How to take HDR Photos

All the rage today in photography is the HDR shot. Everyone wants a piece of the HDR action. I say surreal because much of the time the effect is just that—a surreal looking image .

Most photographers will say that you need a tripod in order to take a shot, and you do if you don’t know how to set your camera to Auto Exposure Bracketing.

If you do, you can get an HDR photo in minutes—take the shots and quickly process the when you get back home in Photoshop CS 5’s HDR Pro.

AEB enables your camera to take 3 images at once: one normally exposed, one underexposed and one overexposed.

Canon models will only take three shots when in AEB mode. Other model cameras can take more, but all you need is three.

In order for you to get an idea about how to set your camera to AEB mode for a Canon camera, here are the directions for the 5D. Follow the directions in the manual if you’re using another model or make of camera

The first thing you do is press on “Menu.” Then you navigate to “AEB” using the dial at the top of the camera.

Next, press the set button. It’s in the middle of the large dial on the back of the camera.

The AEB will light up on the menu and you can set where you want the three shots by turning it and watching where the three indicators are. For an HDR set, +2, 0, -2 is a good choice.

Finally, shoot by holding down the shutter release until the shooting stops. It will after three shots.

The shots will be taken in the following order: normal exposure, underexposed and overexposed.

To go back to shooting normally, turn the settings dial to “B” and then go back to Av (or whatever setting you like to shoot at).

This process works find on a sunny and bright summer days. You risk camera shake blur in the shot you are overexposing because in order to overexpose the shutter has to stay open longer.

If you’re going to shoot with a tripod inside or in low light, it’s best to use a tripod. In this case I don’t recommend AEB (unless you’re using a remote) because there is a likelihood that the camera will shake when you are holding the shutter release down due to the extra time the shutter needs to remain open, especially when you overexpose.

Also, keep in mind that the AEB mode doesn’t work with the camera’s built-in timer.

The last step of the HDR process is to download the three photos to your computer and run them through Photoshop CS5’s HDR Pro.

 

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