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High Dynamic Range Photography

HDR Perfection

Spotlight on Real Estate Photography

What is HDR & What Does It Do?

This picture is a perfect example of HDR. See how everything in the room is perfectly lit. Then notice how you can look through the windows and see the view outside. That's the magic of High Dynamic Range.

Here's how it works. The photographer sets his camera up on a tripod. Then he sets the camera to HDR and presses a button. The camera takes a number of photos in quick succession, using a different exposure for each shot. The number of photos can vary, depending on the challenges of the shot, but in most cases three shots work very well.

This collage shows you the raw results of HDR. None of these photos is one you would want to use on the MLS, but merged together using a powerful tool, like Adobe Lightroom, along with the program's many editing tools, the results are amazing.

Going the Extra Mile

One of the things that sets Spot On Images apart from the competition is the way we use HDR photography. With very few exceptions, such as an interior bath or closet, we take all our shots in HDR. That's not business as usual in real estate photography. While others may use HDR for a few shots, most will be taken with traditional photography, primarily for the time factor. We actually spend more time processing our shots than we do taking them.

What's more, we merge our HDR shots manually. There are a variety of apps and programs you can use to automatically merge HDR shots. You can load all the pictures from a shoot into the app, click your mouse and the app will read which shots go together and merge them. Like many photographers we were excited when we learned of these programs, but then we used them. We found the quality of the automatically merged shots couldn't hold a candle to those merged manually - so we take the time to do it the way that produces the best results.

HDR is Only the First Step

While HDR is an important first step to producing the best quality real estate photos, it's only the beginning of the process for us. After all the HDR shots have been merged, then we go through each merged shot with a discerning eye to get the best possible image. Alignment, tint, temperature, exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, white clipping, black clipping, clarity, vibrancy and saturation are inspected and adjusted on each shot.

Then each exterior shot gets the dazzle treatment - and you don't pay an arm and a leg for it. It's just part of our service. Some days the light is perfect, the grass is green and fluffy clouds march across sky - but those days are few and far between. Your listing shouldn't suffer just because it's December rather than May. We can't put leaves on bare trees or make flowers bloom, but you don't have to settle for brown grass and a flat sky. You can have green grass. You can have a blue sky. You can dazzle your potential buyers.

Here's what it looks like when we're all through.

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