10 Secrets To what is hdr photography by sapalphotography

Updated: Dec 27, 2019

Today you will learn about what is hdr photography? Why is it so important for beginners and also I will share 11 secrets to use hdr in different situations

What is HDR photography?

(hdr photography definition) High Dynamic Range or HDR photography is a powerful and useful technique.

It helps to maximize the dynamic range when photographing a highly contrasted scene.

Once your subject exceeds the camera’s dynamic range, the highlights tend to wash out to white,

or the darks simply become big black blobs. 

This is basically what HDR is:

a specific style of photo with an unusually high dynamic range that couldn’t otherwise be achieved in a single photograph.

HDR images can represent a greater range of luminance levels than can achieve using more traditional methods,

such as many real-world scenes containing very bright, direct sunlight to extreme shade.

10 Secrets to hdr photos :

1. How actually hdr works in photos

At the most basic level, an HDR photo is really just two (or three, or nine) photos taken at different exposure levels and then mashed together with software to create a better picture.

a bit more complicated than that, but not much more — that’s basically the gist of it.

Ideally, the photographer takes a range of bracketed photos —

that are photos of the same subject taken with varying shutter speed combinations in order to produce a set of images with varying luminosity.

(HDR photography works best with the camera on a tripod and staying completely still and with landscapes void of moving objects.)

Then, with the help of advanced post-processing software,

the photographer is able to blend the photos together and create a single image comprised of the most focused, well-lit, and colorful parts of the scene. 

2. How hdr photos are important for beginners

HDR photography plays an important role in the workflow of a beginner photographer by providing unlimited opportunities.

With so many people shooting photographs today, it’s difficult to stand out in the crowd.

Using High Dynamic Range photography can allow you to show something unique and eye-catching.

HDR photos are great tools for sharing your memories with the world expressing specific feelings through each of them.

One more practical use of this technology is adding enhanced details to the objects that we usually do not pay attention to.

And avoid dark shadow, use auto exposure bracketing for correct exposure.

3. Discover HDR: High Dynamic Range in Photography 

Dynamic range is the amount of light and dark that a camera can capture and display.

The more detail the photo contains the more impressive the effect it provides.

High dynamic range in photography means a greater amount of light and dark is captured to merge an image similar to what a human can perceive through eyes.

Digital cameras have sensors that can capture a lot of detail,

but their range is much lower than what we can see with our eyes.

Technical Aspects: (hdr techniques)

1. HDR is a polarizing word that arises corresponding associations in mind.

For example, you can create a pleasant feeling by sharing an HDR photo of a fireplace.

Make high dynamic range photography a part of your workflow and get ready for breathtaking results.

To expand the dynamic range and make the photo look more natural and realistic, photographers take a series of shots at different exposure values.

Each photo captures a specific range of scene details that you are going to use for building up an HDR photo.

Once you have this series of brackets ready, you can proceed to their processing with HDR software

2. One issue that we have to figure out is what exposure values to set and how many photos we need.

Most scenarios require three bracketed shots at -2 - 0 - +2 EV. Therefore, you can manually set your camera to these figures for bracketing.

If you are lucky, your camera will do it automatically with the help of automatic auto-bracketing.

3. If you take up to four photos, 2-value step increments will be just enough.

If you shoot complicated scenes with up to ten shots, the 1-value step will be enough.

The most important task of any photographer is to capture as much detail of the surrounding objects as possible by any means possible.

You can use dodging and burning later on.

4. Comparison of HDR vs Non-HDR

Modern sensors can cope with 12-stops dynamic ranges or more. You should be able to capture the whole 5EV dynamic range, right?

Unfortunately not. At least if you want some good image quality.

Let’s consider a single exposure and let’s say this exposure has value 0 EV. Next, let’s create an HDR version by combining three exposures taken at -2EV, 0EV, and +2 EV.

At first, the two images are very similar. But the HDR image presents a little less contrast.

It has more detail in the shadows and the colors are more vibrant and saturated.

You could say you need to brighten up the shadows in the single exposure a little bit more.

Also, reduce the contrast, increase saturation and you will get the same results as the HDR shot.

5. How to use HDR in different situations

1. Night photography - Nightscapes in the city are great situations HDR treatment. This is due to many dark areas and bright lights.

In the image below, it was not possible to get everything in one shot. The details of the colored lights and the interior of the building don’t work well with the shadows.

Therefore focus well while capturing the shot.

2. Golden hour photography- Many says that HDR should not be used while capturing a golden hour shot but I think it is a great way to explore the power of HDR.

If you have to embrace the beauty of the picture then use a tripod because it gives the required steadiness and no blur occurs during the picture

3. Landscape photography- My preference for the HDR is always landscape because it captures the whole scene and gives the most eye-catching saturated colorful photo.

6. How to use HDR on your phone

The process for capturing HDR photos on your smartphone is almost identical to capturing them on a dedicated camera —

a series of images are captured at varying exposures to ensure the greatest possible dynamic range in a scene.

