7 days of unlimited video, AE, and Premiere Pro templates - for free!* Unlimited asset downloads! Start 7-Day Free Trial
Advertisement
  1. Photo & Video
  2. Photography

What Is HDR Photography? In 60 Seconds

Read Time: 2 mins

Your eyes are better than any camera. When you look out at a scene, like a sunset, where there’s a huge gap between the brightest and darkest tones your eyes can see detail everywhere. Your camera, however, can’t: it will either crunch the shadows down to black, or blow the highlights out to white.

HDR, or high dynamic range, photography is a powerful tool for capturing more information in the shadows and highlights of an image than your camera’s sensor can handle in one go.

Instead of taking one image and hoping for the best, you shoot several images and combine them together digitally. In one frame you’ll expose for the dark areas of the image. In another you’ll expose for the brightest. And in a third you’ll expose for the midtones. Three is standard but five, seven or even more isn’t unheard of.

three platesthree platesthree plates
Three plates, exposing for the shadows, midtones and highlights, combined into one HDR image.

To take a HDR image, all you’ve got to do is shoot more than one take of the same scene, with different exposure values. Most cameras can do exposure bracketing automatically so check your manual to find out how.

Once you’ve shot your plates, you use post processing software like Photoshop to combine them into one exposure with a massively increased dynamic range.

Advertisement
Did you find this post useful?
Want a weekly email summary?
Subscribe below and we’ll send you a weekly email summary of all new Photo & Video tutorials. Never miss out on learning about the next big thing.
Advertisement
Scroll to top
Looking for something to help kick start your next project?
Envato Market has a range of items for sale to help get you started.