HDR photography is a specialized method of taking photos that is becoming more and more popular among photographers who deal with landscapes and real estate. HDR architecture shots can often be seen posted on social media, and they have a certain look to them that is not attainable with a normal photo. That is mainly due to the fact that such HDR images have more dynamic range than a normal photo would have.
If you’ve been asking yourself, “What does HDR mean?”, then you’re at the right place. Let’s take a look at HDR photography in detail and help you understand what exactly is HDR.
What is Dynamic Range and HDR?
To answer what is HDR, you need to first need to know what is dynamic range. The dynamic range of a photo, in simple terms, is the range of captured light in a photo from the darkest shadows to the brightest highlights. Every camera has a different capacity of capturing dynamic range in a photo.
Smaller sensor cameras often don’t have a great dynamic range, which is why you might have noticed that your phone’s camera tends to make the sky look completely white if you expose your photo for a more darker part of the scene. On the contrary, if you expose for the sky and get all those details in the photo, the shadowed parts of your scene might come out black. A camera with a high dynamic range does not have this problem, at least not at this severity. Larger sensor cameras perform better at capturing more detail in the different spectrums of light captured, but they’re also not perfect at it.
That is where HDR, or High Dynamic Range photography, comes in. HDR images are created through a photo-merge process whereby multiple images of the same scene, taken at different exposure settings, are combined to make one photo with more dynamic range. Here is how its done in Aurora HDR:
These different exposure settings can be determined manually or via exposure compensation in your camera. So, dynamic range photography, therefore, takes multiple exposures and combines them into one which allows you to decide how much detail is being shown in your final HDR photos as far as the highlights and the shadows go.