This HDR technique is great for the quick shot when you don’t have access to a tripod. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. An HDR photograph properly exposes the light and dark area’s of a photograph. Creating HDR images requires you to snap a series of photos at different exposures, then merging them into a single photo in a post-production software.
I am going to show you how you can create a quick HDR photo using your camera’s auto-bracketing feature, then combining the exposures in Adobe Photoshop which will automatically align your exposures.
My father just purchased a tractor for his hunting property and wanted me to take a couple of pics of it at the house before it went out to the property. The sun had some harsh lighting that was beating from the west, creating some very dark shadows. I always shoot RAW which allows me to have some more creative control over my photo’s, and I could’ve just lightened the shadows up in Photoshop, but I wanted to showcase some of the parts under the hood that were very dark.
Without lugging out a tripod and snapping 5 different exposures, I used the auto-bracketing feature on my camera. Auto-bracketing allows you to snap 3 consecutive shots in a burst. I specified 1 exposure value as my setting for the auto-bracketing. This means that the camera will shoot one photo at the normal exposure I am using, then (1) photo at -1 exposure value lower and and +1 exposure value higher than my “normal” exposure. When shooting, remember to stay as still as possible during the 3 shots.
Here are the 3 shots:
If you open photoshop, go to FILE > AUTOMATE > MERGE TO HDR PRO
Then BROWSE for your files, load them, then hit OK
You will then see a screen with options to increase exposure, detail, saturation, etc. Once finished, hit OK and photoshop will automatically align your photographs for you, then merge them together. You can perform some other enhancements to finalize the photo as well.
Here is the final image: