Just for Fun: iPhone 4 HDR Photo of Fireworks

Hand lit no-permit required fireworks are a popular way to celebrate the new year where I live (4th of July too). This past New Year’s Eve was, however, the last time we were able to do so because laws that went into effect at the start of 2011 ban the use of these permit-less fireworks.

So, I took this last opportunity to try the iPhone 4’s HDR (High Dynamic Range) photo option to photograph something it was not intended for: Fireworks. HDR works best with static scenes since it takes information from three photos (at a minimum) to produce its effect. Fireworks change in fractions of a second. The first photo you see here is the “standard” photo type on the iPhone 4. You can see what looks like a “splotch” of a couple of

The second photo is the HDR version of the photo from my iPhone 4. I do not know if it actually is based on a composite image or if the details of the three fireworks canisters sitting upright on the ground was simply photographed in between the multiple flashes from the fireworks. In any case, it amused me to see the output from HDR option in a situation not quite appropriate for its use.