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HDR photography or High Dynamic Range photography is all the rage nowadays, and there are a lot of different applications for Android and iOS that simulate in HDR or High Dynamic Range appearance. And inside of Instagram you actually have something that does a really decent job of simulating HDR while at the same time not overdoing it, and also adding some key detail in areas that you might want to bring out, this feature is called the Lux Effect. And the Lux Effect can only be applied to images after you've taken a photo or after you've loaded a photo into Instagram.
So you can't do it live while you're composing the photo. However, you can apply it after the fact and it does a really decent job of making certain things pop, and increasing the colors and saturation and things like that in your photo. So in order to use this effect, you just find this little Sun icon in the bottom left-hand corner once you've composed a photo. And so once you do that, you tap that, and it's automatically applied and you'll see that it's just kind of pops in. Now on some photos it will make this look sort of hyper-realistic, and that's not really the effect that I'm going for necessarily all the time, but in some cases this works really well.
I found it works really well on night shots like of cityscapes, and buildings and things like that. It also works well on large landscape objects and scenes, but it doesn't necessarily work well with all close-up photography. It does make things pop like the leaves in a flower, and it makes the grass really neon-green and things like that, but it's not necessarily the best. Now if you combine this with some of the other effects that might tone it down a bit, then you can really start to get some interesting looks, but on its face this is what it does. The Lux Effect is just a one tap application that enhances the contrast, the saturation, and the details of an image, much the way that you would see in an HDR or High Dynamic Range photo.
So again, once you have a photo taken or loaded into Instagram, all you have to do is find this little icon in the bottom left-hand corner, tap it and it applies the Lux Effect. If you wish to remove the Lux Effect, just tap that icon again, and it goes away. So as you are editing photos, remember, it's nondestructive, you have the ability to play with all of these controls before you commit to it without any penalty. So turn this on and off as many times you want, combine it with some of the filters that are built into Instagram and you can really start to create some really awesome and creative looks on your photos.
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