What Is HDR Photography? (And How to Use It Correctly)

What Is HDR Photography, how does it work, and the technique behind it, and how can you take advantage of it, whatever camera you carry and whatever your photography experience, The answer is in this detailed article.

Some novice photographers may think that their failure to capture a high-contrast image with accurate fine details is due either to a defect in the camera or to a weakness in their capabilities and experience, which isn’t correct, so even with the use of better cameras and setting the correct exposure factors, you may fail to capture an image without brightness. Desirable in some scenes with high contrast, which is why imaging scientists have created the magic solution, which is HDR technology that is able to solve this old problem.

What is HDR Technique in the world of photography

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, and dynamic range in the world of photography means the difference between the brightest and darkest areas in an image or a single scene.

what is hdr photography

It is known that cameras have a specific dynamic range through which the camera can determine this difference between the brightest areas and the darkest regions, and with a scene exceeding these limits, the camera cannot properly deal with it, which ultimately leads to completely erasing the details of the bright area or shifting areas. The dark spot is completely black, and here comes the role of HDR technology, which supports the camera to do what cannot be done through a single image with normal dynamic range.

Using the HDR Technique

HDR technology can be used in several scenarios, the most prominent of which is two, the first is the situation that we talked about a while ago, where the technology is used to help the camera understand and process images of different ranges as we have highlighted, which is the primary use of this technology, and the second, newer use evolved from the idea of ​​developing it The principle of HDR technology to capture charming photos with artistic touch is more than an attempt to address an error that was previously located in the camera.

what is hdr photography

How does HDR technique works

Simply without prejudice, HDR technology depends on capturing two or more images of the same scene with different exposure factors in each image, then combining these images into one image provides a better format that combines all the strengths of each image in this final image. Photographs can be photographed in two ways, the latest and lowest quality way is to use the HDR technology feature built into a number of professional cameras, which saves the final image in JPEG format instead of the higher quality RAW format with wide editing capabilities.

The second and first method in terms of application and the most effective in terms of quality is the classic method in which the photographer takes a group of images identical to the same scene while changing the exposure settings, bracelet at the speed of the shutter or aperture, taking into account placing the camera on a tripod and avoiding photographing moving objects And, in the end, collecting all these images through a specialized editing application that merges all the captured images into one final, high-quality format.

The following example shows how HDR technology works, which is based on capturing a group of pictures and merging them into a single image, either automatically through the built-in feature in the cameras or manually in the classic way:

First image setup 4-stops
The second image is prepared by 2- Stops
Third image by 2 Stops
4th image set up 4 Stops
Final image after merging the four images

How to shoot with HDR photography

Before you start taking pictures using HDR technology, you should consider a number of things revolving around the necessary equipment, which we review with you as follows:

First: It is preferable for your camera to support the Auto Exposure Bracketing feature, or AEB for short, which changes exposure settings automatically without the need for manual intervention, and although this feature is 100 percent inaccurate, but by using it you will avoid manual interference that may lead to camera shake And spoil the photos that you take. If you are not sure whether your camera supports this feature, you can check this chart to be sure.

Second: a tripod mount or any other means of fixation, and try to avoid shooting by hand, and in case you have to, you will also have to manually align the images through the photo-editing application, and remember that vibration is the password behind spoiling the images captured with HDR technology, so try to be the camera as steady as possible.

Third: the application of merging images and among the best and most popular application Photomatix, which has a full version price of 99 US dollars and a basic version of 39 US dollars, you can also choose the Aurora HDR application, which is priced at 89 US dollars, but if you want to experiment with a free application that also features a number of Great capabilities, there is the free Luminance HDR app.

what is hdr photography

After making sure that all of these elements are available, you can begin to experiment with HDR technology and capture great quality, clarity and artistic images as well, and here you have to take into account a set of other things:

  • Do not take pictures of a moving subject and try to make sure that there is no moving element inside the scene, which means that HDR technology will perform its best results in landscape photos, and make sure that even the landscape does not include any element that can move during the seconds that you will be taking pictures
  • The human eye can see in HDR mode naturally with its ability to identify the brightest and darkest areas and define their details very precisely, and it is these areas in particular that benefit from HDR purification as much as possible so try to focus on them
  • If you have a large storage space on the external memory card, shoot images in RAW format that need a lot of storage space but have the highest quality possible.

HDR technology and smartphones

Most modern smartphones, even mid-range ones, have HDR integration, and Android and iOS smartphones offer HDR technology built into the camera application, and images can also be edited with the same technology through other applications that work on mobile operating systems, such as the most popular Adobe Lightroom application.

what is hdr photography

HDR technology and the process of photographing HDR technology on smartphones is no different from that of professional cameras, the main difference is that you do nothing but hold your hand only during photography with activating the technology through the photography application, and the phone automatically shoots a group of shots with different exposure settings and then merges them into One picture without any further user intervention.

Thus, we have learned together about HDR technology, its nature, how it works, and how you use it as well, and what remains is only to take your camera and start taking great pictures that you can share with us through comments or through our own accounts on social media.