What is HDR in camera and when should you use it while capturing photos?

HDR Photos
HDR Photos


I am sure you have heard about HDR or saw it in the camera app of your mobile app. If you are not sure what is HDR, or why and when to use HDR while photography, you must read this article. In this article, I am trying to explain HDR in simple words to make it more clear and understandable.

What is HDR?

HDR in camera stands for High Dynamic Range. It is a photography practice which is now available in most of the smartphones. With HDR on, you can capture better photograph but it depends on how and when you are using it. Sometimes, it can produce a high-quality image but sometimes results are worse.

HDR is achieved by capturing 3-4 photos of same scene with different exposure level and combine all into a single photo with a higher range of colors and brightnesses.

Also read: How to back up digital photos

Also Read: 20+ Simple Mobile Photography Tips to Take Better Photographs

See the below image for the comparison of SDR and HDR in camera. You can see how HDR images offer better colors and more sharpness.

HDR Photos

When to use HDR in photography

As I already said that different phones handle HDR differently, there is no hard and fast rule to use HDR in phones. But there are few situations where trying HDR will give you better results while capturing shots.

While capturing landscape photos, you will see a lot of contrast between the sky and land. This is the best time to use HDR and sees better results. In outdoor conditions, sunlight sometimes shows too much lighting on the face in photos. Trying HDR in this condition will produce better results.


It also helps in capturing good photos in low-light or dim scenes. It can also improve images taken in low-light conditions.

When not to use HDR in photography

Sometimes when the light is too low, HDR is not the good option to use. In this condition, you will get dull images with HDR on. Some phones also try to smooth images in HDR. So in low light, it will produce blur images. I recommend using low-light or night mode in this kind of light conditions. But in some cases, HDR works well in low-light. So, you need to see if it is working.

HDR night

Capturing moving objects with HDR is also a bad idea. As you know that HDR captures multiple photos and then create on by combining all, you will get multiple shadows of the moving object.

HDR Moving object

It can destroy Vivid Colors scenes. So, if you want to capture original colors of a scene, you should not use HDR. Main reason is that HDR attempts to enhance a photo’s details and hence may alter the photo’s original color in the process.

Do all smartphones come with HDR?

No. But, nowadays most of the phone come with HDR photography support. You can check your camera app to see if your phone support HDR. If your smartphone does not have HDR feature, don’t get disappointed. There are many apps like snapseed which gives you HDR editing after clicking the shot.

Check out these 5 Best and Free Online Photo Editors

You can check here for Top 5 Photo Filter and Effects Apps for Android

Hope, this article is helpful for you. Give your feedback on comments.