HDR Tutorial Part 2 – Shooting HDR

HDR Tutorial Part 2 – Shooting HDR

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When it comes to HDR photography, a photographer has to consider different  steps before shooting. However, we still need to see the various aspects of light and the image composition. Before taking a photo is very important to think about these elements, the background, the capture of detail and the light avaiable. As mentioned we will see the 5 steps before shooting HDR.


This is the most important thing to do when you are going to take a picture, whether is HDR or not. Act as a photographer, wait for the right moment to shoot, and just the right light conditions. If you act in a professional way you will reach professional results.


The choice of lenses is decisive in a photo composition. Different lenses provide different perspectives. Using wide angle lenses in a HDR image, you will be able to capture images with a good Depth of Field (DOF), setting high valours of aperture. Furthermore the choice of wide angle is also the optimal solution for giving a greater sense of width to your photos.


A picture is considered as a whole and not in what you can see at first glance. Cover all the elements and start thinking now about how to eliminate or bypass unwanted elements. Be careful distracting subjects or elements can ruin your photograph.


Light is the main element in a picture, no light, no details, no pictures. Make sure you always have the even amount of light.  See the light and its features, you must pay attention to its direction, the contrast range in the scenes, the quality of the light and the colors. In this way you will be sure  to reach what you see.


Don’t take all your pictures standing straight up. Instead, move your camera and take a walk around what you want to photograph. Move it up and down and backward or forward. Try to create a unique perspective of image for the viewers. The longer you take to explore the subject from different angles, the better off you’ll be at creating an interesting image with it.


Rather than what one might expect, the most important thing to make a HDR is doing a good shoot, the distinctiveness of an image created with this technique is not only achieved with a good post-processing but with photography itself.

So, in order to capture an image that would be a good HDR photo, we have to imagine it at the end of the editing process. For this reason surreal or melancholy shots are preferred. I highly recommend not to take photographs in the hours when the sun is high, rather prefer the early hours of the day or the sunset, when the light is constantly changing and when you can take the full details of the clouds in the sky.

To shooting HDR try to be as accurate as possible, the more clean you are, the few will be the differences between images and the more your HDR will have the desired effect.

For this reason it is very important to use the camera in aperture priority, the camera in this way during the bracketing overexpose / underexpose adjusting shutter time your “imposition” of the diaphragm and in this way will keep unchanged the depth of field (DoF) on all shots.

I recommend the “quality” and “cleaning” of images taken, for this reason shoot in RAW mode to capture the widest dynamic range possible. As regards instead the “cleaning” of the picture would be good to shoot with low ISO (possibly 100) and the lowering of all the other settings that can create noise in the shots.

1. A camera that allows shooting in bracketing mode. With this feature you can set the number of shots you want and the variation of exposure between the images. You can clearly make this series of shots even without this feature but you could run the risk of moving the camera with the result that the image is moved.

2. A tripod to avoid blur the micro, if there is movement, it will result in a blurry HDR

3. A remote controller to avoid interacting on camera manually.

1. Set on aperture priority (A)

2. Set shooting RAW mode

3. Set min 3 shots from the camera using Bracketing

Once you choose what to shoot, you will have 3 exposures:



 The first exposure should be a regular shot, don’t worry about adjusting the exposure of this picture. The important thing  in this image is to get an even amount of light.


 The second exposure should be darker than the first. Getting this image darker allow you to bring out the colors in the bright areas of the image.



The third exposure should be brighter than the first two. This exposure will affect the foreground image and the details in the dark areas of the photo.

Go to HDR Tutorial Part 1 – What is HDR
Go to HDR Tutorial Part 3 – Photomatix Settings
Go to HDR Tutorial Part 4 – How To improve your HDR

HDR Tutorial Part 1 – What is HDR?

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The HDR stands for  High Dynamic Range photography. It ‘s a method of image processing where the interval between the lightest and darkest  part of image is wider than the traditional methods. The processing of HDR passes through a blending of multiple shots at different exposures carried out in order to compensate the details in the overexposed and underexposed areas in one single exposure that collects all of this information. With the use of HDR technique you can get results that, in a traditional photography would not be possible to reach.

Crucial point of High Dynamic Range is to understand precisely what is meant by Dynamic Range, which is nothing but the ability to capture detail in shadows and light in order to obtain readable information. The human eye is calibrated specifically for this, adapt to different lighting conditions. Our brain can adjust so that we can clearly see the day in the summer or special brightest in a dimly lit room . This adaptability of the human eye is called local adaptation. However cameras do not have and can not have this ability. Each time the number of photons hitting the sensor, this doubles the brightness. This is the linear response. The practical effect of this is that most of the image information is collected in the higher values, while the lowest values are sacrificed. The question is how to capture the dynamic range? Following this HDR Tutorial you will be able to take the dynamic range through the bracketing function which record the scene at different exposures.

Go to HDR Tutorial Part 2 – Shooting HDR
Go to HDR Tutorial Part 3 – Photomatix Settings
Go to HDR Tutorial Part 4 – How To improve your HDR

Here are few examples of finished HDR photos:

Giuseppe Sapori - Overlooking Dream

Giuseppe Sapori - The wings of Destiny

Giuseppe Sapori - The heart of Rome

Giuseppe Sapori - The lighting room

Go to HDR Tutorial Part 2 – Shooting HDR
Go to HDR Tutorial Part 3 – Photomatix Settings
Go to HDR Tutorial Part 4 – How To improve your HDR

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Hi, my name is Giuseppe Sapori, a professional photographer and author of this website, created by yours truly to show my work and share with you the techniques I use. My expertise is in the field of Landscape Photography... (Read More)

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