10 tips for better HDR photos

1. Use a tripod

Why invest all that money in an expensive camera and then not use a tripod? They are really cheap and are the best way to ensure your multiple images are aligned for merging inside of HDR software.

2. Shoot images in RAW mode

JPEG images will compress the image qualities too greatly and you will lose the ability to merge together or further process the images .

3. Select subject matter with strong contrasting light

HDR shows off more luminance range than a standard photo and so to really emphasize this make sure your photo includes the full spectrum of color, from dark shadows to bright light sources.

4. Take photos at low ISO settings

HDR images create a LOT of noise which can ruin your image. Aim to shoot your photo at ISO 100 or less.

5. Look for photos in unusual places

The beauty of HDR is that it can make even the most boring everyday scenes look amazing. Two bikes locked to a lamp post may look boring as a photo initially, but amazing once given the HDR treatment!

6. Avoid moving objects in the shot

If you are creating a HDR image with multiple shots beware of moving items in the scene. People, vehicles or moving foliage can ruin an image by creating a ghosting effect. Try to take your shots in a scene that has as little movement as possible. This can be further assisted by the next tip….

7. Select a camera with a high burst rate

High burst rate shooting will assist in keeping ghosting to a minimum due to either movement in the scene, or bumping of the tripod.

8. Shoot during sunrise/sunset for outdoors shots

Thirty minutes either side of sunrise or sunset is an excellent time to capture outdoor HDR shots, as the sky will include a greater range of contrasting light. Clouds also lend themselves well to HDR photography!

9. Don’t over do HDR image color saturation

The first few times you create a HDR it can be fun to warp the colors of the image to look twisted and pyschedalic. Look at about ten of these photos in a row and you will get over this technique very quickly. The best HDR images will generally have subtle processing techniques that capture the eye.

10. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

You will learn infinitely from your mistakes! Just enjoy the experience and make sure you are having fun…. If you are having fun you are doing it right!

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