Your Shortcut to HDR: Your Smartphone
If you’re using anything newer than, say, a Samsung Galaxy 4 or iPhone 4s, your smartphone is likely equipped with HDR capability.
To start using it, turn your camera mode to HDR or Rich Tone.
If you’re using an iPhone, go to Settings — Camera
- Turn on ‘Auto HDR’ if you want your phone to make the call on when to use this mode.
- While you’re here, make sure you tell your phone to keep a copy of the standard photo as well (this way, you can compare your HDR photo with your standard photo and decide which one you like best).
- Then, click on your camera icon and choose HDR in the upper left corner of your screen.
- Take your shots!
Note: Keep your phone as stationary as you can, since your phone will be capturing a few shots at once and needs to stay steady during this time.
For even better, higher quality photos and a stronger effect, you can also download apps – try the Pro HDR X app for iPhone or the HDR Camera+ app for Android.
Process Makes Perfect: How to Bracket in Auto or Manual Mode
You can use both automatic and manual settings for exposure bracketing. Before getting into that, however, let’s cover a few basics:
We’ll start with a brief discussion on stops, because this is how people often refer to measuring the distance between exposures.
A stop is a relative measurement, meaning it’s a measurement based on comparison. In exposure bracketing, that relative measurement is between two levels of brightness. So, when we say “stop down/-1 stop”, you cut the light in half from its original position, and when we say “stop up/+1 stop”, you double the amount of light that hits the camera’s sensor.
Let’s take a look at how all of this theory about stops works out in practice in this technique:
If you’re photographing a scene with a medium contrast of lighting with the normal exposure set to 1/500th of a second, your -1 stop, 0, and +1 stop would be: 1/1000 sec, 1/500 sec and 1/250 sec (where shutter speed, of course, is the changing variable).