HDR Photography example

What is HDR Photography?

What is HDR photography? When you should use the HDR mode in your camera? Let’s find out below.

You probably know what are the golden hours of Photography. Yes, the time of the day in which the lighting is perfect for outdoor photography.

And all photographers know that the perfect time is either in the morning or the time between afternoon and evening. Because this is the time when the sunlight is not harsh.

On the other hand, if you click outdoor photos during the afternoon when the lighting is very harsh, you’ll get photos with a flat shadow or blown-out bright areas and sometimes both. This is the most annoying thing that every photographer is facing.

But there is a way to get rid of this issue. And the answer is HDR Photography.

It is an old photography practice which is now present in digital camera and smartphones.

HDR Photography

Today HDR mode is available almost in every camera or even on your smartphones. Everyone is using this mode on their phone and they can see the magic this mode does in their photographs.

So, what is the secret behind this and why photos clicked with HDR mode look amazingly beautiful?  Let’s understand this.

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and dynamic range means the ratio of shadow to highlight in your photos.

That means the shadows in your photos will no longer be the dark black spot and it will be full of details and you will get the details in bright areas as well.

To make an HDR photo we click the same scene with three or more different exposure (bright, medium and dark) and then merge those photos into one with the help of software to bring out the details in shadows and highlights. So that we can have the photo similar to what our eyes see in reality.

Today your smartphone does the same thing to give you HDR image. That’s why when you click photos with your phone in HDR mode it takes a little longer.

Below are some examples of HDR photography.

In these examples, you can see the details in both shadows as well as highlights.

Example of HDR Photography.

When to use HDR?

  1. When there is a lot of contrast between shadows and highlights in a scene.
  2. In landscape photography
  3. If you are capturing portraits in sunlight.

When not to use HDR?

  1. When the objects are moving.
  2. If you want to click silhouette.
  3. If you want to click a high contrast photograph.


HDR is a boon for all the photographers who are struggling with harsh lighting. This is a technique to make your photos more realistic or dramatic. But using HDR unnecessarily is not a good idea because it can also ruin your photos.

That is why I do not recommend to use HDR always when there is no need to use it. But as I always say photography is all about exploring. So you have to step out of your room to explore and learn more about HDR.

So, these are a few things I recommend to keep in your list while trying HDR photography. I hope you really enjoyed and found this article helpful.

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