HDR Photography Tips – Tutorial to Create Stunning Images

hdr photography tips

HDR Photography Tips – Tutorial to Create Stunning Images

This article about HDR photography tips can answer to the questions individuals keep asking about how to create HDR photos. There are two categories of HDR photos. First one is genuine HDR composited photographs which are taken one after another at different levels of exposures and then they are combined together for the final output. Secondly kind of HDR photographs can be made by using various adjustment settings in post processing software like Photoshop.

What is HDR photography?

The full form of HDR is High Dynamic Range. The difference in between the lightest part of the light area and the darkest part of the dark areas in a photo is known as the dynamic range. It is difficult to master this because if the subject goes beyond the dynamic range then the light areas become washed out and the dark areas become dark spots thus ruining the image captured.

Hence, it is quite difficult to take a photograph which captures both the extremities of the spectrum.  Using techniques and modern advanced know how and with the help of useful software and tools you can achieve a good HDR photo.

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Required basic equipment for doing HDR photography

If you are really interested to know what is HDR in photography then you must know that to begin with it firstly some equipment are required. Here goes the list:

  • A Camera – A camera which has the AEB or the auto exposure bracketing function is there is very useful. It is not mandatory however. But not having this AEB function means that after every shot being taken you have to adjust the settings manually. This is not a friendly way of work as it might lead to movements in the position of the camera and will involve more time than usual.If the position of the subject keeps changing then you will not be able to come out with satisfactory photographs. In HDR photography it is crucial that all the images line up in proper alignment. Your camera must also be capable of shooting in RAW format.
  • Tripod – You will also require a tripod or any other kind of a stabilizer.  If you take photos using your hand it will require lining up of the photographs later on which are a much more time consuming process. Hence, it’s important to use a tripod. The best HDR software programs comes equipped with alignment settings but whether they work perfectly or not is a much controversial subject.
  • Best HDR software to blend photos – There are varied options of software which one can use to blend HDR photos. Software like Photomatix, Photoshop and Luminance HDR are two most popularly used mediums.

what is hdr photography

Basic understanding about how to do HDR photography:

Generally the sensors present in a digital camera captures lesser dynamic ranges than a human eye. Digitally many software applications can measure shadows and highlights by distributing the range of lighting all across the image. By a combination of multiple exposure levels these applications can balance the less dynamic range captured by a normal camera sensor. These exposure brackets when combined forms a HDR image. Here are some basic concepts explained to you:

  • A moving subject will not be captured very easily using HDR photography technique.  HDR and exposure bracketing are two features why it never supports a moving object. Any subject which is liable to remain constant for at least 10 seconds of time can be used to shoot HDR.
  • To learn how to take HDR photos you have to keep your eyes open. Look out for sceneries or objects where the contrast in between the dark and light areas is high. This is not as easy as it sounds. However, once you can spot these locations then you got your exact HDR shot. Also, after capturing the photograph while doing post processing you can easily bring HDR in the image.
  • If the memory card supports it is a handy one of the best HDR photography tips to shoot in RAW. JPEG format compresses an image big time and hence this loss in details is easily noticeable in the final photograph. Shooting in RAW format makes sure that the image quality is really maintained. However, it does mean a little long processing of the camera and a bigger storage space.

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HDR Photography tutorial for everyone in simple steps:

  • Start by capturing 3 images using different levels of light. By using the bracketing or multi exposure setting of your camera you can easily take a photograph like this. By setting the bracketing to 2 EV at increments the first captured photo will be at a dark level, the second will have the correct exposure and the third will be over exposed or too much lighted. However, if your camera does not have these settings then manually in between every shot you can adjust the settings of aperture from the menu.
  • The first photo captured must be taken using a negative value of EV to be really precise. The second photo must be at 0 EV and the third capture at +2 EV. The ISO in this process must be set at the lowest settings so there is no amount of noise. A tripod is absolutely necessary as low ISO will require a considerable long shutter speed thus increasing the chance of a camera shake.
  • To summaries the entire process read these following steps:
    – Keep the ISO at the lowest setting.
    – Aperture priority mode must be chosen.
    – The AEB or the exposure bracketing must be set and three images must be captured at negative, 0 and +2 EV setting.
    – A tripod can be a good choice.
  • The next step remaining is to access these captured images in the computer.  A software is required to process these HDR images. If photos shot are in RAW format and your software doesn’t support process RAW files, then the first step is to convert them into JPEG format. Reduce noise by using the settings to reduce noise found in most image editing software like Photomatix Pro. Several other steps and you can get your desired HDR image ready to be printed or shared.

hdr photography tutorial

If compared with the traditional form of photography it can be said that normal genre of photography uses neutral amount of densities as well as filters which has neutral density for manipulating the amount of light coming on the camera. Different polarizing filters can also be used. HDR photographers on the other hand rely on post processing techniques instead of using camera filters. They rely mostly on software for lining up photos and reducing noise and making different adjustment settings for the perfect HDR photo.

Above everything keep in mind that these HDR photography tips are not a guarantee that you will just start creating stunning HDR photography. It will take you a while to experiments, practice and then become perfect in this genre of photography.

Techniques of HDR photography allows us for capturing a lot of information from the most lighted area as well as the darkest areas in the photograph. These HDR images successfully capture multiple emotions and create wow images.

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