How to: make HDR photos on the Nokia 808 (or N8)

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This had actually been on my to-do list for AAS, but Peter Meijs, writing at the PureView Club got there first, and with some lovely samples too. Although he's explicitly using the Nokia 808 PureView for creating the bracketing photos for HDR, most of the settings are achievable, with a little more work, with the N8 too (and, to an extent with other Nokia and Symbian smartphones), so don't switch off if you haven't got the 808 yet...

From Peter's piece:

Usually 3 different exposed shots are enough for a good result. Here the settings are: Pure View with 8 MP in Creative mode. Bracketing set to -2.0 / + 2.0. The shot left is the so called “zero shot”; the exposure is “normal”. This shot is for the midtones. The shot in the middle is the “minus 2.0” shot. Normal exposure is lowered by 2.0 to capture all the details of the highlights of the scene. The shot right is the “plus 2.0 shot”. Normal exposure is increased by 2.0 to capture all the details of the shadows.

HDR is for scenes with big differences in brightness, I mean deep shadows and very light areas. In the illustration above you see left how a normally exposed single image looks. The picture is not bad but if you want to see all details of the shadows parts and all the details in the highlights the HDR at right, composed with 3 shots, clearly is the winner.

Nicely done, Peter. I loved the HDR samples too, here's my favourite:

The HDR approach and the wide angle of Nokia’s 808 PureView (at 16:9) makes this picture intriguing. Taken under Calatrava bridge in Nieuw Vennep

See the original piece for full text and all the samples.

The main difference for phones other than the Nokia 808 is that the bracketed shots can't be taken in one go, with one keypress. Instead you'll almost certainly have to use a tripod or stand (to make sure that the phone body doesn't move) and then adjust the exposure manually each time, on-screen. Workable, but a lot harder than simply pressing the shutter button on the 808, in accordance with Peter's set-up instructions!

Source / Credit: PureView Club