What is HDR in camera and when should you use it while capturing 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 more understandable.

What is HDR?

HDR in camera stands for High Dynamic Range. It is a photography practice that is now available on most smartphones. With HDR on, you can capture better photographs 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 the same scene with different exposure levels and combining 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 the 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 using HDR in phones. But there are a 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 a 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 condition. 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 creates one 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 the original colors of a scene, you should not use HDR. The 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 phones come with HDR photography support. You can check your camera app to see if your phone support HDR. If your smartphone does not have an 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 the Top 5 Photo Filter and Effects Apps for Android

I Hope, this article is helpful for you. Give your feedback in the comments.

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