Eyewitness Photo: HDR Sunset

BreakingModern — I’ve seen several amazing sunset photos on social media services such as Instagram and Google+. They are typically stunning and make me (and all of us, I think) sigh wistfully. Shooting a beautiful sunset photo requires great timing and a clear understanding of the camera being used. In this case, the HTC One M8, used by Hilda Laboy.

sunset eyewtiness photo hilda laboy

Here we have a beautiful sunset shot taken in Arroyo, Puerto Rico. This high-res photo is well done in its point of view, cropping and handling of the sun, which shines directly into the lens of the M8’s camera. In some cases, shooting directly into light with your smartphone camera will cause your subject to black out into a silhouette or become overexposed. In short, capturing this level of clarity is truly difficult. Here are two tricks to minimize the negative effects of the sun in your shots:

  1. Feel for the focal point, aim away from it for a second then quickly back before the sensor tries to adjust for the excess light. As you can imagine, that’s a crapshoot at catching a great photo, but when it works it’s golden.
  2. Shoot in your camera’s HDR mode, if it has one.

The second trick is what Laboy used. When shooting in HDR, your camera will grab several different exposures and mesh them into one photograph. This offers a high dynamic range in color and lighting, which creates exceptionally vivid shots. This worked well for Laboy’s photo. She was able to minimize the sun’s attempt at blowing out the lower right third of her photograph. It’s still bright, but that can easily be adjusted in a mobile editor such as Snapseed.

Very pretty picture, Hilda. Thank you for sharing it with me. Be sure to follow Hilda Laboy on Instagram as she shares more great photos taken with her HTC One M8.

What photos do you have on your HTC mobile device? Maybe some more stunning sunset pics? Feel free to share them with me by emailing me a link to them via [email protected] or tag me on Twitter and Google+. You can reply to me using the #EyewitnessPhoto, and I just may feature it in the daily Eyewitness Photo column. Be sure to mention your HTC smartphone model and any camera apps or mobile photo editing apps used.

Eyewitness photo logoFor BMod, I’m

Featured/Header image: Hilda Laboy

Disclaimer: HTC and aNewDomain Media co-produce this site, and its editors and writers are paid accordingly.

Ant Pruitt

Author: Ant Pruitt

Based in Charlotte, NC, Ant Pruitt covers photography and smartphone cameras for BreakingModern. Follow him @ant_pruitt on Twitter.

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