The Ultimate Guide to HDR Photography

In this series we will talk about everything about HDR: from how to take the photos to how to edit them, also going through the most common mistakes.

If well used, this technique can give life to the photo and create a super-realistic mood in both color and B&W. If misused, however, it can create a fake and weird result!

Let's start?

What is HDR?

What we call today HDR is a technique that - simplifying to the maximum - makes pictures have the maximum details even when the scene photographed has a lot of contrast . Using this technique we can show the details in the shadow and light at the same time.

This technique has been used for a long time, including film. But it is with digital that it has gained strength, being easier to apply in different situations.

How to use this technique?

For an HDR it is recommended to take at least 3 photos with different exposures of the scene, use a specific application (Photomatix, Photoshop, etc.) to join these exposures and then make several fine adjustments to the final image.

These needs make the technique a bit tricky, but not impossible;)

Can you just do it with a photo? Yes - but there are limits and the final quality of the image will drop. Can you do it without the care of a tripod? It gives - but the chances of aberrations appearing will be greater. Can you do with a simple camera? Yes - but the compact ones do not offer some facilities when taking pictures.

But the most complicated is not the creation of the HDR itself, but rather use the ideal situation . The sin of many HDRs we see out there is overuse and often without the need for technique.

Summing up

To create a photo with a High Dynamic Range (HDR) we take three photos that take the details of the whole image.

And we put them together into one.

What is HDR? Why use this technique?

HDR means high dynamic range , ie, high dynamic range . That also says nothing, right? Well, I'll try to explain in a not so boring way:

The dynamic range is basically the amount of light of different intensities that our camera can record.

The human eye has an incredible dynamic range: when we are looking at a landscape we can see the details of the sky, the clouds, the buildings, the sea, the grass ... anyway: all the details. Already our camera did!

If I want to record the details of the sky at sundown I need to "sacrifice" the details of the rest of the scene, and vice versa.

The  dynamic range depends on the file recording format ( RAW files have an advantage there ) and also depends on the own sensor of your camera. But even shooting in RAW or with a fantastic camera has moments in which only using the technique of HDR it is possible to capture scenes with very different intensities of light.

It is using this theory that we create such HDR photographs: we put photos with a small dynamic range , using various exposures, to create images with a gigantic dynamic range and more similar to what we see with our eyes.

So we come to a result of an image with much, but much , luminosity information. And that makes us able to create super interesting photos.

In practice

While there are all these technical details we can simplify the explanation:

The goal of the HDR is to be able to capture the maximum detail in the lights and the shadows.

Posted on July 24, 2018 at 05:59 PM