Camera Settings for HDR Photography

High dynamic range (HDR) images are taking the photography world by storm as more and more photographers are discovering the stunning images the process is capable of creating. That being said, HDR is also method in which it is very easy to overdo and create unrealistic looking photos. To do HDR correctly, one should make sure they know exactly how to capture the images for the best looking results. Let professional photographers, Richard Harrington and Abba Shapiro, walk you through the process in the short video clip below:

In the video, they are using a Nikon D600 and Canon 5d Mark III, but the instruction is versatile enough to work many different models and brands of cameras. Here are few key tips from the video:

  • Use a solid tripod
  • Use cable release or remote shutter release so your images will not suffer from camera shake.
  • Shoot RAW, not JPEG.
  • Put camera on Continuous High, when possible, so it captures all the images quickly.
  • Bracketing three shots is a good starting point. One under exposed, one normally exposed, and one over exposed.
A sample image which has no HDR processing.

A sample image which has no HDR processing.

An HDR version of the same photograph. Note the finer details in the sky and also wider range of color.

An HDR version of the same river photographed above. Note the finer details in the sky and also wider range of color.

Once you get your images into post processing, be sure to make any adjustments selectively. It’s easy to get carried away when making adjustments. You want your photographs to look realistic, not over-processed. Just remember, less is generally more.

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4 responses to “Camera Settings for HDR Photography”

  1. Rex Roach says:

    Waitwaitwait! Open the aperture to get LESS light??? Did he say that twice?

  2. CheriAnn says:

    In response to Rex’s comment… I heard him say it once but he was talking about using a neutral density filter. He was adding it, thus he said, “We can use a wide aperture and get less light.” [due to using the filter, not the wide aperture] I didn’t catch a second time so I can’t comment on that.

  3. Anfiska says:

    Applied with care, High Dynamic Range technique (HDR) can create amazingly beautiful photos which blur our sense of difference between reality and illusion. When I look at HDR photo I am like in another world, like in fairy tail.
    I have also found many video HDR tutorials in one place!

  4. Matthew Bamberg says:

    HDR does lovely things with cloudy skies.

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