When you look at this picture, what comes to mind? I notice what is NOT there. There are no crooked images of an empty room, with the shades drawn. There are not a lot of dark areas inside or shadows on the floor and walls. Instead, the highlights are more as my eyes would see them.
The fact is that real estate photography requires a lot of interior shooting. Surveys conducted every year by NAR and others tell us that people are using the web to shop for homes to buy or rent. An overwhelming 90%+ of them tell surveyors that photos are the first thing they check out and they’re very important to them. If they like the pictures, they’ll check out the descriptive text and property information. If they don’t like them, they move on..
Many agents would rather run through a house in 10 minutes, shooting each room with their smart phone. Others have embraced HDR, High Dynamic Range. HDR photography uses 3 to 5 photos at different exposure settings to merge and create a single image with all of the bright and dark areas adjusted for a result like the one in the photo above.
Most of the digital cameras that are available in today’s market have a feature called “exposure bracketing.” You set the camera to take your 3 photos with one underexposed, one properly exposed, and one overexposed. You should use a tripod as you’re going to push the shutter button once and all three exposures will be created in rapid order.
Now you just need software to do the HDR process for you. There is free software out there, such as Picturenaut. There are many good software packages under $50 too. The software merges the three photos to create the perfect blend of exposures that are more like what your eyes do for you. Some of the newer digital cameras even have in-camera HDR, and the processing is done for you automatically.
If you are serious about marketing homes for sale or rent, you should definitely embrace HDR so that you can have the highest chance of getting the attention of your online viewers.