How to start shooting HDR images

HDR photography is a technique that compiles several frames, merging them and using the frames to create an image that has better exposure across the frame. This process is done to counter the problems of variations in light across the scene. The technique suppresses the highlights and lifts the shadows while maintaining the exposure in the middle to ensure an image with more details in every frame area.

These are the steps to implement HDR photography.

Bracket your exposures

Learn how to use the auto exposure bracketing mode of your camera. Auto Exposure Bracketing is a technology built into most interchangeable lens cameras. This allows you to make multiple exposures of a scene and, in each exposure, slightly change the exposure settings so that you can have many variations. You can then compile these exposures to create a single image with an extensive dynamic range. The exact steps to dial auto exposure bracketing in each camera differ. However, they all conform to a general process. You’ve to select the Continuous shooting mode. Then go to Auto Exposure Bracketing mode and select the exposure ‘gap’ between each and the number of exposures you need. You need to select at least two. Compose, set your focus, stabilize your camera, and fire away.

Shoot in RAW

This goes without saying. You’re missing out on many advantages unless you’re shooting in RAW. One is the ability to tweak your exposures to correct the exposure, highlights, shadows, and contrast. RAW is a lossless file format that does not lose image information when edited and saved. You can still edit JPEG files but lose information every time. Additionally, the camera has already processed JPEG images, so there isn’t much room to work with that file further.

Use a tripod to stabilize your shots

Using a tripod is essential because, without it, you won’t be able to hand-hold your shots and stabilize them while you do that. A tripod is a stabilizing rig that fixes the position of your camera, not allowing it to move when the exposures are made. This is important because you don’t like the composition to change even minutely. Yes, there are tools inside most photo editing applications that can align images and correct for changes in the composition. But that always results in a loss of resolution. With a tripod, you don’t have to worry about losing resolution.

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