I only just discovered that my iPhone 4S has a HDR setting. What is HDR I hear you ask. Well I looked it up, HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. From what I understand it gives better photos in poor lighting conditions, by taking multiple photos at different exposure level and combining them into one file.
In layman’s terms, the camera takes several photos eg a light, a medium and a dark photo and these are combined into one photo to give better colouring.
So my first HDR photo was close to sunset as I’m going out for my daily evening walk. There’s a long driveway and the sun is setting at the end.
I took one shot on “normal” setting, and then one on “HDR”. The difference I found is remarkably clearer picture. Look for yourself –
The photos I’ve left “as they are”, dis-guarded colour profile into Photoshop, added logo and “save for web”. That’s it no adjustments, the photos are as they came off the camera.
So far the Pros are better colouring in low lighting conditions. Cons are that it takes a few seconds to “save” the HDR photo, and if you don’t hold the iPhone really very steady then you end up with a blurry image.
Having said this with most low-light photos one needs to hold the camera steady, so I couldn’t 100% say this is a problem with HDR. I also don’t know when the iPhone says “saving” photo if I’m still supposed to be holding the camera steady, I assumed not.
iPhone doesn’t have a tripod mount so I may try and figure out some improvised solution, as yet I don’t know what that is. Thinking of a telescopic walking stick or ski stick with a slot on the top to hold the iPhone, where I get one of these I have no clue !
Conclusion – I am pleased with the result, the HDR photo looks closer to the real colours that I saw when I took the picture. Also I took some other pictures on the same walk most of them came out a lot better than without the HDR being on.
Check out this link is a good primer for settings of HDR on iPhone – http://www.imore.com/how-take-awesome-hdr-photos-your-iphone
Also note that by default your iPhone will take two photos for each shot, the first is the non-HDR and the second is the HDR photo (confused me for a while !)