Most people may be familiar with HDR in terms of video. More and more content creators are producing HDR videos as many of the latest digital video cameras from Sony and Nikon — and even the camera in the iPhone 12 — can shoot in HDR. Currently, streaming services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix support HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR formats, but Netflix requires a subscription to their UHD Premium plan. You can also watch HDR TV content with an ultra HD Blu-ray player connected through an HDMI port that supports HDCP 2.2 or later.
To enjoy that video in its full contrast ratio, viewers need high-end 8K or 4K TVs capable of handling HDR content. These include OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screens and QLED (quantum dot light-emitting diode) screens, variants of the common LCD (liquid crystal display) HD TV screens.
For photography, HDR describes a type of photo that captures a dynamic range that can’t be achieved in a single photograph.
Why make HDR images?
Try Auto HDR photos.
Many DSLR cameras and smartphones come with built-in HDR modes so you don’t have to use post-processing and compress multiple images together. Auto HDR mode is great for beginners to get a sense of what an HDR image looks and feels like, but for full creative control and best picture quality, shoot a bracket (or series) of RAW images in manual mode and merge them together with post-processing software.
Images by Aaron Rashid
Create your own HDR photos.
1. Take the photos.
2. Merge your photos.
3. Deghost, if necessary.
Create bracketed HDR photos on your phone.
“If you take photos in Lightroom mobile, you can use Photo Merge to compress multiple images with different exposure levels. The photo files are DNG files, and they are processed in the app to create one single HDR image. (Note that not all smartphones have the capability to process DNG files.)
Images by Aaron Rashid
It’s all practice.
When you try HDR or any other photography techniques, just keep experimenting. “Photography is a way of creating something new, showing the world the way you see things, so don’t be afraid to try something new. You only get better the more you try, so just get out there and try.”
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