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HDR photography

How to make an HDR photograph

In this tutorial, we will see what an HDR photograph is, and also how to use bracketing.

What is an HDR photograph?

As its name suggests, HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography is a technique that allows you to reproduce a much greater dynamic range of luminosity as compared to standard photographing techniques. Its goal is to maximize details in shadows and in highlights.

Bracketing

We must use a rather specialized photographic technique called bracketing.

Basically, the purpose of bracketing is to take several shots of the same subject under different exposures from very dark to very light.

The dark, underexposed photos will provide us with a lot of details in the clear parts, and the light overexposed photos will provide us with a lot of details in the dark parts.

An HDR photograph is created through several steps:

Shooting

HDR photography article – next

photo bracketing

Take an HDR photograph when bracketing

It is preferable to perform bracketing by varying the shutter speed and not the aperture because by varying the aperture, the camera will change exposure by changing the depth of field between each photo. As a result, you will run the risk of blurring and the impossibility of merging.
We will now choose the number of photos to take and the interval of EV (Exposure Value) between each exposure.

The larger the gap is between the shadows and the highlights, the further you will push your bracketing EV (-3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3,).

The number of photos to take also depends on each situation. It will sometimes be necessary to take a higher number of photos in order to have an extremely wide dynamic range.

To illustrate, you will see an HDR photograph done with three-photo bracketing below.

The first photo is underexposed, so it retains the detail of the light areas of the sky.

The second photo is normally exposed.

The third photo is overexposed; therefore, it keeps the details on the right side of the photo, which would otherwise be too dark.

HDR exposition dark
bracketing average exposure
HDR exposition high

How to take an HDR photograph: Creating HDR photos in software

Now that we have learned how to take an HDR photograph with different exposures, we have to merge them, and in order to do this, we need to use software that specializes in HDR photograph processing, such as Lightroom or Photoshop, in order to obtain beautiful photos.

Conclusion:

It is now up to you to create your own style and desired renditions. Many photographers push the HDR to the maximum, and as a result, it gives an almost unreal rendering. If this is not your wish, then remember one thing:

Don’t push the sliders too far.

They should be kept in the range where it looks realistic.

Please give us your opinion about the HDR Photography article, and also share your experiences in the comments. 

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Have a nice photoshoot!

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