68 iPhone Life Winter 2018
HOW DOES HDR WORK?
ou’re out on a nature hike, and you want to capture a
photo on your iPhone of the breathtaking mountain
range and river running below. But in the bright sun-
light, you keep ending up with areas of the photo that
are over- or under-exposed! That’s where High Dynamic Range
(HDR) can help. In this article, you’ll learn all about HDR: what
it means, when to use it, and tips and instructions to get the
most from the feature on your iPhone. Note: The iPhone XS,
XS Max, and XR will offer an HDR feature called Smart HDR,
which will show greater detail than earlier iPhone models by
merging only the best parts of several exposures into one.
in photography is
the range from the
lightest light and the
darkest dark present
in a photo. Our eyes
can see a much
larger dynamic range
than a camera—and
that’s where HDR
comes in to make
up the difference.
For example, say
you’re taking a picture of a lighthouse
against a blue sky.
You can focus and
properly expose the
lighthouse, or you
can focus on the sky.
One or the other will
appear accurately, but not both. It will either appear as though
the sky is washed out and overexposed or the lighthouse is
just a dark shadow and is underexposed. By using HDR, your
camera combines multiple exposures so that both the sky and
lighthouse are optimally exposed and the contrast levels of
the photo are balanced.
The HDR option on your iPhone combines multiple shots,
taken within milliseconds of each other, and stitches them
together into one photo. The shots capture each part of the
subject at different exposures. The software then combines
the properly exposed parts of each of the images into one
shot that looks seamless.
WHEN SHOULD I USE HDR?
HDR is best used to balance high-contrast scenes. Here are
some examples of situations in which to use HDR:
• Stationary Scenes: Since HDR on the iPhone com-
bines multiple shots into one, it doesn’t capture a moving
scene well, since too much movement might cause the
multiple photos to align incorrectly. You can use HDR to
experiment with shooting double exposures, but for the
intended purpose of HDR, movement is a detriment to the
shot. HDR shots turn out best when the photo is taken us-
ing a tripod. If you don’t have a tripod, make sure to steady
your hand before snapping a photo.
• Landscapes: HDR is capable of capturing the light of
the sky and the dark of the land in one shot that doesn’t
make either the land appear too dark or the sky overexposed.
• Objects in Direct Sunlight: Sunlight casts shadows
creating a wider range of contrast in a photo. Using HDR
brings balance to all the elements, both light and shadow.
• Scenes with Backlighting: If you have a scene that’s
IPHONE PHOTOGRAPHY LESSON
HOW TO USE HDR TO CAPTURE GORGEOUS
LANDSCAPE & NATURE SHOTS
BY SARAH KINGSBURY