High Dynamic Range (HDR) pictures is the process of layering multiple images of the same scene shot at different exposures to create a picture that has all the shadow and highlight detail. Digital pictures shot with my Canon 5D mark II for instance have 256 incremental steps of brightness from total black to complete white. By shooting three to five images of the same scene at different exposures the finished picture will have more of these incremental levels in the HDR image
1 Select the scene you want to shoot, attach your camera to a tripod and position the camera into its shooting position. Use a tripod to ensure you retain the exact same shooting position for each of the individual exposures.
2 Turn your Camera on and select either aperture priority or manual for your shooting mode. When changing the exposure, you will want to retain the same aperture so the depth of field is same on each exposure. Set the camera's image quality to RAW. While these files are larger they retain more of the data collected during the exposure.
3 Set the exposure for the first image to be underexposed by two full stops. If using a manual exposure program then adjust the shutter speed by turning the input dial located near the shutter release to increase the shutter speed until the light meter indicates the scene is underexposed by two stops. If using the aperture priority mode, then turn the rear "Quick Command Dial" on the back of the camera until it the camera is underexposed by two full stops. Press the shutter release to take the picture.
4 Reset the camera so the exposure is now underexposed by one full stop. Take another picture and repeat the process taking pictures at the correct exposure, at overexposed by one stop, and at overexposed by two full stops. You now have five pictures of the same scene at different exposures that you can layer in an HDR program to complete the image.
The Rusty Files
for all things photography