Shooting in HDR

In this lesson for Photography with the Camera app on the iPhone we look at HDR or High Dynamic range. When we use HDR, the iPhone will take 3 photos with different exposures and then merge those together to give better dynamic range.

What is HDR
HDR is short for High Dynamic Range. With HDR your darker areas in your photos will be a little darker, and the lighter areas will be lighter, it will have a greater dynamic range. The iPhone does this by taking three photos and then merging them together. One will be lighter, another will be normal, and the third will be darker. When it merges these together, you’ll have an HDR photo.

Auto HDR in Camera Settings
There are two ways to have HDR be automatic. You can go to your Settings app and then Camera. You’ll see Auto there. When this is on, you will not see an HDR option in the Camera app, it is completely automatic. You can’t turn it on or off. If you do not see HDR in the upper left corner, next to the Flash icon, this mean it is set for automatic in the Camera Settings. If you want to have the option of turning it on an off, you need to turn off Auto in the Camera Settings. Once you do that, you’ll see it in your Camera app next to the Flash icon.

Settings in Camera app
When it is turned off in the Camera settings, you have complete control over if the iPhone is going to use HDR. When it is set to Auto from the Camera app, if the iPhone determines it can use HDR, you’ll see a yellow badge at the top of your preview showing it will take the photo in HDR. If you want to force it on, tap on the icon and turn it on. You can also force it off.

Save Original Photo
When you take an HDR photo, you can also have the Camera app save the original, or non HDR photo. To do this, go back to the Settings app and go to Camera. You’ll see a setting for Save Original Photo. Turn this on and when your iPhone takes a photo use HDR, it will also save the non HDR version. If you turn this on, you are going to get duplicates as for every photo taken, you’ll save two. So you want to be careful with this as it can take a lot of space.

So that’s how we work with HDR in the camera app on the iPhone.

See this lesson in Action
If you want to see how this works in action, I show you how this all works in the video above.

Download Tutorial
If you’d like to download this tutorial, you can find it in the iBook Store. You can also join the site and download the tutorial.

Lesson tags: iPhone Tutorials
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