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When shooting still photos with the rear facing camera on your iOS device. You'll see this HDR button which is currently set to off. HDR stands for high-dynamic range. HDR is useful when you are taking a photo that includes both really bright areas as well as really dark areas. With traditional photos, this usually means that parts of your photo are either going to be over or under exposed. This often occurs when the subject you're shooting is in front of a bright background like the sky. For example we'll take a shot of this tree with HDR off.
We can tap the tree as a subject and the iPhone will adjust the exposure for it, and we'll take the shot. So it came out nicely but the sky behind it lost a lot of detail. The sky is overexposed. This is where HDR can help. With HDR turned on, your iPhone takes a rapid succession of three photographs. One is slightly underexposed, making everything a little darker, one is slightly overexposed, making everything a little brighter and third photo that's exposed properly, as far as the phone can determine. It then combine the three shots into a single shot, so that the darker and brighter areas are each exposed enough so that they don't lose detail.
So now with HDR on, we'll take the shot again. And let's review the photos. So as you can see the sky has much more detail now but the tree is still properly exposed too. Now HDR isn't going to be appropriate for every situation. In some cases, you might actually want certain parts of your photos to be under or overexposed for effect. Also, because the camera's taking three photos it's not always great for shooting pictures of people or other subjects that are moving quickly. And as you saw HDR photos take a little longer to save than regular photos so you don't want to use it if you're trying to capture a rapid succession of shots.
But HDR photos can look incredible under the right circumstances. And by default your iPhone saves these single, properly exposed, non HDR version of your shot as well so you can review both versions and determine which one looks better to you. In some cases the single shot will look better and in others you will like the HDR version much better.
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