Learn Advanced Photo Editing

How To Add Depth And Fine Detail With HDR DLX

By Whitney | Advanced Photo Editing Photo Editor Tutorials

Ever tried to capture a high-contrast scene with your camera, only to discover most of the details are missing in your photographs? We’ve got great news for those problem photos: our brand new HDR DLX effect is here to restore them back to that natural beauty you were seeing with your eyes before you hit capture!

What is HDR?

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. In a nutshell, it’s a technique used in photography that reproduces a greater range of luminosity (light and dark sources) than your camera can normally capture. The result is a photo that more closely resembles what your eye sees when you look at objects in different light scenarios. The human eye is always adapting to wide ranges of luminosity, which is why we can see depth and details clearly even in a low-light setting.

To achieve photos with HDR quality in complicated software, a series of photographs must be taken with different exposure levels, then merged into one photograph. It’s called exposure bracketing, and it can literally take hours between actually taking the photos and merging them into one. But our HDR DLX effect does all of this work for you by utilizing the same adaptive exposure technology used in complicated software, only we took out the learning curve and need for manual exposure bracketing! This means that with one click, it will add back more of the realism and depth you’d see with your eyes.


When To Use HDR DLX

The HDR DLX effect is clever enough to enhance the parts of your photo that need it most, so it works wonders a wide range of photography, but here are four situations where it really saves the day:  

Landscape Photography. Landscape photos usually have a lot of contrast between the sky and land. Your camera typically chooses between these two elements and tends to add more light and detail to one and darken the other. With HDR DLX, you can capture details in both the sky and landscape to create a more balanced photo!  




Portraits in Sunlight. Too much lighting on one’s face creates a lot of dark shadows. The HDR DLX effect brings out the details that are hiding in these shadows without losing the sun glow.




Low-Lit Scenes. When you’re shooting in a dark environment with some sources of light, like a dark room with candlelight or city lights at night. While cameras tend to make the light in these scenes look blown out, HDR DLX will balance the contrast without ruining the mood.




Back-lit Scenes. When the sun is behind an object and darkens the foreground, including sunrises and sunsets. HDR DLX adds the detail back into the foreground, so your photo doesn’t have to look like the sun is taking over the shot. I'll show you how to take this photo from original to enhanced with HDR DLX below.  




Enhancing Fine Details With Regions

Most photo editing effects apply the same amount of power to your entire photo as a whole, but our HDR DLX effect is much more clever! It uses adaptive exposure technology, meaning it will automatically separate your photo into virtual regions and apply different levels of power based on the light and dark areas of each region. These regions are invisible to the naked eye, but not to our photo editor! By knowing where to add more power, the HDR DLX effect is able to achieve more balanced contrast and enhance the fine details in your photo without blowing things out of proportion.

To breathe life back into your less-than-perfect photo, start by uploading it into the BeFunky Photo Editor. I'll be demonstrating with the back-lit photo from the above example. At the top of the Edit panel, you’ll see a shiny new button called Enhance DLX. This is where the HDR DLX effect lives. All it takes is one click of the HDR DLX to add depth and realism to your photo, but you can get even more detailed with your editing process by clicking on the settings menu. Here, you’ll find three sliders: Opacity, Strength, and Regions. 


First, let’s talk about the Regions slider. The number on the slider indicates the amount of regions your photo is being virtually split into.When the amount of regions is increased the area of each region gets smaller, allowing the HDR DLX effect to add even more attention to detail within each region. Here’s what those regions might look like with the regions slider set at 12 versus 25. Notice the light and dark sources within each region and note that the regions are virtual, meaning you’ll never actually see the grid.




[su_befunky_protip protiptitle="Quick Tip"]Depending on the photo you start with, more regions isn’t always the best choice. The more regions you use, the less strength you might need. It's always best to test out different regions and find what works best for your photo. [/su_befunky_protip]

The settings menu also presents two other options for controlling details: Opacity and Strength. If you can imagine your photo having two layers, the bottom one being your original photo, Opacity refers to the layer of the HDR DLX effect that sits on top. Decreasing this will lessen the amount of the effect that you’re seeing and makes it more transparent on top of your original photo.

Strength refers to the power of the effect being applied. Increasing this setting adds more power and intensity within each region. Take a look at the difference between this photo with 12 regions set at 25% strength versus 50% strength:




Final Results

With HDR DLX, you can truly restore your problem photos and make them more realistic to what your eye saw in the first place. Just one click of this effect creates a more balanced, detailed photo without having to spend hours using complicated software. 


Click the link below to start rescuing those problem photos!

Perfect Photos With a Single Click

Photo Editing. Simplified