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What is HDR photography?

HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography is a technique used to capture a wider range of brightness levels in a photograph than what is possible with standard photography. In traditional photography, a camera captures a limited range of tones and details, which can result in either overexposed (bright) or underexposed (dark) areas in the image when there is a high contrast between the lightest and darkest parts of the scene.

HDR photography aims to overcome this limitation by combining multiple exposures of the same scene taken at different exposure settings. Typically, three or more photos are captured: one that is properly exposed, one underexposed to capture details in the highlights, and one overexposed to capture details in the shadows. These images are then merged together using specialized software that selectively combines the properly exposed parts of each image, resulting in a final photograph with a greater dynamic range.

The resulting HDR photograph displays a more balanced exposure throughout the image, with details visible in both the highlights and shadows. This technique is particularly useful in scenes with high contrast, such as landscapes with a bright sky and darker foreground, or interiors with bright windows and dimly lit interiors.

HDR photography can be achieved using dedicated HDR cameras or by manually capturing and combining multiple exposures with a regular digital camera. Additionally, many smartphones and image editing software provide built-in HDR modes or automatic HDR processing to enhance the dynamic range of photos.

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