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If you are a real estate agent on Instagram, you are probably bombarded with listing images while scrolling through the day. While in the process, if you ever got attracted to a particular property photo, chances are that it was an HDR image. HDR spotlights the finest features of a picture, bringing out its deepest shadows and brightest attributes. When rightly done, it can add that fantastical touch, making the photo straight out of a fairytale. Read on to learn everything you need to know about what is HDR photography; right from the equipment required to how to shoot them, so that your next listing image can take viewers to wonderland.

Table of Contents

What is HDR Photography in Real Estate

HDR works perfectly in real estate as it is best suited for still objects, like buildings. Here is how you can make the best use of HDR real estate photography.

Technical Tips for Shooting HDR Photos

Here are a few tips to click jaw-dropping HDR real estate photographs:

  • Autobracketing is a technique in HDR real estate photography where your camera takes multiple photos of the listing at a time. These photos will be clicked at a different exposure and shutter speed, only to be merged while editing to produce striking HDR images.
  • You can try out different apertures and click a varied number of photos depending on your camera’s abilities. Most photographers click 3-5 pictures with apertures ranging from -2 to 2.
  • As we mentioned earlier, shoot in RAW format if your memory card accommodates because JPEG cuts down the file size using compression, resulting in loss of picture quality. Since RAW files take up a lot of space, go for large capacity memory cards, say at least class 10, so your images get written to the card quicker.
  • HDR real estate photography works best during sunrise and sunset as it has the power to bring out the golden hour almost as perfectly as it looks in real life. While shooting sunsets, underexposed images work best as they capture the fine detailing in the sky. Choose a range of exposure between +2 to +4.
  • As we mentioned earlier, HDR photography real estate works best for still objects and anything that doesn’t move in 5-10 seconds. So be wary of moving clouds, birds, and cars interrupting your exterior HDR  photos.

Suggested Tools for HDR Real Estate Photography

The following basic photography gear can help you click stunning HDR photos.

1. Camera

While choosing a camera for HDR real estate photography, go for one with Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB). With AEB, you won’t need to worry about adjusting camera settings manually between shots, saving you oodles of time and resulting in neat HDR photos. In addition, modify your camera settings to exposure between -2 and +2, and shoot in RAW file format. Read on to learn more about camera settings and what is HDR photography.

2. Tripod

Since HDR photography real estate requires images to be aligned, a tripod is necessary. Unfortunately, even though HDR software programs have image alignment features, they won’t yield the results that a tripod offers.

Suggested Software for HDR Real Estate Photography

This list of HDR software suits all budgets and computer systems.

1. Photomatix

Photomatix is a powerful, full-featured software that is reputed to produce the most natural-looking HDR photos. Photomatix Essentials RE is specially designed for newcomers in real estate photography who want to create interior photos where the rooms look bright, and the windows show the view outside. Buy a license at $79 to avoid watermarked images.

2. Luminance HDR

Luminance is a free yet flexible and capable HDR program that comes with six different photo blending algorithms that can make your photos look realistic or surreal, depending on the need.

3. Photoshop

Good old Photoshop is every photo editor’s go-to software. It comes with a magnificent library of features that make the learning curve steep on the flip side. Once you master this essential photo editing software in the market, you can subscribe to Photoshop at $9.99/ month.

Editing Your HDR Photos

You can use one of the aforementioned HDR photo editing software such as Photomatix, Luminance, Photoshop, or Lightroom to convert your RAW files into stellar HDR real estate photos. Merge multiple images of the same room and watch as the magic unfolds. If you clicked a moving image and are struggling to fix it, use the de-ghosting procedure found in any HDR software. To learn more about HDR photo editing, check out this article.

Over-processing is a problem seen in HDR photographs nowadays. The numerous presets and filters available in HDR photos nowadays take out the beauty of HDR images, pushing people to opt out of it. Instead, approach HDR photography to expand the dynamic range of your pictures and keep your edits subtle. Remember, less is more in HDR language. We hope this article gave you an insight into what is HDR photography.

Styldod is a design-tech company that aims to simplify real estate marketing and help agents present homes in their most favorable light online by reimagining and automating the listing photography process. Having begun as a virtual staging company, today, Styldod has affordable and best-in-class products and services for every facet of real estate marketing and photography. Styldod’s suite of services include virtual staging, image enhancements, floor plans, virtual renovation, 3D renders, 360 degree virtual tours, and Matterport virtual staging, to name a few. We're trusted by over 10,000 realtors from all over the US and from companies like ReMax, Coldwell Banker, Keller Williams. Know more about us at https://www.styldod.com.

Ann Alex

Ann is a thriller-loving Economics major who chose to follow her passion for writing and became a Content Writer at Styldod. A big Jeffrey Archer fan, Ann loves books, films, and everything else that gets her creative juices flowing.

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