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Click Click! 026: HDR, no not High Def, it’s High Dynamic Range…what?

My very first HDR "Cartoony Version"

Every Wednesday of the week, I’ll share with you my moments of Photography in this Blog: “Click Click!”
-Just a simple guy with a camera

Sometimes, you awed at the wonderful sun setting. You take your camera out and take a shot. However, the shot doesn’t quite reproduce exactly how the scene is. While many things come at play, but one thing for sure is: your eye can see the different intensities of light, while your camera can only (at best) estimate the exposure.

"Original Shot" F8.0 | 1/200 | ISO 100

One thing you can try to capture that moment is to shoot High Dynamic Range (HDR). High Dynamic range photo actually combines a number of the same photos given different exposures to produce a photo that is closer to what you will see.  When you look at the above original photo, you might think that I took the photo in the morning or noon. However, I really took the photo in late noon. The sunlight really tends to over exposure this shoot. Also the HDR gives deeper shadows, and higher contrast of the clouds. Regarding the clouds, it’s a very subtle difference between the photos, but you can see the clouds are more defined in the HDR one.

After the break, here’s a short tutorial of how I created my very first HDR shot:


1. Set my camera to use Auto Exposure Bracket (AEB). Basically what this does is it allows me to take 3 photos that are different exposures: normal one, then -2 EV and + 2EV. It is best you shoot in RAW. (however I shot mine in JPEG).

(If using a point and shoot (or without AEB) basically, you shoot at  +2 or -2 stops of shutter speed which should give you the same effect)

2. Combine them via HDR software. (Photoshop, HDRPad)

Lastly, here’s my final version (normal) HDR of the same photo:

My very first "HDR" photo

If any readers are interested, I will be more than glad to review and possibly post any HDR photos on next week’s click click! If you have any questions or tips or like this article, please email me at rkwan@abccubed.com. Happy Clicking!

Posted in Click Click!. Tagged with .

  • jqhuynh

    Ricky, thanks for the tip. Looks like HDR is getting more popular. I’m seeing this mentioned in a lot of photo magazines lately.

  • rkwan

    Yeah, I saw some ultra crazy HDR where the photo itself was absolutely stunning. Anyways, for the iphone 4 users out there, HDR is readily available, so it’s as simple as a click.

  • Legna

    cool~~ i want to do some HDR photos too~ i like the cartoony HDL, looks so… fairy tale lol