Shooting HDR

Feb 22, 2010 | tutorials

Chapter Three

of Captain Kimo’s HDR How-to Guide

Setting your camera to shoot HDR might seem daunting at first but I assure you it’s painless. Once you’ve done it a few times it becomes second hand. The trick is understanding how to adjust your exposure.


Your exposure will allow you to adjust how bright or dark your image is when photographed. Not all cameras will have this option. Check your camera’s user manual to see if this feature is available. Below is a image of what it might look like.

Panasonic Point and Shoot HDR Photography Canon 5D Mark1 AEB for HDR Photography
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS75 Canon 5D Mark1

Most cameras are similar so you shouldn’t have much of a problem finding this feature. However there are a few cameras that are not so user friendly. If this is the case I recommend doing a Google search for your answer.

Once you’ve figured out how to adjust your exposure, you’re ready to shoot your HDR photo.

Go find yourself a beautiful scenery and capture all it’s splendor. My suggestion is to photograph a car with some clouds and sky in the background. This will make a good test subject because of multiple light sources being projected from different direction.

When you’ve decided what to shoot, you will need to take three pictures like the samples below.

Picture HDR Photography Regular Exposure The first image should be a regular shot, don’t worry about adjusting the exposure. The only thing we’re concerned about in this image is that we get an even amount of light.
Picture HDR Photography Under Exposure The second image should be darker than the first so adjust your exposure to make it darker. Get it as dark as possible to bring out the rich colors in the bright areas of the photo.
Picture HDR Photography Over Exposure The third image should be brighter than the first two so adjust your exposure to make it brighter. This exposure will focus on the foreground image and any details in the dark areas.

Once you’re done, proceed to the next chapter to combine your exposure into one single HDR image using Photomatix.

Continue to Chapter 4 – Merging Exposures