Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What is HDR and How to Use HDR on Android?

HDR, stands for “high dynamic range”, is another amazing photograph technology that is not much discussed as the Photo Sphere or NFC.People can use HDR mode on Android to get the awesome panoramic pictures at ease if you have master the technology. So, what is really the HDR? How to use it in the best way? And is it available to every Android device? Next, we will discuss it.

What is HDR?

HDR refers to the method of capturing images having “greater dynamic range between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than current standard digital imaging methods or photographic methods” according to the Wikipedia. To put it simply, it means improving the image quality in contrast ratio and color effects.

The process of HDR working involves shot the same subject three times at three different exposures--low, regular, and high--and then merged to one highly detailed image. The image you have created will looks very closer to what your eye sees. Some photographers prefer to use the HDR software to merge and edit the images to get more dreamlike images.

Use HDR on Android
The most high-quality HDR photos are taken with dSLR cameras and then edited in a program like Photoshop. HDR on Android follow the same principles but simpler than that, it usually correct the instabilities of exposure in great details on both the background and foreground of the subject.
HDR image

Check out the HDR Mode on Android

HDR isn’t common among Android devices but some customer interface like HTC One X include the feature in the camera app. To check out whether your phone has the capability of HDR, you need to look for the HDR option in your device’s Camera app, try Shooting Mode,Camera Scenes or camera’sSettings menu. For Nexus device, only Nexus 4 supports HDR mode which can be easily turned on by long-tapping the viewfinder and tapping the HDR icon.

If your Android phone doesn’t have the built-in HDR feature, you can still download HDR Camera App(for example, Pro HDR) directly from the play store to take striking images.

How do you use HDR Mode on Android?

It is not difficult to use HDR on your Android device. All you need to do is enable HDR Mode launch camera app and shot the subject as usual. Just remember make the camera stable because HDR doesn’t perform well on the movement when capturing photos. The process will takes a little longer.

For Samsung Android device, there will be two pictures, one is the HDR image and the other one is the one with normal exposure. You can make a comparison between them.

When to Use the HDR Mode?
  • Landscapes photos.Landscape photos usually need a lot of contrast between sky and land especially when the sky is too bright and the subject has a dark foreground. With HDR, you can capture the rich details of background and forground.
  • Portraits in Sunlight or with bright background.To take a portrait, too much light will lead to underexposed, and HDR can help to solve the problem and make the photo look better.
  • Low-Light and Dim Scenes.To make bright photo in low-light or dim scenes, just use HDR which can brighten up the foreground without washing out the well-lit portions of your photo.
When You Shouldn’t use HDR
  • Taking photo with moving subjects. HDR will take three photos and combine them into one picture, so if the subject is moving, use HDR won’t make good final image. 
  • Capturing realistic colors.If you just want the black shadow or the original color of the subject or the high contrast scene, then turn off HDR as it will enhance a photo’s details. 
  • When flash is needed. Some Android devices will disable flash when HDR is enabled.
HDR is just another interesting and fun function of Android camera. It can of course be a great tool to help you take better photos. But it is also not suitable for every condition, and you need to make good control of it. For other Android devices which don’t have the HDR mode, just get a HDR camera app to experience HDR if interested.

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