HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography, simply put, overcomes a camera’s dynamic range limitations to provide a much more realistic photograph. Dynamic Range refers to a camera sensor’s ability to reproduce a range of light…from dark to light. Digital cameras, even the best ones, have a much narrower dynamic range than the human eye. You’ve probably experienced this in your Real Estate business…especially when taking a photo of the interior of a house with super bright windows. As Real Estate agents, this is one of the most common issues we have with property photos.
HDR has been around a lot longer than most people may think. In its most basic form, famous photographer Ansel Adams was able to increase the dynamic range of his photographs by using darkroom techniques such as “dodging” and “burning”. However, we’re not all Ansel Adams, are we? And, as Real Estate Agents, we’re certainly not taking property photos on film and processing them in a darkroom. I hope you’re not, anyway!
HDR photography as we know it today has been around for around ten years, and the technology for creating these types of images is improving all the time. You should be aware of how it works, because the benefits for Real Estate Agents are huge when it comes to property photos. Here’s my 6 Reasons Why HDR Is Best For Real Estate Photography:
The Dynamic Range.
That may seem obvious, given that HDR stands for “High Dynamic Range”, but let’s not understate the significance of this. Property photos are one of the most challenging forms of photography from a lighting perspective, since we’re almost always shooting dark interiors with bright windows. Your photos will look better if the dynamic range covers the visible spectrum, not just what a single image can reproduce.
Proper exposure in any type of photography has to do with reproducing detail accurately. If a photograph has limited dynamic range, that translates into a lack of detail in the parts of the image that are brightest or darkest. Consider the following living room photo with blown out windows versus the HDR version. There’s no detail in the windows without HDR and the couch looks completely black. HDR restores the detail to those areas.
Using A Professional Photographer.
The reality is, unless you are a high-level amateur photographer (and Real Estate Agent), you probably don’t have the skills or time to handle taking true HDR photos yourself. That means that you’re going to have to hire a professional, which is always a good thing. Not only will you get the HDR pics, you also get the highly trained eye of someone who takes property photos all the time. Professional photos always look better than agent photos.
They Look Different.
Properly done HDR photos stand out because they look more realistic. Be careful, though…poorly done HDR photos can stand out because they look fake. Hiring a pro who knows how to create realistic pics will make your photos stand out on the MLS or any of the hundreds of syndication sites out there. Good pics mean more clicks, which translate into more showings.
They Help in Listing Presentations.
I can’t tell you the number of listings I’ve won because I take the time to show samples of my previous listings to prospective clients. Those listings always have HDR photos, and always elicit an audible response from sellers. Home owners want to know that their agent is doing everything possible to represent their property in the best light possible (pun intended), and professional HDR photos make a difference.
They Improve Your Personal Brand.
When you use a professional photographer, be sure to secure the right to utilize the photos you paid for outside of the listing. That way, you can use them on your website, promotional videos and pre-listing packets to help solidify your brand.
Hopefully this post will help you to understand the huge impact that HDR photography will have on your listing photos. When hiring a professional to shoot your next listing, make sure they do HDR. If you’re paying anyway, get it done right and you won’t be disappointed.