Camera Tips – HDR (High Dynamic Range) Photography

When you take a photo your camera is making lots of decisions on what it records, how much light, how much dark and how much of all the tones in the middle. What your camera will do is give you a balanced photo that is pretty much in the middle.

There is a way though to record and see all the tones in your photographs and to get some stunning images as a result (do a search for HDR Photos on google and you will see what i mean)

So how do you do it . . . simple!!

1. Set your DSLR to Aperture priority and to shoot RAW files (RAW files give you the most information possible and are much bigger and better than Jpegs for a whole host of reasons)

2. Find “bracketing” in your settings or instruction manual and turn bracketing on for +2 and -2 on the exposure.

3. Set the camera to take multi exposures when you hold the trigger down

You should be all set up now to take an HDR photo, ideally you want the camera on a tripod but if you are outdoors set the aperture to something like f11 – f16 and the shutter speed will be high enough

Once you have all that done, select a subject (landscapes and buildings are the best, people dont do so well in HDR shots) and press the shutter button, keep it pressed down as your camera will take either 3 or 5 photos back to back

When you look at them you will see some really dark shots and some very over exposed shots – dont worry !! this is all to be expected

Once you have your photos downloaded go to the web and go to and download Photomatix. This is a fully functional version of the software but has a watermark on the finished photos. you only get rid of the watermark by buying the software but this means you can play with the full version for free for as long as you want

When you have photomatix open on your computer just follow the instructions to upload and convert your photos

What happens is that the software looks at all the tones from the lightest to the darkest across all your shots and then creates an image to take advantage of them

The results can be stunning if you dont overdo it!!

Enjoy your photography and let me know if you have any problems

Nick Sievewright´╗┐
Footprint Photography
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