How to shoot an LE HDR photo

What you'll learn

1.Learn when you would want to use LE HDR
2.Understand the settings required for LE HDR
3.Learn the set up needed for a long exposure HDR photo

In our basic HDR tutorial we spoke about how HDR could be used to strong effect. However, there are some situations where it is impossible to get the short exposures required for HDR photography or where it simply makes more sense to use a longer exposure. This is where long exposure HDR photography (known as LE HDR or LeHDR) comes in handy.

We won’t be going in to detail about how to post process your LE HDR photos in this tutorial because we have a separate tutorial on the basics of compositing HDR images here!

What you'll need

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Triggertrap Mobile Kit
  • Smart device running Triggertrap Mobile

A bit of theory

If you’re not sure what HDR photography is, or how to shoot a basic HDR photo then you’ll want to check out our basic HDR tutorial before you go any further. If you’ve taken HDR photos before, then LE HDR photography is really simple!

LeHDR photography is simply HDR photography with the use of long exposures. All of the same principles apply; you still need to shoot multiple frames with bracketed exposures* and you need to composite the images together at the end.

Using long exposures makes LE HDR photography particularly useful when you either wish to shoot at night, or use the effects of long exposure photography (water smoothing etc) along with HDR photography.

To make the most out of LE HDR photography, you’ll need to use an external remote. You can shoot the brackets by hand using the bulb mode and a stopwatch or timer, or you can use the Triggertrap Mobile Kit and App to calculate the brackets for you and to control the exposure time on the camera to make sure everything is nice and accurate.

There’s a couple of things worth thinking about. If you’re shooting at night, then be aware that the camera will often try and under expose a shot, so it’s worth setting your middle exposure so that the light meter lines up with +1.

As this is LE HDR, your middle exposure should be one second or longer. If your middle exposure is shorter than 1 second, try stopping down your aperture or lowering the ISO. If that still isn’t enough, then you can add an ND filter to your lens

To help you make sure you end up with a perfectly exposed middle exposure, you might want to know what Matrix/Evaluative metering is. Matrix/Evaluative metering looks at the whole scene to get a good exposure, whereas something like spot metering looks at a small area (usually looking at the focus point you have selected). Both metering modes have their merits, but in most cases for the kind of things you’ll be shooting for HDR, Matrix/Evaluative Metering is your best bet.

 *If you’re not sure what bracketed exposure means, Digital Camera World has a great guide!

The finished setup

Capturing the photos

Post Processing


You may also like