How to Apply HDR Effect on Photo in 3 Easy and Effective Ways

Last Updated on November 15, 2021 by Peter Wood

When you preview a series of photographs, HDR photos should be the most stunning photograph that attracts your attention. If you do have the HDR cameras by yourself, how to apply HDR effects on a series of bracketed images with different exposures? Or what should you do to apply an HDR filter on a single photo? Just read the article to get the answer for using HDR photo effects properly.

High Dynamic Range (HDR) photograph designs to solve highlights and shadows. Either highlights or shadows should be one of the most frustrating trends in high contrast photography. For example, when you are in outdoor photography, the big challenge you will face is the high contrast created by the bright sky versus a darker foreground. You should note that the correct exposure would not avoid blown-out highlights and flat shadows.

At this point, you can optimize your photos through a professional photo editor, which can make HDR photo effects. HDR imaging is the process of taking several exposures of the same scene and merging them into one image. Let’s enjoy a good experience of making HDR photo effects by using the functional photo editor.

Apply HDR Effect on Photos

Part 1: How to Make HDR Effect Photo with WidsMob HDR

All the HDR cameras support take three different exposed images. And you can use the easy HDR photo maker to create HDR photos. WidsMob HDR is a super easy HDR program to make great results. It uses advanced tone mapping and auto-alignment algorithms to make HDR effects and merges three images into HDR photographs with custom effects. And you can also apply HDR filters by presets or adjustments. Just learn how to make HDR photo effects with WidsMob HDR below.

Directly Download WidsMob HDR from WidsMob Official Website

If you are a newcomer to WidsMob HDR, you can go to WidsMob, to learn more details about this fun HDR photo editor. Meanwhile, you can directly download a free trial version of it. After you finish installing WidsMob HDR on your computer, launch this HDR software and start to make HDR photo effects.

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Steps to Make HDR Photo Effect with WidsMob HDR

Step 1: Merge Photos to HDR.

Run this HDR effects maker on your computer. Click on File > Import in the lower-left corner on the upper menu to load three photos with different exposures. If there are more than 3-bracketed images, you can use EV+2, EV 0, and EV-2 images or balanced EV parameters to make HDR photo effects. Once you merge photos with different exposures, the program will present an optimal HDR file to you directly with advanced tone mapping and auto-alignment algorithms.

Merge HDR Effect Photo in WidsMob HDR

Step 2: Adjust parameters for HDR photos according to your need.

To get desired HDR, you can customize the Tone Length, Tone Saturation, Ghost Suppression, Brightness, Saturation, and Contrast. You can also choose the preset HDR filters to add special effects to the HDR photographs.

Adjust HDR Effect in WidsMob HDR

Step 3: Save or share HDR effect image on social media.

As soon as you finish optimize the photo, you can tap the Save button to save your HDR picture on your computer. You can name the HDR file, give it tags, choose the save location and photo format (PNG, JPEG, or TIFF). And you can share it on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks to show your new HDR effect picture with family and friends.

Save HDR Effect Photo with WidsMob HDR

Just get to learn HDR effect editing visually from the video tutorial:

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Mostly, HDR photos should be the most stunning photograph that attractive people’s attention. However, HDR is a tricky subject to master for HDR photographers. Because it is hard to ensure a creative and natural look for HDR photos. So long as you use WidsMob HDR, which makes multiple HDR photo effects, you can create a realistic HDR photo. Furthermore, you can know more information about how to apply HDR effects on photos.

Part 2: How to Create HDR Photo Effects with Photoshop

Usually, you have to fake an HDR effect for a single photo. If you take an HDR photograph with Smartphone, you can use some HDR APPs to apply HDR filters. There are multiple HDR programs to apply HDR filters. If you only have one single photo, you can still make cool HDR photo effects with Photoshop. Just learn how to create HDR photo effects in Photoshop with the following steps.

Step 1. Run Photoshop and load the photo as the original layer. Just make sure it is in RGB mode. If not, go to Image > Mode > RGB to set the image mode to RGB.

Make HDR Effect with Photoshop

Step 2. Duplicate the original layer as Layer 1 by selecting Layers > Duplicate Layers. And you put Layer 1 over the original layer and change the blending option of Layer 1 to Overlay. Turn the image black and white by choosing Image > Adjustments > Desaturate.

Create HDR Effect with Photoshop

Step 3. Go to Image > Adjustments > Invert. It will create a negative image. Generally, the light area will be dark, and the light of the dark part.

Step 4. Add a Gaussian Blur form Filter > Blur > Gaussian to experiment with the different settings until you find the best result.

Step 5. Change the blend mode, which affects how your layers blend. Adjust the blend of the new layers and move to overlay to create your finished fake HDR photo.

With or Without HDR Effect in Photoshop

Thanks for Photoshop to make HDR photo effects. Now, you can see that the image with more colors to play with has better-looking results. Besides, if you have a series of photos taken by an HDR camera, you can learn how to make HDR photo effects with HDR Pro Photoshop.

Part 3: How to Fake HDR Photo Effects Online for Free

Given the difficulty of making HDR photo effects in Photoshop, you can try an easier way to create an HDR filter online. All you need to do is upload the original photo to the online HDR program. Then the HDR online application can make HDR photo effects for your requirements.

Let’s take Online HDR Software from Fotor as an example to let your know how you can make HDR photo effects online within four steps.

Step 1. Enter on the browser and click Get Started on the webpage to start HDR photo effect editing with this online HDR software.

Open Online HDR Software

Step 2. Upload two or three bracketed photos of the same scene but with different exposures. Then click the Start button to let this online software start making HDR photos for you automatically.

Create HDR Effect Online

Step 3. You can adjust different styles of HDR effects and change the intensity, brightness, contrast, saturation, and sharpness, etc. You can also modify other editing settings to create HDR images as you like.

Adjust HDR Effect Online

Step 4. After finishing editing, click the Snapshot or Save button on the top to save your work.

But, make HDR effects online has the limitations, such as limited editing options and lower quality of outputs. Some HDR online filters only add brightness and adjust the colors of the original photo. Therefore, the online HDR effects application should be hard to use if you need to create HDR photo effects.


What should be the main difference between HDR filter and HDR effects? For the bracketed images taken in different exposure, the HDR photo effect includes all the detail of the stuff you took when you use RAW files. But HDR filter, on the other hand, adds some filters onto the original image, which will blur some detail of the original image.

There are multiple methods to apply HDR effects or HDR filters on photos. The most important one should be the effect of the high dynamic range image. You can use different HDR software to make various HDR effects or HDR filters. Here we introduce three ways to create HDR effect photos. Creating HDR images with professional yet easy-to-use HDR software on your computer, make HDR pictures with Photoshop, or apply an HDR filter to your photo by online HDR software. You can find the one most suitable for you as a starter or as a professional.

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