Monday, 28 May 2012

How to Take HDR Photos

The Art Of Clicking Prefect HDR Photos

It’s a known fact that taking HDR photos is not a child's play, but due to the advent of modern digital cameras and sophisticated software this work can be done without much of a hassle. High dynamic range pictures are essentially photos where there is a higher range between the lightest and darkest colors of the image which makes it appear very vibrant. HDR traditionally is a topic of professional photographers but nowadays even amateurs are asking the question How to Take HDR Photos? This article will answer all your doubts regarding HDR photos.

Below are the methods by which a true HDR photo can be achieved.

  • ·  Taking multiple pictures with different exposure setting and then combining them together to form a single HDR image with a professional software.
  • ·    Using modern digital camera’s built-in HDR modes.
  • ·     Aperture priority mode.

The Most Common Method

Those who don't have HDR modes in their cameras should try this method. Basically you have to click 3 or more successive images with varying exposure. But to succeed in this method first you will need to have a tripod because all the consecutive images you click should be same, meaning it should cover the exact frame. This is important because when you combine the images if your pictures even slightly differ from each other then the end result will fail badly. Therefore a tripod is a must. Some digital cameras come equipped with a feature called as auto bracketing; this feature essentially clicks 3 different shots with varying exposure setting therefore eliminating the need of manually clicking 3 different shots. Therefore auto bracketing is a very useful feature for taking HDR photos. If your camera doesn’t have auto bracketing, then the manual method is your choice. 

HDR Mode In Camera

Nowadays sophisticated cameras such as travel zoom, micro four thirds or mirror less cameras have this mode built-in wherein the camera on its own takes many shots of different exposure to automatically combine them into HDR photo. The advantage of this mode is that the camera does everything for you and you have to only press the shutter button once. Another plus point is the elimination of a tripod which will help many who don’t own one. But one must remember that cameras which click HDR photos on their own cannot produce results like the manual method, although they are very much usable for an average amateur photographer. Some cameras take 3 shots while others might take 6 or 9; this all depends on the camera you own.

The Actual Method

-2 EV                                   0 EV                                    +2 EV
The manual method can be used on any types of camera let it be a cheap digital camera to a DSLR. First of all assemble your camera properly on a tripod where the probability of wind or disturbance is less, this is because the less you camera moves the better the HDR photo will be. Then you have to venture into your camera exposure setting which is called as EV. We will assume that the HDR photo is to be made from 3 photos. So for the first photo select exposure of (-2) which is -2 EV. The second picture should be clicked with 0 EV which is the normal exposure and lastly the third image should be clicked with +2 EV. Once clicked see if all 3 images are same, if there is some differences clip the sides of the image or try the method once again with better accuracy. Once done you have to use professional software to assemble these images into a single HDR photo. There are many free and paid software’s out there which you can get hold of. Photomatix Pro is cheap as well as very much effective software to do so. For getting a better dynamic result you can try clicking 6 pictures which will increase the range of your HDR photo. for this you have to select exposure as (-2,-1,0,+1,+2)EV for the corresponding pictures. But remember as pictures increase the margin of error also increases therefore HDR pictures should be taken patiently with good accuracy. Usually cameras store pictures in JPEG format but if your camera supports RAW format then select it because RAW format can store lots more detail and gives you the freedom of post processing which cannot be done in JPEG images. One more thing to remember is that while clicking this images you need to select a common aperture for all the images, this can be done by using manual mode in your camera. Therefore clicking a good HDR photo is not rocket science and just needs patience and good accuracy. Therefore everyone who has the question “How to Take HDR Photo” Should try these methods and hence will surely succeed in getting a good HDR photo.

Final HDR Photo

Disclaimer: This article is purely for amateurs as there are lots more further detailing in HDR photography

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the trick on how to create hdr.HDR Photography which i like the most.