To put it simply – Good dynamic range is when you can capture the details of the bright sky and dark landscape all in one image.
Most cameras struggle with good dynamic range so you’ll need to choose what you want to see, the sky or the landscape.
Although most smartphones have an HDR (High Dynamic Range) setting which allows you to capture both the sky and landscape in complete detail.
Here are 3 few tips that might help you.
Picture-control / picture-style
Set your picture-control/picture-style to portrait. This way you will get a ‘flatter’ image. Meaning the contrast will be much lower, and that means you will get just a little bit more detail. This is especially helpful when shooting portraits.
Neutral density filter (or old sunglasses)
A neutral density filter is basically just polaroid sunglasses for your camera. It makes everything a bit darker and gets rid of the harsh sunlight.
Most of the time we want to capture what we see. But our cameras aren’t as good as our eyes. Especially when it comes to dynamic range. It is very satisfying when you capture exactly what you saw with your eyes.
A neutral density filter can make magic happen.
You can go a few ways about this. Either by buying a neutral density filter, which can be a bit expensive, especially if photography is just a hobby, or just improvise with old sunglasses. (Tinted smash and grab film will also work very well).
Active D-Lighting / Auto Lighting Optimizer
If you have the option I’d suggest turning it on and set it on normal.
This is a setting that will restore highlight and shadow details that are sometimes lost when strong light increases the contrast between the bright and dark area of an image. (Which basically translates to somewhat of an HDR image.)
“The best camera for photography is the one you have with you…just learn how to use it to its full potential.”
Increasing your aperture can make a huge difference. I’d suggest anything above f/6.3, but it also depends on the situation and circumstances.