iPhone HDR for Still Life Photography

The Renaissance Club Sport Hotel Lobby

The Renaissance Club Sport Hotel Lobby

When you open your iPhone Photo App you will see on the top left the lightning bolt for flash and to its right is the HDR function. HDR is the acronym for High Dynamic Range and is one of Apple’s super cool functions that intelligently extends the range of detail in the shadows and highlights by combining a normal exposure, a bright exposure, and a dark exposure. If you are into shooting still life, whether it be architecture, interiors, food or anything that doesn’t move, the HDR function is the best way to go. Above is an example of what you can get out of an HDR image verses a normal exposure using the Renaissance Club Sport Hotel Lobby in Aliso Viejo as a subject. The lobby is colorful, but look at how the ceiling on the left in the NORMAL photo is white hot and without detail and the restaurant in the back is quite dark, while the HDR image is bright, colorful, and has an intact ceiling with plenty of detail in the back restaurant area. In the event your HDR image is too light or dark, you can always use the iPhone Edit tool to enhance it further. And don’t worry about losing your master photo. The iPhone Edit tool is non-destructive and you can reset it anytime to the original photo. As a rule, HDR is great for still life, but not a reliable tool for action photography. Because there are 3 exposures being married in HDR, a moving subject may break up in the processing. Be sure to check your work at 100% before sending it off. Enjoy!

Privateer Amber Rum



It began with a call from my oldest friend, Nelse Clark, who works with Andrew Cabot distilling exceptional rum in Ipswich, Massachusetts. He asked if I could photograph his Privateer Amber Rum ad for the back glossy of the Improper Bostonian. I gladly accepted. A few days later, I called him back and asked if he could find a bar with shelves filled with liquor bottles and perhaps a mirror behind them. My vision was to create color contrast between hot blue highlights in the out-of-focus bar in the background against the warm tones of the amber rum. I also suggested that he pick up a couple of identical glasses and some acrylic ice cubes. We met on Saturday morning at Craigie on Main in Cambridge, which was the perfect bar. Not only did it provide the ideal background, the slight daylight that came through the drawn blinds added hints of blue across the bottle and glass. The photograph you see here was delivered that Monday to make his deadline.

Privateer produces clean and enjoyable rums distilling both a Silver Reserve and its True American Amber Rum. Learn more at Privateer Rum.