In the recently released iOS 11, Apple made some refinements to the way HDR mode in the camera is enabled or disabled. So, how can you make sure that this helpful feature is turned on? We show you the quick steps you need to take.

For a more detailed look at the other new features available in Apple's latest version of its operating system, read our iOS 11 v iOS 10 comparison review.

What is HDR?

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and is a photographic technique that has been around for a while. The idea is the camera takes multiple shots of the same thing, but at different exposure rates.

This creates brighter and darker variants, which are then digitally combined to make an image that, on the whole, is often richer and more balanced in terms of light and contrast.

HDR has been available on iPhones for a number of years now, but the feature has steadily improved with each iteration of iOS. Now, Apple is so convinced of the advantages the mode presents, that it has HDR set to automatically be on for the iPhone 8/8 Plus and presumably the iPhone X when it arrives in November.

So, how can you access the feature on your particular device? We outline the different methods below.

How do I enable it on my iPhone 7, 7 Plus or earlier models?

Enabling HDR mode remains pretty much the same in iOS 11 for devices up to the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus.

The first thing to do is launch the camera, then ensure that it is in Photo or Square mode rather than Video, Slo-Mo, Pano, or Time-Lapse.

Across the top of the screen you'll see a number of options, one of which is HDR.

how to turn on hdr on iphone

Tap this and you'll be presented with three choices Auto, On, or Off.

how to turn on hdr on iphone

The nature of the latter options are obvious, while Auto leaves it down to the iPhone's judgement whether to use the feature or not. If there's plenty of light, or great contrast, then the device will go with what's there, but if things need a bit of assistance then HDR will be engaged.

How do I enable it on my iPhone 8 or 8 Plus?

If you've picked up an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus then you'll soon notice that the HDR button is missing from the camera app. This is because the default in iOS 11 is to have it turned on.

If you're happy with this, then leave things as they are, but if you prefer to decide for yourself then it's easy to bring back the button.

Open Settings > Camera, then scroll down until you see the HDR (High Dynamic Range) section. In here are two options: Auto HDR, and Keep Normal Photo.

how to turn on hdr on iphone

The Auto HDR option will be turned on, but if you tap the button to turn it off then the HDR button will reappear in the camera app.

Now, you can tap it when taking a photo and decide whether to have it on, off, or back on automatic.

Incidentally, if you're happy with the HDR images on your iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or any of the earlier iPhones, then you might want to turn off Keep Normal Photo. This just adds the standard image to your photo library, as well as the HDR variant. Over time this could build up to create duplicates that use space on your device.

So, there you have it. Simple ways to add HDR quality to your snaps. If you want more ideas on how to create fantastic images, then read our iPhone camera tips guide.