How to shoot HDR?

How to shoot HDR?

When you shoot HDR photographs, you should consider 2 points: 1) shooting a proper scene and 2) shooting with a proper technique.

1) Shooting a proper scene:

Not every scene would make a good HDR photo. Ideally, you would be looking for a scene with high dynamic range of light such as dawn or dusk. Additionally, scenes with shiny objects, colorful content and overcast weather could also yield nice HDR photos. I would strongly recommend to look at some online portfolios with amazing HDR photos and pay attention to the object, weather and light conditions to get an idea about the conditions which would give cool results. However, you are free to try it on every occasion. Here are a couple of examples where HDR could be fun to use:

Berlin Sony Center (A colorful scene):

Chicago Bean (A shiny surface):

Alone (Dusk scene):

For more samples, go to my portfolio.

1) Shooting with proper techniques:

I assume that you by now have the proper camera and a tripod :)

The ideal camera setup for a DSLR should be as follows:

-Tripod and cable release

-Aperture priority mode (f of 11 or 13 is suitable for most of the cases)

-Lowest ISO setting (never auto)

-Flash off

-RAW format (JPEG is ok but RAW will have more information to manipulate later on)

-Manual focus (if your camera cannot keep the same focus during the automatic exposure bracketing (AEB). My suggestion is try to shoot in autofocus in bracketing mode; if your camera shoots the images without changing the focus, go ahead and use autofocus. Otherwise, you can get the correct focus in auto mode and put your camera into manual focus without moving the camera)

-Continuous shooting mode

-AEB set it to 3 steps with 2 EV or 4-5 steps with 1 EV  (if you do not have AEB, you need to change shutter speed about 4 times manually after each shoot)

If you are using a point-and-shoot camera:

-Tripod and cable release or a surface that camera can stay steady

-Aperture priority mode (f of 11 or 13 is suitable for most of the cases)

-Lowest ISO setting (never auto)

-Flash off

-JPEG (tiff is not really recommended since it produces extremely large file sizes)

-Manual focus (if your camera allows)

-If you have AEB, set it as your camera allows, ideally at least about 5 EV range with 2 EV steps or 1 EV steps.

-If you do not have AEB, follow this: First, go to A (aperture) priority mode and set aperture to lets say f11. In this mode check what camera reads for shutter speed: lets assume 1/500. Then you need to switch to M mode and make 3 photos: 1) Normal-exposed: as you read from A priority mode aperture and shutter speed: f11 and 1/500 2) Over-exposed by 2 EV by decreasing shutter speed 4 times: f11 and 1/125 3) Under-exposed by 2 EV by increasing shutter speed 4 times: f11 and f/2000. Pay attention that 1/500 means one 500th of a second. Therefore, if you want to go 4 times slower in time, it will be one 125th of a second for over-exposed photo.

When you set your camera with the proper settings as described above, mount it onto the tripod and use the cable release to take the series of photos in continuous mode. However, if you don’t have AEB and need to change shutter speed manually as described above, try not to move camera while your are dialing the new setting.

When you captured the HDR photos, you are ready for the fun part: putting photos together with softwares ——————————>How to make HDR?