What is an HDR Photo?

What is an HDR Photo?

How to Make an HDR Photo


Today I want to show you how to make a great photo and not an overdone HDR. I will clarify what a Hdr photo is and how to make one. I am going to explain everything on a Canon Eos Rebel T6 as always and Photoshop CC as software, so things could be different for you.

What is an HDR?how to make a great photo

HDR stands for high dynamic range, which basically means it has steps from white to black for example JPEG has 8bit, a RAW file 16bit, and an HDR 32bit. All in all, you need to take at least 3 images one overexposed one just right and one underexposed. At the end, we are going to merge them all together to an HDR in Photoshop (you can also use Gimp, Lightroom or Affinity Photo).

Where to use it:

Lots of people only use this type of photography for landscapes and architecture, but in my opinion, you should just try what you like to use it for. Me for example like to make portraits with it.

What do we need?

  1. A DSLR or Mirrorless camera that either has the setting hdr or a dial wheel with Tv, Av, P and M on it.
  2. A tripod or a Gorillapod so we can take 3 exact same images.
  3. An Idea for a picture. 😊
  4. Skill 3/10

What’s good/ What’s bad.

Lots of people like to overdo the HDR look and they and up with an extreme colorful kind of artwork.Β  you can do that but, in my opinion, if you want to make an artwork you should also apply more techniques to it than just make a super popping picture. πŸ™‚

how to make an hdr photo

Let’s get started:

  1. Make sure to set your camera to shoot in Raw as you always should.

Push the menu button> far left tap>Image Quality>Raw or Raw+L confirm with SET.

  1. Make sure that you are shooting with the lowest Iso possible.
  1. Now you need to configurate your camera for hdr. This works on every camera different but always pretty similar. 😊

On a Canon:

how to make a hdr photo
How it should look like.

Push menu> to go to the second left menu card

>enter the exposure compensation settings and turn the front wheel the courser on the scale should split into 3 pieces you set the left one to -1 the middle one to 0 and the right one to +1 and confirm with set.

If you want to make more than 3 pictures set the exposure compensation, while you are shooting to do that you need to go into P, Tv or Av then hold the Av button on the back and turn on the front wheel into the direction you want.


  1. Choose your mode between P, Av or Tv.
  1. Set your camera up on the tripod aiming at the object or subject you want to take a photo from.
  1. Then pretty simple just take 3 Photos. 😊


Always review the pictures after you have taken them to check if your composition, iso and the sharpness of you picture is right the way you want it to do that, you can zoom in on your picture by pushing the top right button.


  1. After you have made all the photos you wanted, go load them on your computer.
  1. You go to your photo editing software (In my case Photoshop CC). Start it and go to File in the top left > automate>merge to HDR pro.



I could go now and explain you every fader but, that would make this post super long and the best way to learn is to try. The only thing I would advise you to is, don’t make the colors pop too much and don’t overdo the HDR look.

😊 If you have any questions nevertheless, feel free to ask me in the comments. 😊


  1. If you are done with adjusting everything. You should save the Picture as a JPEG.

Push Shift+ctrl+alt+s



If you use Photoshop or another Adobe product you should get the free HDR efex plug in by Niksoftware. it makes your outcome much better.

I hope the tutorial was understandable and you were able to do everything step by step. If you have any questions or opinions on the post feel free to ask. πŸ™‚ Till then have a nice day. πŸ˜ƒ

6 thoughts on “What is an HDR Photo?

  1. Dana

    Hi Aaron,
    Great page with a lot of great information. I had bought a 35mm camera with additional lens a while ago, but it seemed very intimidating and overwhelming. After viewing you post, I want to dust it off and try using it again. I have to admit, I did not know what HDR was until now or how to create HDR photos. Do you have to us a tripod so the pictures are identical?

    1. Aaron

      Haha awesome Dana you can take so beautiful pictures you just need to understand it ones 😊 You do not NEED a tripod if you have a fast camera and a lot of light or just lean very steady against something but, the result will be better if you use one they really don’t cost a lot here is the one I used at first 😊 http://amzn.to/2mSR2rg

  2. LeNard

    I saw this post while searching for a new camera. I’m looking to start taking my own picture for my website, and need a good new camera.

    Was looking to see what make of camera you was using to get you HDR effects. I picked up something new, it’s three shots in one.

    I’m going to have to look around your site and see what else I can learn. Thanks

    1. Aaron

      Hey LeNard I am happy that you like what you see around here. πŸ™‚ I am using a Canon Mark 3 at the moment but I started with an Eos 1000D which is the older version of the canon Eos 1300D also known as Eos rebel T6. You can find it here in the category Reviews. It is not too expensive but still offers a lot and has a brilliant quality. I hope I was able to help you 😊

  3. LeNard

    Thank you Aaron, thank you for the information. You have a lot of great info here on your website. I am going to have to bookmark it. thanks for your help

    1. Aaron

      No problem LeNard any time again πŸ™‚

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