Lately I’ve become enamored with HDR photography. The depth and colors give HDR images a surreal 3-D like quality that has me clicking the like button when I see them on various social media platforms.
I only recently learned that HDR stood for High Dynamic Range. I knew that my Droid Turbo had a HDR function on the camera but I always assumed that it was some gimmicky filter or effect that was supposed make my photos look like a van Gogh painting. I thought maybe HDR stood for Hyper Dramatic Reality or something. (Glad I Googled it before I wrote this article:)
Since there are plenty of photo editing apps available for juicing up my photos, I saw no need to use the HDR function. My philosophy has always been to start with good basic photo before applying any effects. That way, I’d always have a clean raw image that I could revert to should I become overzealous in my photo editing.
Just for fun, I tried to edit some of my favorite travel photos to see if I could replicate the depth and quality that the HDR experts have in their photos. I could not. So I did a bit of research and learned that using the HDR function actually snaps a series of three photographs, each at a different exposure, and layers them together. It’s the high dynamic range (HDR) of the different exposures that give images that super cool quality.
On a recent trip to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, I began experimenting with HDR photography on my smartphone.
I learned that HDR is not good for just anything you want to take a picture of. Since HDR takes three consecutive pictures, any movement of the camera or of anything within the frame will cause the finished image to come out looking a little out of focus. My biggest lesson from this experience is to use a tripod or at the very least make sure to use something to stabilize your phone/hands.
Though these photos certainly won’t win any photo contest, I had a lot of fun and look forward to developing my HDR skills. If you haven’t tried the HDR function on your smartphone’s camera, give it a go!
The smartphone I used for these photos was a Droid Turbo provided to me by Verizon Wireless.
Are there any apps on your smartphone that you’ve been reluctant to try?