Photography Tutorials and Articles

Photography Tip – Shooting HDR

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Photography Tips for Shooting and Editing HDR Photos

HDR Photography and Editing are advanced techniques and can be used for many different applications such as Landscape and Real Estate/Commercial photography.

What is HDR Photography?

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. Our eyes can see many details in both highlights and shadows which, if described in photography terminology, is equivalent to 6-7 EV stops. Compare this to a modern digital camera which is capable of around 3 EV stops (in RAW format) and around 1 EV stop for Jpegs. In short, we can see much more detail in a scene than our cameras! HDR Photography effectively extends the range of visible details across the spectrum, far beyond what is naturally possible. Exciting possibilities!

Power of HDR

Merge photos to HDR in Lightroom or Photoshop
By merging to HDR, you can restore even more details.

So you are saying it is possible to create the same dynamic range in photographs?

Absolutely! There are many different techniques which you can use to preserve the details. One solution is shooting in RAW format and go to work in post processing to significantly enhance highlight and shadow detail. But a better solution is to shoot HDR and edit images in software such as Photoshop or Lightroom.

Photoshop/Lightroom Merge to HDR

Merge photos to HDR in Lightroom or Photoshop
Merge photos to HDR in Lightroom or Photoshop

Interesting! Can you explain more about HDR?

For effective HDR, we first understand the limitation of our camera as outlined in the Zone system. I already mentioned the camera limitation above, noting that our eyes recognize details in 6 to 7 zones, but modern cameras in RAW format can capture, at most, up to 3 zones. So a simple solution is to take multiple shots with different exposures (bracketing to shoot for lighter and darker areas) and then merge or blend the shots in Photoshop or Lightroom.

Zone System

Zone System and HDR
Marked Zones for HDR

How many shots do I need to create a perfect HDR Image?

That, I would say, is “A Million Dollar Question”! In fact there is no magic number because the number of shots varies for each scene and lighting conditions. Successful HDR photos require that you understand and use the Zone System. You can read more about zone system HERE

Is HDR editing difficult?

Now that Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CC have added the new HDR plugin, it is becoming easier than ever to make better HDR images. In HDR Pro Workshop we are going to learn and apply the zone system in a photography field trip and in Part 2 we will edit your HDR images in the classroom. Come and join the Start to Finish HDR Pro Workshop and jump start your creativity!

As always, thank you so much for your support. Stay tuned for more Photography and
Photoshop articles here.

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

Edited HDR

Zone System and HDR
By merging to HDR I brought the multiple zones as close to Zone 5 as possible

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