Prepare Your Camera for Single-Shot HDR Photography - dummies

Prepare Your Camera for Single-Shot HDR Photography

Switching from high dynamic range back to normal photography can mean changing a few settings on your camera. The great thing about shooting single-shot high dynamic photography is you don’t have to do anything special, like auto exposure bracketing.

The biggest problem you will face is forgetting to change the settings around if you decide to switch back and forth between different types of photography with the same camera.

Here is a handy checklist of things to look for:

  • Turn off AEB: You may have to set the number of brackets to 0. Otherwise you’ll take a bracketed set when you thought you were just shooting normal photos.

  • Zero previously set exposure compensation: If you forget to do this, afterward you might take a terribly blown out picture because the compensation was set to +2.0 EV, as shown in this photo.


  • Turn on anti-shake/vibration reduction measures: You will probably be shooting hand held, which means these features are very helpful.

  • Turn on noise reduction features: This is not as critical because these kick in only for high ISO or long exposures. Still, it’s nice to have. If you prefer to handle noise in software, always leave this off.

  • Turn on auto-ISO features: This moves the camera back toward auto.

    The theme here, and with many of these settings, is to help you get the right exposure. You won’t be shooting brackets, so it’s even more important to nail the exposure.

  • Set proper shooting mode: You may have a favorite mode you like to keep the camera in while not shooting brackets.

  • Set desired metering mode: Another safeguard to get the right exposure for the conditions you are in and the subject you are shooting.

  • Return to desired focus mode: This is a personal preference.

  • Enable auto flash, if necessary: It can be a surprise when you try to take that perfect photo, need the flash, and have it off.

  • Return to preferred release/drive mode: Mainly for consistency. You don’t want surprises.