Connect with us


Always Keep the Normal Photo When Shooting HDR on the iPhone



The iPhone offers an optional HDR mode, that combines multiple exposures into one photo, to create a single photo with a wide range of light.

HDR produces some beautiful looking iPhone photographs, but users shouldn’t turn off the option to Keep Normal Photo, even if it clogs up the Photostream.

The iPhone 4S has a good camera, so good that it is my go to camera for day-to-day photos. Last week I turned on the HDR option while playing around with camera options and I turned off the save original photo feature to prevent Photostream flooding, but it came back to bite me today.

Below you can see one of the photos I lost thanks to the HDR setting. Instead of a cute puppy with his tongue hanging out after a long walk, I ended up with a four eyed two nosed puppy in need of serious help.

iPHone HDR

This is why I don't use HDR on the iPhone anymore.

Even minor movement can ruin a photo with HDR turned on. In the sample below there is a ghost image caught while my puppy is walking slowly.

bad HDR iPhone 2

Another example of a bad HDR photo from the iPhone 4S.

The HDR option also turned this photo fuzzy and added ghosting.

Bad HDR 3

Additional ghosting on a photo taken with the iPhone 4S.

I’ve already turned HDR off, but users that keep it on should make sure to set Keep Normal Photo option to yes. The slower refresh rate, which means longer times between taking photos is another reason I am leaving HDR turned off.

HDR keep normal photo

In order to turn this on, tap on the Settings app, scroll down and tap on Photos, scroll down and tap on Keep Normal Photo.

Have you lost a great photo to the HDR setting?



  1. Mandi Reyna

    09/10/2015 at 2:03 pm

    I was wondering if you could tell me how to turn the HDR setting off? I always prefer the original photo so I was wondering if that’s even possible? Thanks!!

    • Kate

      09/18/2017 at 11:01 am

      Mandi- I’m sure you have a different phone and plenty updated software but always look in your settings, then “camera”.

    • Kate

      09/18/2017 at 11:18 am

      Mandi- this is years old but you didn’t get a reply? By now you have a new phone and a lot of updates- probably. Generally- go to Settings and start digging around in the highest level camera settings (or whatever else you need to change). Or google what you need with your iPhone and version of software- both are important. Older iPhones top out at older versions of software so there are things they’ll never do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.