Pro HDR X Iphone App

I’ve been using the Pro HDR app since it came out several years ago.  It was my go-to app for taking pictures in an amazing number of conditions, simply because it always produced great results.  The only issue it had, and it was a big one especially when things were moving in the scene, was that it took too long to “analyze” the lighting conditions and take the two shots that it used (one over exposed, the other under exposed) to create the final image.  Frequently things either moved in the scene, or my hand moved and I’d get ghosting.

The makers of Pro HDR have recently introduced a great upgrade.  This new app takes three bracketed shots, almost instantaneously, and blends them automatically, creating images with great dynamic range.  It is now definitely my regular picture taking app for my iPhone.  I went out today to a local park to test the app out, and was quite impressed.  These pictures are not intended as great art.  I just wanted to see the results in different lighting conditions.

Normal exposure
Normal Exposure
Under exposed
Under Exposed
Over exposed
Over Exposed
HDR blended image
Final Blend – HDR

The series of three images and final HDR clearly show the process.


I did find that the software does tend to produce images that are overly “warm”, but that is easily corrected with sliders once the picture is taken.



Native iPhone app
Native iPhone app
Pro HDR - warm
Pro HDR – warm





A good example of the detail captured with the extended dynamic range is shown in the following pictures…a close up of clouds cropped out of the above set of pictures:

Pro HDR - detail in clouds
Pro HDR – detail in clouds
Iphone native camera app.  Clouds blown out.
Iphone native camera app. Clouds blown out.


Another example of images in a difficult lighting situation is the final two, shot into the sun.  The iPhone native app predictably created a very dark foreground while the Pro HDR app handled the situation relatively well.

Oddly when I used the native iPhone HDR functionality I saw very little if any difference in any of the pictures? Not sure what iPhone’s native HDR does.

Pro HDR - pretty well balanced
Pro HDR – pretty well balanced
iPhone app.  Dark foreground, blown out sky
iPhone app. Dark foreground, blown out sky

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I Used to Look Great

… And now I look even better!

What is it about an old decrepit beater on the side of the road? I can’t pass one up. I took some pictures of this beauty about two years ago. It was slightly better put together then; with a For Sale sign in the window. The sign is still there. I saw it again today and had to take a few iPhone shots. She’s gone downhill in the past two years, and is even lovelier. I guess it is sad in a way. I’d love to be able to take her away and give her new life, but at the same time her sad beauty would be destroyed, as it most certainly will be anyway with time if she remains out here in the elements.

I wonder what her story is?IMG_9559.JPG



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When HDR Works

I used to shoot a lot of HDR when I first discovered it; something I think everyone does.  I soon found, that while I still liked it in some cases I was looking for a more natural look in what I shoot most, landscapes.  Sometimes though HDR is just “right”.  This is another example. Anytime there is metal, old, dents, and/or rust involved, HDR is a must.  This picture of the wheelhouse in the Battleship, Texas is interesting, but much more interesting shot in HDR.  Unfortunately I didn’t have my wide angle lens, nor could I get in for a proper shot…but you do what you can.

Battleship Texas, Wheelhouse
Battleship Texas, Wheelhouse

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Learning While Teaching

I’ve always found that the best way to become an expert is to teach other people!  That may sound strange.  Arn’t you supposed to become an expert first, then teach others?  Normally I guess I’d agree, except its a matter of definition.  You’re an expert when you know more than someone else, so as long as you teach people who know less than you do, your the expert.  Now if you’re an honest “expert”, and I hope I am, you still work hard to provide value to those you are teaching, even if you are not THE worldwide expert on the topic.  I hope I never pass myself off as a worldwide expert in anything.

A case in point.  I consider myself pretty good at image post processing.  By no means do I put myself in the same universe as others I see and follow out there like Jimmy McIntyre, and the Kelby Crew, or others listed on my site.  I am however relatively good in the local-guy-in-the-neighborhood way.  I want to become much better, and I’ve been extremely fortunate to be chosen as President of our local Photoclub.  A  “modest” little club with close to 100 members.  I say “modest” see this post.  We have a Post Processing Special Interest group as part of the club activities, and we meet once per month.  The folks in this group are great, and as eager to learn, as am I.  Working with this group has given me several opportunities to present Post Processing topics.  I’ve made it a habit to work really hard preparing for the sessions, as a way of teaching myself as much as I can about the topic, and after the meeting I write up a detailed summary of what we discussed, as a way of reinforcing the learning…For myself.  Of course I hope the learning gets through to the rest of those attending, and is reinforced by the subsequent write-up, but one of the really Maine-Kennebunk-105-Editpowerful things about teaching like this is that I probably learn more than anyone else!  I’ve even used this argument with others in the group to cajole them into presenting.

Our subject last night was Exposure Blending.  Before the meeting I listed as may ways to do this as I could come up with.  I found videos and articles online, testing them out until I could do them well, and then taught them.  Of course I didn’t start from scratch.  I knew and had been using most of the techniques prior to having to teach them, but teaching makes one go much further.  It makes you try to really understand what is going on, and why…after all, you are the “expert”.  Here’s my post meeting write up.

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