Quick guide to HDR (High Dynamic Range) Photography

We've all seen floods of HDR photography on Instagram - they can look impressive, but also seem very technical. We're here to break that myth, and show you just how simple it can be to achieve photographs with an incredible High Dynamic Range.

HDR Image of the Sussex countryside - video guide on how to take HDR photos
Exposing for the sky and the foreground can be hard using conventional camera techniques

So, what is HDR Photography?

The ‘HDR’ in HDR Photography stands for High Dynamic Range. Dynamic range is the range of light intensities from highlights through to shadows. In translation - the amount of detail we can see in the highlights/shadows.

The human eye does a much better job of balancing the amount of detail in highlights and shadows, whereas cameras will struggle to automatically select the appropriate exposure method.

Consider when you take a photo of a sunset – you may capture beautiful warm colours in the sky but have a dark, silhouetted foreground.

Alternatively, you can expose for the foreground and catch lots of detail – but have a burnt-out, overexposed sky as a result.

HDR blends a series of different exposures together, to give you a result that catches the colour in the sky AND detail in the foreground.

Here’s how to do it using Adobe Lightroom. The whole video is 5 minutes long – you’ll be amazed at how simple it can be!

One word of warning - it's easy to overdo this style, which can lead to an 'over-processed' look which ultimately looks unrealistic. Rather like editing pictures in Lightroom and going crazy with the 'clarity' or 'dehaze' functions. This does - of course - come down to personal taste, but we'd advise that subtly is best.

Check out the Park Cameras Youtube channel for more videos. We've also got more blog posts for tips and inspiration - have a look and try out something new today!

If you have any questions, comment below and we'll get back to you!

Image by staff member Gareth Evans