High Dynamic Range (HDR) is a digital photography technique whereby different exposures of the same scene are layered and merged, creating a more realistic picture or a noticeable effect using photo-editing software. The combined exposures produce photographs with gorgeous, impossible detail and clarity. In other words, digital hdr photography allows someone to take pictures of high-contrast scenes, preserve all that great shadow, and highlight points of interest.
Adobe Photoshop and many other digital darkroom applications offer features and tools for creating HDR effects. Photographers who wish to try different things with the HDR tools in photo editing software must first capture a series of standard pictures that are shot at various levels of exposure and then mash them together using the software to create a better image.
Ideally, the photographer takes a range of bracketed photos (pictures of the same subject made by varying shutter speed combination) to produce an arrangement of images with a changing depth of field and luminosity. At that point, with the help of advanced post-preparing software, the photographer is now able to blend the images together and make a single picture that is comprised of the most focused, sufficiently bright, and colorful parts of the scene.
Most people have this setting called HDR on their phone’s camera, but they do not know when to use HDR photography and when not to use it. However, for that reason, this article will exclusively explore on when to use HDR photography and when not to use it.
When to use HDR
HDR is designed to help in taking better-looking photos, especially in certain situations. However, here is when to use it.
1. Landscape: Sometimes it can be difficult for a camera to deal with big landscape photos that has a lot of contrast between the land and sky, but it is possible to capture the portion of the sky without making the area look too dark with HDR. It is also possible to obtain the land’s detail without making the sky look too dark. When the sun is going down, HDR mode falls short during that time. Besides, as it attempts to lighten up the over-exposed sun, HDR loses a portion of the beautiful orange and red shading that makes the scene look stunning.
2. Outdoor Portraits: Lighting is an important aspect of decent photographs. The harsh midday light of the sun usually leads to unflattering portraits. In fact, too much of the light on a person’s face can bring about bright glare, dark shadows, and other critical characteristics such as dark circles around the eyes. Additionally, it can bounce off the skin and complement some shiny spots. However, HDR can minimize that effect and make the subject look good. If the subject is completely illuminated, the limited HDR mode powers will not be sufficient to brighten the face. For a photographer to shoot a usable illuminated representation, it is advisable to focus on the darkest part of the subject’s face. As a result, the background will turn out to be extremely smothered. After taking the shots, the final HDR will combine a slightly toned town background with the person who is correctly exposed.
3. Low-light and backlit scenes: If the photo looks a little too dark, which often happens when the scene has too much light, HDR can be used to brighten up the foreground without washing out the bright portions of the photo. Sometimes it can be very disappointing to see a less-poppy coloring of a picture, but a photographer can increase the saturation of the image with full-featured editing apps such as Adobe Photoshop Express or Photogene. Notably, the fans of apps should think about what type of filter they are planning to use before imitating the film because some apps make their toy camera effects by bumping up the contrast and saturation. Filters that resemble old cameras can go the opposite leading to desaturate of an image for a faded look.
When not to use HDR
It is clear that HDR can make a significant difference in the quality of pictures, but there are also other situations where it is not an option. Here is when not to use it.
1. Photos in motion: If the subject is moving, HDR may increase a chance of getting a blurry picture. Additionally, the final photo may not look great if the subject moves between the first and second shot because HDR takes three pictures in quick succession. The object appears in multiple places making it hard to align the multiple images.
2. When contrast is essential: Some photographs may look better with a stark contrast between the light and dark parts of the picture, as if there is a dark shadow or an outline that a photographer wants to highlight. For instance, a photo may play the effects of a strong shadow cast on a light surface or of a very dark outline that is against a bright background. However, HDR shots will make the effects less intense by decreasing an image’s contrast that brings about a less interesting photo.
3. Capturing vivid colors: HDR can bring colors back into dark areas or blown-out when the scene is too light or too dark. In any case, while shooting brightly colored subjects that are exposed correctly, HDR may result in a disappointing desaturation. However, it is important to turn off the HDR mode if the allure of the image shows vivid colors since HDR can wash those colors out. For instance, when taking a photo of the horizon without worrying about a dark foreground and the blue sky, the HDR mode should be turned off while one trys to concentrate on the sky in order to keep the vivid blue from being drained out of the image.
Fortunately, digital hdr photography gives two images. One with HDR turned off, and the other with it turned on. For that reason, photographers have the option of giving HDR a shot and then compare before turning it off altogether as long as there is enough time to sit through the extra few moments of taking photographs. As with all things photography, one cannot go wrong with experimenting.