Nowadays phones have builtin hdr which is a simple and fast way to capture images

The big difference is that capturing HDR photos on a smartphone is far less complicated, thanks to software,

now you can also take an hdr selfie with your phones

 The only thing you should have to do, besides pressing the shutter, is making sure the HDR mode on your phone is enabled.

HDR on Android Vs on IOS -

Apple devices will have three distinct HDR options that can be used with any of the still image modes: On, Auto, and Off.

When turned “On,” your iOS device will automatically capture three separate images and merge them together into a single image that will be saved in your camera roll.

Setting your iOS device to “Auto” will ensure your phone uses HDR mode when it notices a high-contrast scene.

Android also offers an HDR mode,

but it’s not always as straightforward. Due to manufacturers adding their own skins and default camera apps, the experience isn’t the same across the board.

That said, the experience isn’t much different.

Inside the camera app, you will find an HDR shooting mode, although sometimes it’s called something else, such as “Rich Tone.”

comparatively, both Android and Apple devices can access HDR easily and capture some cool exposure shots but its a comparison so iPhone has the better structure to shoot HDR as compare to android

7. Use of HDR in Artificial lighting and natural lighting

As a rule of thumb, a soft and diffused light, like during overcast days, will reduce the contrast in the scene.

The cloudy sky, in fact, acts as a giant softbox by diffusing sunlight and scattering it all around. As a result, the contrast between shadows and highlights (the dynamic range), reduces.

On a sunny day with a clear sky, the light is hard and very directional. It casts deep black shadows while objects in full sunlight are very bright. This high contrast scene has a great dynamic range.

At sunset, the foreground is much darker than the sky and you cannot have correct exposure for both. Such sceneries can have an extreme dynamic range.

In short, if you are not photographing in a studio, you will be often confronted with scenes of high contrast. These can improve with HDR photography.

8. Need for camera equipment

1.Tripod -

You can shoot by hand if you must, but you’ll likely have trouble aligning your images later on, so a tripod is definitely recommended for the best results.

It’s true that certain HDR software programs are equipped with image alignment features,

but they don’t always work perfectly, so generally speaking, the best plan is to take measures necessary to ensure a stable shot. 

2. lens for cameras -

A basic requirement for capturing is a lens, if you have the standard 18-135mm lens you are good to go.

Although you can use wide-angle lenses to add more depth to the photo.

9. Editing software for HDR (hdr photography tips)

There are a number of different programs out there that’ll get the job done, but the general consensus amongst the HDR photography community is that Photomatix is one of the better options.

Another very popular software is hdr photography software Aurora HDR.

I use Adobe Photoshop and adobe lightroom now for a long time I think it does a commendable job.

10. Use HDR phone apps

Many phone cameras have an HDR photography function in their default camera app.

But, many dedicated apps are available, like True HDR and Pro HDR X for iOS. You can use the hdr pro version of the app also to take the editing to the next level.


1. Which software is better for creating hdr images, Adobe Photoshop or Photomatix Pro?


Both Softwares are good, I would personally recommend you try Photomatix. Because I have been using adobe photoshop for a long time now but I think for HDR photos Photomatix is good.

2. What are the best HDR plugins for Adobe Photoshop?


I would recommend you to try this one hdr photography photoshop: Photoshop HDR Plugin ( photo editing)

It`s creative HDR software with various tone mapping and HDR merging features.

Besides, with additions like these Creative Filters And Plugins For Adobe Photoshop you receive more options, power, and control which will consequently improve the overall workflow.

3. What's the difference between the HDR photos and normal photos on the iPhone?


hdr vs normal

HDR  photos take multiple pictures. One is underexposed with everything darker, one is properly exposed, and one is overexposed where everything is lighter.

The photos are then put together into one shot that brings together the best aspect of each photo. 

If you take an HDR photo with anything moving in the back, then it will blur the photo.

This will not be shown on the phone; it will be shown in bigger photos on Facebook.

It might be productive to keep the normal photo when you take an HDR photo (go to settings, photos, keep a normal photo.)

4. how to view hdr photos on iPhone?

ANSWER- Go to "PHOTOS" on iPhone and find folder HDR photos.

5. Full form of hdr photography? hdr meaning?


high dynamic range photography(hdr).

High Dynamic Range or HDR photography is a powerful and useful technique. It helps to maximize the dynamic range when photographing a highly contrasted scene.

6. What is the zone system in photography?


The Zone System is a technique that was formulated by Ansel Adams and Fred Archer back in the 1930s.

It is an approach to a standardized way of working that guarantees a correct exposure in every situation, even in the trickiest lighting conditions such as backlighting,

the extreme difference between light and shadow areas of a scene, and many similar conditions that are most likely going to throw off your camera's metering giving you a completely incorrect exposure.

CONCLUSION- If you have more doubts then please watch an hdr photography tutorial on youtube to clear the idea in your mind or read photography articles.

My advice would be that you should start with street photography

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