Get ready to learn some abbreviations, cause I’m going to let you in on a secret. I use AEB to get those nice, colorful HDR images. AEB stands for Automatic Exposure Bracketing, and HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. My camera, and I’m sure most digital SLR cameras as well, has a setting called AEB which helps me capture beautiful HDR images.
It works like this: I set my camera settings to suit the scene and then turn on AEB. My camera will then take a picture at my original setting, then take one two stops under (or however many stops I set it to), then one stop under, then one stop over, and finally two stops over. It will take a total of 5 pictures (you can set it to take more or less) and look something like the below images.
Two stops under:
One stop under:
One stop over:
And finally, two stops over:
So now, when I combine all the images into one shot, my software will take the sky from one or two photos, and merge that with the foreground of the other photos, bringing the shadows up from the dark parts of the final image, and combining everything into one beautiful colorful photo. This is your final result:
It’s a beautiful effect and can really make your images pop once you figure it all out. A lot of smart phones can do this nowadays, but if you ask me they aren’t nearly as good as a DSLR. Give this a try next time you’re out, it’s fun and can make your landscapes look incredible.