#TechTipTuesday: Use HDR For Better Photos


Sometimes it can be a real pain to get a great photo of whatever we’re trying to get. (OK, maybe more than sometimes!) You’ll line up the shot, get everything in frame, and take the shot. The flash goes off, and everything in the room that you lined up in the frame so beautifully…ends up washed out and overexposed due to the bright flash. While the flash has a purpose, most modern smartphones (including the iPhone 4 and up and most Androids from that period forward) have a mode called High Dynamic Range, or HDR.

Photos are rapidly becoming one of our favorite communication media. Check Facebook and Twitter if you don’t believe me. They gather clicks and views (and they’re generally prettier to look at than black-and-white text). But if you’re washing out your photos with a flash or not taking photos because you’re dissatisfied with your photos, HDR might make a big difference to you.

That difference is made bigger if your industry requires great visuals—like real estate, for instance. The house needs to look the best it can, right? The difference between an intimate-looking dining room and a washed out one is in the HDR.

HDR comparison shot

In this article, writer Elia Locardi tells and shows the difference in a series of before/after comparisons of HDR shots and standard shots. (The most impressive improvement is depicted above, as well. Click the image for a full-size side-by-side.) HDR captures multiple shots of a subject, each allowing for a different amount of light into the camera. The software then blends the three shots to get the best lighting for each of the subjects in the frame The difference between HDR and standard photography is—almost literally—night and day. Shots that would normally need a flash to wash the scene in light suddenly become feasible without spending large amounts of cash on a specialized camera. In short, HDR is the best friend of amateur photographers and business folk everywhere who need photos for their business.

So, to reiterate: if your camera has an HDR function, be sure to try it out to see what happens. It might be the difference between a simple photograph and a work of art—or between lackluster response and the sale you were looking for.