Many iPhone iOS 7 users have noticed a feature on the Camera app called HDR, but few people actually know what it really does. HDR, which stands for high dynamic range, is a technique that is often used in professional photography to capture a greater dynamic range of brightness between the lightest and darkest area of a scene that is being photographed.
A lot of photographers compare this technique to how the human eye works. The human eye has the ability to see a greater spectrum of brightness as compared to an image sensor on a standard DSLR camera.
A lot of people who take a picture outside when it is either very dark or bright end up getting an essentially unusable picture, but HDR attempts to correct this issue by balancing out the brightness for better quality photos. This feature can make pictures look better, but the fact is that it just depends where you use it.
It is important for aspiring photographers to know when to use HDR, because it is not always appropriate to implement this feature when taking photos.
HDR essentially adds more dynamic range to photographs. Dynamic range is the ratio of light to dark coloration in a photograph. The difference is that when you use HDR, you are taking three different photos that are taken at three different exposures. You will be able to use image editing software to combine the three images and highlight and the best parts of each one.
With HDR that is used on smartphones, the phone does all of the work you, so all you need to do is simply take the picture and it will produce a regular photo and an HDR copy as well.
When you turn HDR mode on, your phone will take a little bit longer than usual to take the picture, because it is taking three photos. Keep in mind that this feature was designed to help people take better pictures but only under certain circumstances.
Taking landscape pictures can be very tricky because of the natural contrast that comes about from the sky and the land in the scene. When you use HDR, you will be able to capture every detail of the sky without having the land turn out looking too dark; the contrast will be just right.
Taking portrait pictures in full sunlight can also be quite difficult because too much lighting on someone’s face can result in a bright glare or dark shadows. Using HDR can even the picture out and improve the overall look of the subject, which is of course the photographer’s primary goal.
For low-light and backlit scenes, HDR can also be quite helpful. If the photo you have taken looks a bit too dark, which is something that frequently happens because there is too much backlight in the scene, HDR can work wonders by brightening up the foreground.
Whether you have a night DSLR camera or a smartphone with an HDR feature, it is definitely one that you will want to practice using. This feature is a lot easier to use on smartphones like the iPhone, but it can be equally as useful for those who own a digital camera. If you sometimes have problems with contrast with the pictures you take, HDR can almost certain help.