High Dynamic Range or HDR is a photographic and post-production technique that creates stunning photos by combining multiple exposures into a single image with deep shadows, rich mid-tones, and bright highlights. Before digital point-and-shot and SLR cameras, HDR was the domain of analog professionals like Ansel Adams. Today, even a greenhorn shutterbug can capture remarkable results using…yes, you guessed it—an iPhone! Here’s what you’ll need:
• iPhone 3GS
• Pro HDR app (download from iTunes App store)
• Tripod (recommended) or stablizing object
Pro HDR is remarkably easy to use: You capture two exposures of the same subject. Take the first exposure by tapping an area that is bright. Without moving the iPhone, take a second exposure by tapping an area that is in shadow. The app automatically aligns and blends the two images, combining them into a single, full tonal range photo. Both the under and overexposed images are also saved, useful for adjustment in Photoshop or Photomatix Pro, two favorite photo manipulation software. Below is an example. This is no award winning composition, but this HDR image is demonstrative of how well this little app works!
While the pros typically take three to five exposures for HDR photos using a sophisticated digital SLR camera, I’m suitably impressed with Pro HDR’s results with only two exposures using a tiny device with a fixed lens. Pro HDR produces full 3-megapixel resolution results. I’m eager to try some additional photo manipulation in Photomatics and Photoshop with the under- and overexposed shots. Stay tuned for more results.
Visit the blog A Day Not Wasted for more information and resources on HDR photography.