True HDR was already a very nice HDR app, much better than the HDR feature native to the iPhone 4. Now, they’ve developed some intriguing new features that set it apart from other HDR apps.
High Dynamic Range Imaging, or HDR, refers to the photography method of taking the darker part of one photo and the lighter part of another to create the perfect photo. You know sometimes you take a photo and your subject appears in shadow while the background is perfect? And then, you try it again, but this time, your subject looks fine while the background is blown out? HDR solves that problem by combining the best of both photos. Not only is everything properly lit, but the shot will often have an artistic, surreal feel to it.
True HDR gives you four options for creating HDR photos.
Auto Capture: this is completely automatic. The app senses where the light and the dark parts are, and shoots three pictures. Merge the shots for one good one.
SemiAuto Capture: this mode asks you to select the light spot and dark spot of your choice. Then tap the camera button and the app does the rest; tap Merge to combine the photos into one.
Manual Capture: in this mode, you choose a light spot, shoot, and then choose a dark spot, and shoot again. Tap Merge and you’ve created your HDR shot.
Choose Pictures: remember when you took those two imperfect photos in the second paragraph? The one that had a dark subject (perfect background) and the other with the perfect subject (blown out background)? It’s not to late to save them. Go into this mode, and find those two imperfect shots. Tap Merge to get that one lovely HDR shot.
As with any HDR photography, when shooting the same subject twice, be sure to hold the camera very still. The subject must be still as well, or the images won’t line up perfectly and you will get a weird ghosting effect.
So, now you’ve got your HDR photo. So far, everything I’ve described is pretty standard for a good HDR app. So what’s new and different? First of all, you can now adjust your HDR photo with sliders for warmth, saturation, contrast, and brightness. Also, they’ve added a bunch of new effects that you can use to enhance your photo. In my featured photo above, I used Retro II. You’ll also find: Sepia, Retro, Mono, XPro (Cross-Processed), RedShift, and Vignette. These filters add a really nice touch to your photos. Yes, there are a million other apps that add fun effects like these, but it’s great to have them right in this app so you don’t have to move the photo from app to app.
Speaking of moving photos from app to app, it actually just got easier to do that, for certain apps. PocketPixels and CodeCorp have released something really cool called the PhotoAppLink library. What this means is you can now edit a photo using multiple apps without having to close and open each one. So, when I was done editing the featured (top) image in True HDR, I was able to send it directly to Snap Camera!, where I added the text you see on the photo. A number of other apps are already included in this PhotoAppLink Library, with more sure to sign on. Go to their website to see the complete list of included apps, or check out my photos here; they are all listed within these two photos.
So, who would like to win a copy of True HDR? We’ve teamed with the developer to offer three copies of the app to our readers. For your chance to win a promo code, simply comment below, and tell me what types of shots you like to take that could benefit from a good HDR app. Contest ends on Monday, September 5, at 9:00 a.m. EDT. Good luck!