What Is HDR

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. Dynamic range is simply explained

as difference between the lightest part and darkest part that you can capture

in a photo. When you take photo only with one exposure,simply you expose 

for the foreground and the rest of the scene is overexposed.

In this situations HDR method take big advantage because it takes at least  3 photos.

In some cameras depending from dynamic range of camera itself, can capture

the whole dynamic range. In some cases 3 bracketed photos are enough to capture

the whole dynamic range in one photo. Sometimes in scenes with big difference

in contrast will require to be taken more than 3 bracketed photos.

Sometimes 5  bracketed photos will be satisfactory.

Most of digital cameras can take automatic or manual bracketed photos.

In the most cameras this standard is called

AEB  (Auto Exposure Bracketing)  and MEB (Manual Exposure Bracketing)






At most of digital cameras there is option to shoot bracketed photos.

There is two options to shoot bracketed photos, You can choose between

Av ( Aperture Priority ) Mode or M ( Manual ) Mode.

Aperture Priority give basic settings to shoot hdr, and there is small chance for mistake.

A small problem caused by  AWB (auto white balance) can produce uneven contrasts.

Shootin hdr in manual mode is more complex, but it will fix all differences in contrast.

This mode is usually used for shooting hdr panoramas.

In this mode there is no uneven shifting because all variables are fixed, this five 

variables are : Aperture, Shutter Speed, White Balance, ISO Settings, Manual Focus.



Setting Up Your Digital Camera For HDR Shooting

HDR Shooting in Aperture Priority Mode

First you need to set your camera to Aperture Priority Mode.

Place your camera on tripod. Frame your scene, set up desired settings

like aperture ( your camera itself will determine shutter speed ).

Your iso settings and wb should be fixed value.

Set focusing point ( recommended single focusing point ), set timer to 2 sec.

And than we need to set up AEB bracketing.

You will go to menu of digital camera, on the shooting menu you will choose

option Expo.comp/AEB. With dial wheel you will choose sequence for bracketing.

It`s up to you to choose how many stop you will set up for bracketed sequence.

A bracketed sequence of 3 exposures will look like this: -2, 0, +2.

 A bracketed sequence of 7 exposures will look like this: -3,-2,-1,0,+1,+2,+3.  

Now it`s time to press the shutter button wait the timer and you are ready to go.


Expo.comp./AEB Shooting Option

HDR Shooting in Manual Mode

Check the camera settings. First check that camera settings are ready for HDR sequence.
Set file format to RAW and ISO sensitivity to lowest native value. At most digital camera
lowest native iso is 50 ISO, 100 ISO or 200 ISO. Entry level dslr have native iso of 100,
nikon full frame d800 dslr have lowest iso of 50.

Put your digital camera on a tripod, make composition of the scene. Put your camera dial
in to aperture priority mode (Av). In this mode we will determine the base shutter speed
and aperture number, after we determine number of shutter speed an aperture by pressing
the shutter button halfway,we will switch the dial wheel to manual mode.
We will enter these values from Av Mode in Manual mode, and with this one problem is solved.
Also we need to set WB to any desired option for white balance.

Now is time to set the focusing with single focus point, we will focus for the foreground.
We need to determine hyperfocal distance se everything be in focus, bigger is the f number
of aperture we wil have smaller hyperfocal distance and opposite.



After we determine hyperfocal distance, in other words where and how close we can focus.
To focus the scene,we will press shutter button halfway. After pressing the shutter button halfway
we will switch from auto focus to manual focus, some camera have markings like AF/MF or MA/M.
After this we are ready to shoot hdr in manual mode.



As far as we lear from this hdr tutorial,it`s time to export 3,5 or 7 sequenced bracketed files
to some hdr merging program. I recommend to use one of top 3 hdr merging programs.

–  Aurora HDR
–  Photomatix Pro
–  NIK HDR Efx Pro