Join Seán Duggan for an in-depth discussion in this video Shoot in HDR, part of iPhone and iPad Photography for iOS 11.
- [Instructor] For some photographs, the difference between the brightest and the darkest areas in the scene, is so great, that even with manual exposure adjustment, it can be difficult and sometimes impossible, to get a good result, without sacrificing detail in either the highlights, or the shadows. In those situations, using the iPhone's HDR mode, can often help to capture a better image with more balanced exposure. Let's take a look. HDR stands for high dynamic range, and it can be useful for high contrast scenes, if you find that the manual adjustments still result in shadowy areas becoming too dark, or highlights that are too bright.
So in situations like this, it's a good idea to tap the HRD button in the camera app, and make sure that HRD is turned on. If you want the let the phone make the call as to whether or not HDR would be useful, you can just leave this set to auto. In HDR mode, the camera takes three separate exposures, and automatically blends them together, to ensure the best possible results, in terms of an exposure that contains as much detail as possible, in the brightest and darkest areas.
I'm going to go into the settings, and then scroll down to, camera. And you'll see here in the bottom, that there is an option to keep the normal exposure, in addition to the HDR blend. This is turned on by default. Now keep in mind that shooting in HDR, will result in two photo files for each HDR image that you take. You'll have the normal one, and then you'll have the one that's the blend of three different exposures. If you have a smaller capacity iPhone, or if you just don't have a lot of free storage space left, that could be an issue, especially if you leave the HDR option set to auto.
I typically like the leave the keep normal on, because if there is motion in the scene, or if there's camera shake, or movement during the shot, you might notice some edge artifacts, in the blended HDR photo, where there was a difference between the three shots. And for this reason, I like to have that normal shot as a backup, just in case. When you view the larger size images in the camera roll or in the all photos view, you'll see that the HDR shots have an HDR badge on them.
This is where you can often see the motion artifacts, between the normal and the HDR shot that I referred to. The HDR feature on the phone, could be very useful for capturing a more balanced exposure, in contrasty scenes. But it's important to understand, that I may not work in some situations. And for some scenes it may not be as effective as shooting three or more exposures, on a digital SLR, or a mirrorless camera. If the contrast range in the scene is too extreme, you may have to concentrate on the area that you most want to expose for, and sacrifice the shadows or the highlights.
There are other camera and processing apps, that allow for HDR blending, that can sometimes work better for more extreme contrast variances. One of my favorite ways to shoot HDR on my iPhone, is to use the Lightroom mobile app, because it lets me take advantage of the .raw format, by capturing HDR in the digital negative, or DNG format. But for everyday shooting, and many situations, the built in HDR and the native iOS 11 camera app, can do a really good job creating a more balanced exposure, with better detail in the bright highlights and deep shadows.
- Shooting panorama photos
- Creating slow-motion videos
- Taking time-lapse videos
- Organizing photos
- Image editing with the Photos app
- Previewing and trimming videos
- Sharing photos
- Transferring photos to and from your device