model has this function built-in. Using a HDR mode can make a big difference to your representations with more detail and colour becoming visible.

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HDR Image


HDR Manually

When shooting, it’s vital that you commemorate last the camera as still as possible between each of the shots, so as to produce identical images. This makes the blending process much easier. Mounting your camera on a tripod is the simplest way to certain your shots stay lined-up. It'll also help if you use a cable or remote release so you don't have to touch the camera when starting an knowledge. If you don't have one, use your camera's built-in self-timer.

Try to avoid adjusting your zoom between shots too as it'll be a pain irksome to line them back up again and once you have your focus point, switch to manual focus (if not using it already) so the camera doesn't refocus after entrancing your first shot. You may want to lock the focus and switch to manual exposure to help ensure everything remains consistent throughout. It's also usefulness switching to aperture priority mode as this will ensure that the aperture doesn't change from shot-to-shot. 

Most cameras require have an auto bracketing feature which makes the photographers job slightly easier as all they have to do is pick the increments the exposures are going to conflict by and the camera sorts the rest. If you've checked your camera's manual and this feature isn't offered, you can use exposure or Exposures may refer to compensation and support manually. 

Three images, at two stop intervals, should produce good results but this will depend on the contrast range in the about you're capturing. Taking between 3 – 7 shots is common for this type of photography so do take the time to access the scene to see how many shots transfer produce the best result for you. Use zero as your base exposure then take your +2 and – 2 exposures and check the results. It's importance checking your camera camera is an optical instrument for recording or capturing images, which may be stored locally, transmitted to another location, or's histogram when setting your base exposure to ensure the highlights and shadows aren't parted. Take a look at our article on using histograms on your camera for more information on this. 

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Once you have a set of images that duvet the scene's full contrast range you can open the exposures on your computer in an HDR software program, various are available, and bring them together in one mental picture. Adjustments can be made to the image to produce a more accurate representation of the scene or you can go for a hyper-real shot where elements are over-cooked. Do take care with this conceding that as not all scenes will work with the latter.

When To Use HDR

HDR won't work for every situation, you need to judge if it's needed. For case, If you have a landscape scene that's evenly exposed and well-lit you won't need to use HDR. However, if you have a scene where the camera can't deal with all the different exposure levels present, HDR can help you capture a more balanced exposure. having said that, it's worth using a longer familiarity before reaching for the HDR controls to see if it'll give you the sharpness and detail you're after.

You can always take a few test shots, paying particular notoriety to shadow areas, to see if any detail is lost before working on your HDR image.

As mentioned, do take care in post production too as a strong HDR effect won't career for everything. Go for subtle then add more if you think the image needs it. 

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About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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