20 HDR Examples: How It Should Be Done

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I’m going to show you HDR examples that you should consider doing. But first, let’s understand what HDR really means.

What HDR Really Is

To me, it is often a misunderstood subject. The abbreviation stands for

The abbreviation stands for high dynamic range but our mind associate it with HDR software whenever we hear the word.

High dynamic range image essentially means an image that has a higher dynamic range that usually cannot be captured with a single exposure in the camera.

What Is Dynamic Range?

It means the range of darkness and brightness that are present at the same time.

Sunrise and sunset both have a higher dynamic range compared to, for example, midday.

This is because both sunrise and sunset have very bright lights (from the sun) and also very dark areas (silhouette or shadows) compared to midday where everything is just bright.

Limited Dynamic Range

With the current technology, our camera can only capture a limited amount of dynamic range, about 14 stops of light.

The dynamic range in real life is much higher and can be up to 20 stops of light.

A single exposure simply cannot record all the brightness and darkness present, so the darkest dark and the brightest bright will appear to be clipped (blown out) on the image because there is no information recorded on the digital image sensor.

That was how HDR first started because photographers wanted to capture what they see on a photo.

With the existing HDR software on the market, you can create HDR in any situations you like. Some go overboard with HDR image that lacks contrast or with halos around the edges. Personally, that is not my kind of HDR.

Understand Different Ways To Create HDR Images

The fact is, you don’t necessary need HDR software to create high dynamic range image.

The advantage of HDR software is that it automates the process of merging images for you, which will take time if you do it manually.

Having said that, blending is not difficult to learn and it will be a second nature once you get the hang of it. If you are new to HDR, why not learn from The Ultimate Guide To HDR Photography.




Alright, now let’s look at some examples of HDR done right.


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Malibu Sea Cave Sunset! El Matador Beach! Nikon D8 by Elliot McGucken


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Hjorthagen Church, Stockholm by Kah-Wai Lin


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Rees am Niederreihn by Sascha Hübers


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Dusk in September 1964 by Donnie Nunley


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Evening by Andrew Kuznetsov


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Le Grand Béguinage – Groot Begijnhof by Sylvester Cologne


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Busan by Fabian Matthias Hutter


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Harvest by James Bloodgood


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神田ふれあい街 by jun560


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Solitude by Chris Robinson


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Waterfall at “Hart Mountain” in Poland #3 by David Dylong


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The Grand Illusion by Jonhy Blaze


Soignes nu Murch TP
Soignes nu Murch TP


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Digger by fRedi


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Mississauga Sunset by Bastian Sander


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JOSTEDAL-NORUEGA by Francisco José Moreno Caballero


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Biarritz, Euskadi by Paolo Margari


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SanFrancisco Sunset by M.RICHI


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Mt Bromo (remastered) – East Java,Indonesia by Danny Xeero


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Images by James Kerwin

I hope you enjoyed and maybe got some inspiration for your next photo shoot! Looking for good HDR is harder than I thought!


Learn More

For more tutorials on HDR photography, please check out ​the HDR resource page!


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