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A Guide on HDR Photography

How to get more brightness and shadows in your photographs

Matt Weston, Editor

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    We live in a digital age. There are more acronyms than ever in our lives.  We look  at our phones and we see SMS, LTE, FT, and, of course, LOL. Some of you may have even noticed HDR in the top hand corner on your iphones as you go to take a photograph.  

    I know what you’re thinking… HDR, what does that mean? It actually stands for High Dynamic Range.  On Iphones it is set to automatic.  This means while you’re taking a still shot your phone actually has taken more than one picture.  Your phone pieces together multiple images, including underexposed pictures and overexposed pictures and comes out with this one HDR photograph.  This process allows you to capture all the shadows and highlights of the real world.

    HDR is not specific to Iphones; cameras are able to manually take them and then use programs to piece together the different pictures.  At Monument we actually have access to one of the easiest programs to create HDR photographs because “Lightroom” is accessible on Mac in Mr. Webber’s room.  Most people generally think of Lightroom as a program to touch up photos, but it will combine your pictures too.  

    On a manual camera you can bracket your photos, meaning you take some that are underexposed and some that are over exposed.  You do this by adjusting the shutter on the camera in between each photo.  Some cameras also have auto bracketing to get the perfect increments between each picture (on Nikon this button is located on the side of the camera).  

    Once imported from the camera, Lightroom takes care of the rest.  Simply select the group of pictures you want to merge and then click “photomerge, HDR.”  Here Lightroom will deghost the photo, fixing any inconsistencies in them and will combine all the lights and darks from the 3 to 5 pictures.  Then Lightroom, like any other picture, allows you to adjust the photo even more.  

 

Steps

  1. Turn on bracketing

2. Adjust the light meter so it is centered

3. Take 3-5 pictures and the camera will automatically underexpose some and overexpose some.

4. Upload photos to Lightroom

5. Once in Lightroom select the 3 or 5 photos by hitting one, holding down shift then hitting the last photo

6. After being selected go to Photo > Photomerge > HDR

7. Here the pictures will be added to form one.  You can select the amount you wish to deghost, then finalize the photo.  The photo will be stored under a new file and all previous ones will remain saved.  

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Celebrating the Spirit and News of Monument Mountain
A Guide on HDR Photography