HDR on an iPhone

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range.

The camera takes a series of images, each shot with a different exposure from darkest to lightest for each subject in the frame. Software then combines the best parts of the three overexposed, underexposed, and balanced shots to create a well-exposed image with improved shadowing and coloring.

To take a shot with HDR setting, open the Camera app on your iPhone. At the top center of the screen, you’ll see a button labeled with “HDR Off.” Tap it, and you’ll see three options: Auto, On, Off.

Without using HDR your subject is either perfectly lit but the rest of the image is washed out, or the background of your photo is well-lit but the foreground is darker and slightly out of focus.

Let sensors and software do the work for you.

Set HDR to Automatic.

By default, an iPhone keeps both photos, the original unaltered image, and the optimized HDR photo (with a slightly opaque icon in the upper left corner of the image that says ‘HDR’). If you’d prefer to not keep the original image, open Settings – Camera and disable “Keep Normal Photo”.

Personally, I like to keep this enabled, as having both versions allows me to compare them and then to decide if I should take a new shot.

The photo I added to my post shows the garden behind our house during the flood in October 2017. Because of the perfect ambient light you won’t see a difference between Normal and HDR Mode.

Keep an eye on your data plan.

If you’ve turned on HDR Mode and ‘iCloud Photo Library’ in Settings – Apple-ID – iCloud – Photos keep in mind that when you take a shot two photos are uploaded to iCloud.

Happy shooting.

Thanks for reading.