IPHONE PHOTOGRAPHY LESSON
HOW TO USE HDR TO CAPTURE GORGEOUS LANDSCAPE & NATURE SHOTS
Y ou're out on a nature hike, and you want to capture a photo on your iPhone of the breathtaking mountain range and river running below. But in the bright sunlight, you keep ending up with areas of the photo that are over- or under-exposed! That's where High Dynamic Range (HDR) can help. In this article, you'll learn all about HDR: what it means, when to use it, and tips and instructions to get the most from the feature on your iPhone. Note: The iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR will offer an HDR feature called Smart HDR, which will show greater detail than earlier iPhone models by merging only the best parts of several exposures into one. appear accurately, but not both. It will either appear as though the sky is washed out and overexposed or the lighthouse is just a dark shadow and is underexposed. By using HDR, your camera combines multiple exposures so that both the sky and lighthouse are optimally exposed and the contrast levels of the photo are balanced.
The HDR option on your iPhone combines multiple shots, taken within milliseconds of each other, and stitches them together into one photo. The shots capture each part of the subject at different exposures. The software then combines the properly exposed parts of each of the images into one shot that looks seamless.
HOW DOES HDR WORK?
Dynamic Range in photography is the range from the lightest light and the darkest dark present in a photo. Our eyes can see a much larger dynamic range than a camera—and that's where HDR comes in to make up the difference. For example, say you're taking a picture of a lighthouse against a blue sky. You can focus and properly expose the lighthouse, or you can focus on the sky. One or the other will
WHEN SHOULD I USE HDR?
HDR is best used to balance high-contrast scenes. Here are some examples of situations in which to use HDR:
• Stationary Scenes: Since HDR on the iPhone combines multiple shots into one, it doesn't capture a moving scene well, since too much movement might cause the multiple photos to align incorrectly. You can use HDR to experiment with shooting double exposures, but for the intended purpose of HDR, movement is a detriment to the shot. HDR shots turn out best when the photo is taken using a tripod. If you don't have a tripod, make sure to steady your hand before snapping a photo.
• Landscapes: HDR is capable of capturing the light of the sky and the dark of the land in one shot that doesn't make either the land appear too dark or the sky overexposed.
• Objects in Direct Sunlight: Sunlight casts shadows creating a wider range of contrast in a photo. Using HDR brings balance to all the elements, both light and shadow. • Scenes with Backlighting: If you have a scene that's
bright in the background, HDR will lighten the foreground without making it look washed out.
TAKING PHOTOS WITH HDR: IPHONE 7 PLUS & EARLIER
For older iPhones, you can choose to turn HDR to auto, on, or off within the Camera app. • Open your Camera app. • At the top, tap HDR.
• Choose On to leave HDR on and Auto to let the camera decide when it's necessary.
• When HDR is enabled, you'll see a yellow box that says HDR near the bottom of the screen. • Tap the big white shutter button to take your picture. • It will automatically save to your Camera Roll.
TAKING PHOTOS WITH HDR: IPHONE 8 & LATER
If you have an iPhone 8, 8 Plus, X, XS, XS Max, HDR mode is automatically enabled unless you turn it off in Settings. You'll notice that with Auto HDR enabled, the Camera app on newer iPhones won't have an HDR icon to the right of the flash icon. If you would rather decide for yourself when to use HDR rather than having your iPhone decide for you: • Open the Settings app. • Tap on Camera. • Toggle off Auto HDR.
• Now return to your Camera app, and you'll see HDR next to the flash icon with a slash through it; tap it. • Now you have the option to choose Auto, On, or Off for your HDR setting.
HOW TO VIEW HDR PHOTOS ON YOUR IPHONE
When you're reviewing your pictures in the Photos app, it's important to be able to tell which photos used HDR. To do this: • Open the Photos app and navigate to an individual shot
• Photos that used HDR will say so in the top left corner of the preview. � Sarah Kingsbury is the senior web editor of iPhoneLife.com. She goes almost nowhere without her iPhone and is a contributor to the site's Tip of the Day column. She has over a decade of experience writing and editing for online and print publications.