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What is HDR Photography?

HDR image of the Concord Point Lighthouse on a stormy morning

What does HDR photography mean?


The simple answer is that HDR is an acronym for high dynamic range.  The eye can see a much broader range of light and shadows than the current technology for digital cameras allows in a single, standard photograph.

Many newer digital cameras can process a HDR photograph using multiple exposures and merging them together. There are also a number of software options available for merging images taken across a range of exposure settings. In fact, there is a way to create a simulated HDR photograph in Lightroom using just one exposure. It does not have the full range of a true HDR photo, but for those instances where the actual range is not extreme it will provide an approximation of what an HDR image would look like. The image used for this post is one such image.

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