How to Master HDR+ on Pixel 3

By implementing natural elements like high contrast, sunlight, and movement you can say goodbye to your old point-and-shoot DSLR with Pixel 3's HDR mode.

Mastering HDR on Pixel 3 - Erik Hedberg
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HDR+ Mode on Pixel 3

The Pixel 3 camera is totally blowing our minds.

To make up for the loss of a 2 or even 3-lens camera system, Google added a Visual Core chip to the hardware, making it easy to conceptualize advanced A.I powered photography techniques with HDR mode. With a combination of burst-photos, corrected exposure, less noise, and an improved dynamic range — this camera is rumored to be the leading contender on the current smartphone market.

Enhance the heck out of your mountain biking shots (props to our engineer lead, Erik, for these sweet photos!) with these simple tricks below.

Mastering HDR on Pixel 3 - Erik Hedberg

Why HDR+ Is a Huge Advantage for the Pixel 3...

Three words: single lens camera.

This is the first of our many interesting speculations, especially for those looking for a more complex camera upgrade. Since all new flagship Apples and Samsungs are on board with a dual-lens camera system; specifically operating on Wide and Tele lenses, it’s rather interesting to see they’ve kept with a single-lens rear. Especially if the Huawei P20 Pro has become the first of its kind to launch a 3-camera rear setup — you can see why it’d be confusing Google wouldn’t adjust that feature. But according to 9to5Google, the creators were “doubling down on making a single camera powerful enough to not need a second camera”.

And indeed… the camera rocks. It’s especially useful when paired with Moment’s very own Pro Camera App — and thanks to our engineers’ incredible software algorithms, you can make the any Pixel device shoot like a DSLR in the palm of your hand.

Mastering HDR on Pixel 3 - Erik Hedberg
Mastering HDR on Pixel 3 - Erik Hedberg

Sunlight Is Your Friend

Most photographers shy away from the harsh, sunny environments but it is within these over-lit conditions that HDR sparkles bright. Within backlit subject matter, you’ll be able to hone in on sharpening smaller detail in the outside elements; such as trees, leaves, clouds, and rocky terrain.

Mastering HDR on Pixel 3 - Erik Hedberg

Framed By Nature

An excellent way to increase the depth of field within your HDR image is to place subject matter in the foreground. When outside, placing scrambled branches along the edges of the frame will not only give the picture an extra slice of life, but sharp its detail tenfold.

Mastering HDR on Pixel 3 - Erik Hedberg

ND Filters

If you’re using one of our Moment Lenses to enhance the already awesome Pixel 3 camera, try using a 3-stop or 6-stop ND filter. Simply rotate the filters onto the front of your lens of choice to reduce the brightness of the sky. You can even use a tinted or graduated ND filter to add a pop of color into the clouds. Using these bad boys are easily the most effective way to enhance the dynamic range of your subject to match that of your camera.

Mastering HDR on Pixel 3 - Erik Hedberg
Mastering HDR on Pixel 3 - Erik Hedberg

Portrait Mode

Have you tried the Portrait Mode on your Pixel yet? Because holy cow, it will rock your world. With Google’s fresh UI sensor calibrating a soft bokeh background, your portraits will mimic the creamy True Tone vibe of the Pixel 2. Take a look at our past article on this very subject.

Mastering HDR on Pixel 3 - Erik Hedberg
Portrait Mode
Mastering HDR on Pixel 3 - Erik Hedberg
Portrait Mode

Create Some Action

High action shots are interesting and bold. Create movement in your image by having the trees rustle through the wind or your friends do a sweet bike trick on the edge of a mountain. Capturing movement with HDR+ isn’t easy, but it’s the best way to achieve greater dynamic range of luminosity than it is possible with standard digital imaging or photographic techniques.

Mastering HDR on Pixel 3 - Erik Hedberg
Shot On Moment Wide
Mastering HDR on Pixel 3 - Erik Hedberg
Shot On Moment Wide

Pixel 3’s HDR is the smart combination and splicing of multiple frames of the same shot, exposed at different values. By implementing natural elements like high contrast, sunlight, and movement with the use of an ND filter and Moment lens — you can say goodbye to your old point-and-shoot DSLR. We are loving new phone season!

Mastering HDR on Pixel 3 - Erik Hedberg
Shot on Moment Wide

That's All, Folks!

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