February 15, 2011

HDR Photo Gallery

HDR Image of Sunset Over the Aramoho Railway Bridge
Wanganui, New Zealand
(c) John Corney 2010
  You can read what HDR (high dynamic range) photography is by visiting my HDR Photo Gallery, but in the meantime if you are you wondering what you need to be able to take HDR photos yourself, here's a list of what it takes.

  1. A digital SLR camera set to the "aperture" setting (on a Canon camera this is the AV setting on the dial...perhaps someone with a Nikon or other brand of camera can post the equivalents in the comments section below?) 
  2. The ability to specify "bracketing" for your camera (Select AEB under the camera menu for a Canon camera, and then spin the wheel and choose the level of exposure value spacing you wish to shoot at - I always use steps of 2)
  3. Set your drive setting to "multiple exposures" (with AEB set, your Canon camera will take 3 exposures while you continue to depress the shutter)
  1. Photoshop CS4 or higher (CS5 has greatly improved its HDR handling) or other proprietary HDR software such as Photomatix or Dynamic Photo HDR to process the bracketed images into one HDR file which can then be manipulated in a process known as "tone-mapping".
Other Recommendations:
  1. Whenever possible, shoot HDR brackets using a tripod since you don't want any movement or shake while taking the multiple exposures since the individual images will be layed on top of each other and any movement while the photos are being exposed will result in ghosting in the final HDR image.
  2. A cable release or wireless remote to further reduce the risk of moving the camera while the bracket is being exposed.
HDR is a lot of fun and you can come up with some amazing outcomes. You'll be pretty surprised. Once again, you can see some examples and read more about what HDR is at my HDR photo gallery.

And you are welcome to post any of your examples of your own HDR images on my Facebook page at

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