10 steps to HDR Photos

14 Feb

There are 2 bugs that drive me nuts every time they hit my husband. One is when he gets Hackintosh Project Bug and the other is HDR Outing Bug. Why do I call them bugs? When any of them hit my husband, he would be in silent mode, in-front of his machines most of the time and he is spiritually in the virtual world. Since I can’t beat them, I’ll just join them by writing a post on HDR, which stands for High Dynamic Range. It changes these photos below :

Before HDR files

into this photo.

Jelatek Vertorama HDR

Step 1 : Identify your location.

For my husband, he is definitely in love with Kuala Lumpur landscape. Being born and bred in Kuala Lumpur, he never gets enough of this city. I hope he has the same feeling towards me. Of late, he started climbing some of the tall buildings around KL to architect his masterpiece.

Petaling Jaya from Mid Valley HDR

Step 2 : Get your DSLR ready.

At this point of writing, all DSLR can do Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) and certain type of point and shoot camera like Canon G9 can do the job. The point and shoot camera should be able to manually adjust its exposure.

west KL pano HDR

Step 3 : Tripod is a must.

Unless your hands and body are super still and can hold your camera settings for at least 2 minutes, you would need a set of sturdy tripod. He personally uses Manfrotto 055D tripod.

Titiwangsa morning Panorama

Step 4 : Choose your lenses.

Ariffin Aris’ favorite lens to shoot landscape HDR are 17-35mm lens and 24-70mm. Occasionally 70-200mm helps. Exclusively for Panorama shot, he uses 24-70mm lens with the help of Manfrotto Panorama head.

Manfrotto Panorama Head

Step 5 : Select shooting time.

Best time to shoot HDR photos during high-contrast time, which is either during sunrise or sunset.

Pano from Berjaya Time Square HDR

Step 6: Compose your photo using composition rules.

Such as rule of a third, rule of the odds, leading lines, framing, perspective, silhouette and many more.

KL Blue Moon HDR

Step 7 : Shoot with auto exposure bracketing or manually adjusted bracketing.

The usual bracketing that Ariffin Aris uses are minimum 5 AEB (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2 EV), 7 AEB (-3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2 , +3 EV) and maximum 9 AEB (-4, -3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3, +4 EV). With his Nikon D3 camera, he can mark the exposure with voice recording feature. Whilst this feature is not a must for HDR because you can easily identify the exposure visually during post-processing stage on the computer with the help of software like Lightroom.

KL Skyline Sunrise HDR

Step 8 : Culling and sorting.

This step is very important as you need to select and sort AEB files into 2 separate folders. You can now easily process them into HDR.

Photomatix pro for HDR

Step 9 : Software.

Ariffin Aris uses Photomatix Pro to process the HDR and for panorama/vertorama (vertical panorama) he uses AutoPano Giga. Later he enhances his photos using Adobe Photoshop.

Autopano stitching program

Step 10 : Publish it.

Share your masterpiece with people who appreciates it!

At the end of writing this post, I still find that my husband is speaking in an alien language when he gets too technical in photography. One thing for sure, photography makes him happy and I’m very happy for him. There you go guys, feel free to drop some comments for him below or even join him for his next HDR excursion. Share this post with any of your friends who have the same Photography bug as Ariffin Aris. Cheers!

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8 Responses to “10 steps to HDR Photos”

  1. dboystudio February 15, 2012 at 1:34 am #

    nice! dan byk info2 🙂

    • kureen February 15, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

      good luck in applying the knowledge! The more we give, the more we get 🙂

  2. Mr John February 14, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    dont hate me.. hehehe…

    • kureen February 15, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

      you and Vedd I dah pangkah dah ni. Better share this post to un-pangkah ;p hehehe

  3. Sarah Nadirah February 14, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    You are the best kak Erina! I’ve always wanted to learn how to shoot landscapes and HDR. This really helps a lot. Thank you so much!

    Hugs and kisses,

    Sarah

    • kureen February 14, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

      Yeay Sarah, I’m so happy that you like it. I’m trying my best to put the process in the simplest form so that more people would understand and appreciate the art behind HDR photos. Keeping our dreams to shoot beautiful landscape at your place soon. Keep on clicking, Sarah 🙂 Muahs!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Daniel Cheong – HDR Guru is coming to Kuala Lumpur « Happy Hippie Avenue - November 12, 2012

    […] you are a photography enthusiast and would like to know the basics of HDR, click here for my short […]

  2. 10 things to pack in your SLR set for ‘light’ travel « Happy Hippie Avenue - April 25, 2012

    […] and achievement from every trip and I’m very happy to share them with you. Read more about how to HDR your photos here. Victoria and Albert Museum, England – Entrance in Panorama Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong – sunset […]

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