Apple HDR Photography

HDR = High Dynamic Range

HDR first appeared in Apple’s iOS 6 and this enhancement continues into iOS 7.  Fortunately, iOS 7 improves menu visibility of this important feature and we suspect that many more iOS users will stumble upon HDR in iOS  7. 
HDR takes a total of three differing exposures and combines them into a single photo that optimizes the exposure of your photo.
Nuts and Bolts –
Open up the camera app and you’ll see HDR options listed along the top middle of the screen.  Tap the HDR label to change mode from OFF to ON or back again.
The default setting of iOS7 is to store two photos.  The original non-HDR photo and the single combined HDR photo.  To conserve space, one can turn “Keep Normal Photo” off.
Because HDR takes a total of three photos and then must PROCESS the image, you will find that your ability to take photos in rapid succession is now about every 3-5 seconds.
Benefit –
Why turn this feature on if it doesn’t enhance your photographic capabilities.  In our experience, HDR can GREATLY benefit some difficult lighting situations.  Take a look at these two sets of photos taken by our staff at the 2013 Albuquerque Ballon Festival.
The top photo was taken with HDR ON. Notice the following in this setting sun torture photo:  (click on each photo to see a full scale image)
1) Blue Sky
2) Flag poles and street lamps.
3) Roofs of the buildings under the balloons.

Hot Air Ballon
Apple 5th Generation iPod iTouch with HDR photo mode ON

Hot Air Balloon
Apple 5th Generation iPod iTouch with HDR photo mode OFF

 The next photo, also taken at the 2013 Albuquerque Ballon Festival demonstrates the benefit of this iOS7 enhancement in a night photograph.   The top photo was taken with HDR ON.  Notice the greatly improved color balance.  Interestingly, that combined HDR photo appears to have less digital noise and has significantly enhanced sharpness over the bottom, NON-HDR photo.
 
IMG_1520
Apple 5th Generation iPod iTouch with HDR photo mode ON

IMG_1519
Apple 5th Generation iPod iTouch with HDR photo mode OFF

  

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