Introduction to High Dynamic Range Photography
The High Dynamic Range photography (also known as HDR photography) is quite popular among photographers around the world. And the thing that makes this photography technique so magnetic is, the awesome result it produces.
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Below is an example of a HDR photograph:
Stunned? As you should be. That’s the magic of HDR photography. The human eye is capable of distinguish color tones as they appear according to the lightning conditions. But, with the use of HDR photography, we defy this basic law of nature. We capture a single photograph at multiple exposure and then merge them all so that there is very little contrast range difference. The result is, a stunning HDR photograph for you to drool upon.
In this tutorial, we’ll teach you how to take such high quality and stunning HDR photographs. All you need to have with you is:
- A digital camera with manual exposure settings
- Preferably, a tripod stand
- A little creativity
That’s it. Pack your bags if you have the above listed things to take a ride in the world of HDR. To set an example, I’ll be taking an image that I myself have photographed few weeks back. Here is the final example thing which you’ll get:
All the HDR magic revolves around only one technique, that is called Exposure Bracketing. Let me explain what it actually means.
Every digital camera has an exposure meter which controls the amount of light entering the camera aperture while photographing a particular subject. If you set the exposure meter at a lower value, low light will pass through the aperture and as a result, the high light areas will appear unique. On the other hand, shifting the exposure meter to a high value will yield in highly light areas to be over-exposed and the low lit areas come as a perfect contrast subject.
To make a photograph truly HDR, you have to take following steps:
- Attach your camera to the tripod. This is to ensure that your camera doesn’t shake while taking the shot and the frame is also constant.
- Take a photograph at the lowest exposure setting. Don’t worry, if it looks like the photograph being taken is complete black or dead. It isn’t 😉
- Take another photograph of the same subject while keeping the exposure meter at exact middle of the scale. The photograph would come out to be of moderate lightning.
- Take the final photograph at the highest exposure settings, making sure that you do not change your frame of photography and the camera is still on the tripod. Do not worry if the photograph comes too bright or over-exposed. This is how it would look at extreme settings:
Now, once you have all the three photographs, time for some digital editing!
- Open Adobe Photoshop
- Import all the three images as separate layers
- Merge them over one another
- Adjust the image curve slightly to suit your needs
And voila! You have created your own HDR image! Well, that was easy. Isn’t? Now, what all is left is, using your creativity to the extreme so that you can come up with amazing HDR photographs of your own. Do let us know if you found this tutorial interesting by dropping your comments bellow.