Capturing the beauty: A guide to using HDR in real estate photography

If you’re in real estate photography, you know how hard it is to overvalue good shots. We’re sure you also know how difficult it is to get them.

In this article, we’ll tell you the secrets of HDR photography when shooting real estate. Why choose this type of photography and how to shoot it correctly? Read on to learn more.

Why use HDR?

The reason why you should use HDR is very simple: this type of shooting is the best way to understand how a picture will be seen by the human eye. HDR is capable of capturing every detail and rendering it in a way that no other mode can. It also has a sense of depth and dimension to your images, making them better.

Remember that if you choose this mode, you can hardly get a perfect pic without HDR photo editing. One of the best tools for this is Luminar Neo from Skylum. HDR Merge is a great way to improve your pictures. We are sure that this HDR photo software will help you to attract viewers’ attention to your images.

Let’s take a closer look at three of the biggest benefits of HDR photos.

1) Level of detail

An extraordinary level of detail and clarity in the images. By combining several images with varying exposures, you can produce final images that are rich in detail and visually stunning. This is particularly advantageous in real estate photography, as prospective buyers will want to examine every aspect of the property before making a decision.

2) Broader dynamic range

Having a broader dynamic range enables you to capture both bright highlights and dark shadows in an image without compromising on either. This is particularly crucial in real estate photography as properties often feature a combination of light and dark elements, and it is important for potential buyers to be able to clearly see all aspects of the property.

3) Brighter colors

HDR real estate photography produces brighter colors compared to traditional photography, thanks to its ability to capture multiple images with different exposures and blend them together to achieve a wider range of colors in the final image. Consequently, listings featuring vivid and striking colors are more likely to catch the attention of potential buyers.

Tips for HDR photoshooting

If you don’t learn how to shoot HDR properly, not even the best HDR photo software will help you. Read below for tips that will help you achieve stunning results.

Shoot a bracket of images

There is a very simple principle at work here. You need several (6 to 9) pictures of the same place, taken with different brightness. The next step is to combine them all into one photo. The principle is that gradually the viewer will see how the picture changes, and will be able to evaluate the final version.

Real estate photographers often rely on a specific bracketing sequence, such as -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, or -2, 0, +2, to capture multiple shots with varying exposure levels. These settings are carefully chosen to achieve the desired dynamic range and color depth in the final image.

Typically, 0 represents the most neutral exposure, -2 indicates a two-stop reduction in exposure for capturing darker areas, and +2 means a two-stop increase in exposure to capturing brighter areas. Many modern cameras support automatic bracketing, which captures shots in a sequence within the chosen bracketing range.

Save photos in RAW format

The first and most important advantage of this format is that it is very easy to edit. You can use any free HDR photo software to enhance your picture. The reason is that 80% of post-processing applications support this format.

Use low ISO

If you’re a photographer, you know for a fact that a high ISO can cause unwanted noise in a photo. This will cause streaks and glare. When shooting real estate, this is the last thing the viewer wants to see in a picture. 

Choose a suitable DSLR

Remember that you absolutely need a camera that supports bracketing mode. It will give you the ability to take photos with different exposures in good quality. In any case, if you don’t use a good camera, you won’t get the best results.

Don’t forget the tripod

When you’re thinking about what equipment you’ll need, a tripod should be at the top of your list. It’s the tripod that will allow you to capture clear images. Otherwise, you may be hampered by hand tremors and, consequently, by camera shake.

A small tripod with a remote trigger is the best option. It will allow you to take several exactly the same shots with different brightness. And that’s exactly what you need for bracketing!

Don’t be afraid of post-processing

We have often seen statements that a good photo does not need editing. We disagree because post-processing can make the picture better. Find the right application and don’t be afraid to experiment!

Use HDR with confidence in your real estate photos

We’ve told you everything we know about HDR photography in real estate. Remember that you can’t get good results without practice. Practice, and you are sure to succeed.