What is High Dynamic Range (HDR)?

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For a person who doesn't know much about photography, HDR is just a technique which is used if you want to enhance colors. He doesn't know about the how this function works and what are the technicalities involved. All he know is that the HDR functions allows you to take colorful and bright pictures. But ever wondered, how it is done behind the lens?

Technically speaking HDR (High Dynamic Range) is a technique that combines multiple shots in one picture to make it look much better than the original. Dynamic range is defines as the level of exposure between light and dark areas of a picture. Generally, pictures that have low dynamic range often have darker shadows and bright highlights. However, the pictures that have high dynamic range have balanced shadows and highlights. The HDR function capture details better than the usual mode. things are much clear in the HDR mode and the colors are enhanced.

An HDR mode on your camera shoots three photos at different exposure settings; namely high, standard and low. Then your camera automatically composes a sharp, bright and colorful picture by combining these shots into one. You should always use this mode while shooting landscape, or in a situation where the sun is right behind the subject. You should avoid HDR mode while shooting any action shot and for human portraits. Using HDR for human portraits enhances wrinkles and other marks on the face.

The most efficient use of HDR imaging is to dramatically increase the details in the image, enhance colors and even-out the exposure. The HDR imaging is best suited for landscape photography, dusk & dawn photography and for shooting city spaces during night. A wise use of this technique can give a surreal look to your pictures, but over doing it looks fake, un-real and photoshopped.

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