If you want to take great High Dynamic Rang (HDR) photos with your Android smartphone, the Pro HDR Camera app might be exactly what you’re looking for. Here’s some examples and how to use it.
What is HDR?
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and to quote the Wikipedia definition:
A set of methods used in imaging and photography to capture a greater dynamic range between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than current standard digital imaging methods or photographic methods. HDR images can represent more accurately the range of intensity levels found in real scenes, from direct sunlight to faint starlight, and is often captured by way of a plurality of differently exposed pictures of the same subject matter.
Just like the example below, some of these images look far more spectacular than their “normal” counterpart and, with help from the app I’ll show you how easy taking them is. I exaggerated this image example, but you get the picture — pun intended.
Pro HDR Camera is not a free app – you can get it from the Google Play Store here, but for what it does, the $1.99 price is worth it.
After installation, fire it up and choose the subject of your work of art, hold very still and click the capture button. You can also decide before hand whether you want the flash used or not.
If you click the HDR button, you can set the app to automatic, or you can decide the levels yourself, for a greater amount of control. The user interface is easy to use and finger friendly, even on smaller screens.
Once the image has been captured, it will be processed, after which you will be taken to a screen in which you can adjust levels to your own liking. You can adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, warmth and tint. Once you’re satisfied, just save it.
Also, if you want to go back to a picture you took before and edit you can. Tap the thumbnail of the picture saved on your device.
Before using the app extensively, go to the Settings menu to tweak how the app works. For example, you can decide when you want the app to focus and, also, if you want to save both the originals and the resulting HDR images. If you want to perform edits later, saving originals is always a good idea.
Another important setting allows you to pick the resolution at which the image is saved.
It’s an app that works quite well, and you don’t need to be a professional photographer to have a lot of fun. Do remember, however, that it may not work with all of the phones out there. The developers state that it will work properly on Motorola, HTC and most Samsung phones — so your mileage will vary depending on the brand you own.
It worked just fine on my Sony Xperia T but, just to make sure, you can always try it out using the 15 minute refund period you have in the Google Play Store.