What’s Needed for HDR

Chapter Two

of Captain Kimo’s HDR How-to Guide

In this chapter we will discuss the items you will need to create HDR photographs. You won’t need much… in fact you might already have most of it. Listed below are the three necessary items required.

  1. Cameracan’t have a photograph without it.
  2. Tripodthe key to great HDR photographs.
  3. Softwarethis will bring it all together.

Camera

Canon 5D Mark2 Digital SLR Camera Photography for HDRYou won’t need a expensive camera. But you will need a camera that will allow you to adjust your exposures. Most digital cameras nowadays will allow you to this. However if you adjust your exposure manually you are likely to move your camera and you don’t want any movement. To avoid this you will need a camera that will adjust the exposure automatically. This feature is called AEB or Automatic Exposure Bracketing. AEB will allow you to shoot multiple exposures with a single push of the button.

Tripod

Tripod for HDR PhotographyA tripod is needed to keep your camera stationary. The most important part when photographing  HDR images is that your camera remains still. There cannot be any movement while you are shooting your exposures. If there is movement it will result in a blurry HDR photograph. A tripod is ideal for keeping your camera motionless.

Software

Picture of Photomatix HDR Software LogoThe last essential piece needed for creating HDR is software. You will need HDR software to merge your exposures together into a single image. There are several HDR software available, some are even free. I’ve tried them all and the one I recommend most is Photomatix. It’s the most popular HDR software of the bunch and for good reason. [intlink id=”546″ type=”post”]Click here to learn more about Photomatix.[/intlink]

Optional

That’s pretty much everything you need to create HDR images. However to get results like mine and complete this tutorial you’ll need a few extra software.

Adobe Photoshop

For all my photo editing I use Adobe Photoshop. This photo editing program has always been the industry standard. I’ve used Adobe Photoshop professionally for over a decade and nothing comes close.

If Adobe Photoshop is out of your budget, you can use Adobe Elements, which is a more affordable alternative to the professional version. Adobe Elements is limited but it will get the job done. Personally I like using Adobe Elements myself. I love the user interface, it’s very simple and clean. If all you need is a basic photo editing program I highly recommend looking into Adobe Elements.

Topaz Photoshop Plugins

Among the many plugins within my Photoshop arsenal, the one I use the most are those created by Topaz Labs. Their Photoshop Plugin Bundle is loaded with many great plugins that I enjoy using. But there are two which I use on all my photos, Topaz Adjust and Topaz DeNoise. These two plugins will be needed to complete Chapter 5.
You can download the trial version here.

Continue to Chapter 3 – Shooting HDR

The most important part when photographing  HDR images is that your camera remains still. There cannot be any movement while you are shooting your exposures. If there is movement it will result in a blurry HDR photograph.

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