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How to Shoot High Dyncmic Range HDR Photography for Beginners

What is High Dynamic Range HDR Photography?

High Dynamic Range or HDR Photography is useful when you have High Contrast images with very bright highlights and very dark areas, but you want the resulting image to be equally balanced between the lightest and darkest areas.

When shooting HDR RAW Files, but you’ll have to Manually Bracket (take 3 to 5 shots at different exposures) your Sony a77 II Camera and process the 3 to 5 Bracketed RAW Images externally using software, such as Aurora HDR.

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How to Shoot High Dynamic Range HDR Photography

Macro Photography Tips - HDR Photography
Aurora HDR Photograhy – Standard vs. HDR

Learn How to Shoot HDR Photography with Aurora HDR

High Dynamic Range or HDR Photography produces Greater Dynamic Range over Standard Digital Photography. RAW HDR Photography is ideal for High Contrast Photos, such as Sunsets, Sunrises and Landscape Photography.

(Photo: Left) The Standard Photo on the Left Side is underexposed, but the HDR Photograph on the Right Side is the result of combining all 5 images shot at different exposures.

Bracketing during RAW HDR Photography requires absolutely no movement of the camera between the multiple shots! Always shoot RAW HDR Bracketing on a Sturdy Tripod using a Remote Shutter Release.

When using the wired Remote Shutter Release, remember to hold down the shutter release for the entire sequence duration, and count off the shots until all 5 shots have been taken.

Meta uses Aurora HDR for her RAW HDR Post Processing. Meta shoots in RAW using 5 Continuous Bracketed shots, 1.0EV apart (-2.0, -1.0, 0, +1.0, + 2.0). If you want to use only 3 shots, you can uncheck the -1.0 and +1.0 shots before Post Processing in Aurora HDR.

Sony a77 II Camera Setup For RAW HDR Bracketing – Take 5 Shots 1.0EV Apart

MENU –> Camera 1 –> Quality–> RAW
MENU –> Camera 2 –> Drive Mode–> Cont. Bracketing 1.0EV 5 Images
MENU –> Camera 5 –> Metering Mode–> Spot
MENU –> Camera 5 –> Bracket Order–> - > 0 > + (Dark, Standard, Light). This is optional, but it makes it easier to find the set later.

HDR Bracketing using 5 Shots – Use a Sturdy Tripod with a Remote Shutter Release – Do Not Use a Flash

1) Switch the Sony a77 II Camera to Aperture Priority Mode (A). Set the Aperture Setting to f/8 or f/11.

2) Position the Spot Center Focus Point over the Dark area of the scene. Record the Dark Shutter Speed. eg: 1/15th.

3) Position the Spot Center Focus Point over the Light area of the scene. Record the Light Shutter Speed. eg: 1/1000th.

4) Determine the Standard Shutter Speed, which is Half Way between the Dark Shutter Speed and the Light Shutter Speed. eg: 1/125th.
(1/4th – 1/8th – 1/15th – 1/30th – 1/60th – 1/125th – 1/250th – 1/500th – 1/1000th – 1/2000th – 1/4000th)
Note: Doubling or Halving of the Shutter Speed represents 1.0EV or 1 f/stop change.
Use this HDR Exposure Calculator for Better Results.

5) Switch the Sony a77 II Camera to Manual Mode (M) and Manual Focus. This locks out any automatic camera adjustments.

6) Set the Shutter Speed to the Standard Shutter Speed from Step 4 eg: 1/125th and the Aperture Setting of f/8 or f/11.

7) Using a Remote Shutter Release take the 5 Continuous Bracketed Shots (Hold the shutter release button down on the remote).

8) Manually combine the 5 RAW Shots into one HDR Image using Aurora HDR.

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