Real Estate, Visuals

HDR: The three most important letters in real estate photography

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HDR or High Dynamic Range brings images to life. As you’d expect, it shows more lights and more darks in an image, so you see something much closer to the reality. When a professional photographer usually shoots something in a studio, they have the option of adding light via light boxes, external flashes and other methods. But shooting images for real estate is very different. Exteriors are dependent on natural light. Interiors are based on the light that comes into the room either naturally from windows or artificially from the lighting in the room. This causes a potential problem.

But that problem doesn’t have to exist. By using HDR, a professional photographer can transform the way real estate agent visuals look. So, why is HDR important? And why is it important for real estate?

Why Does HDR Matter?

In the days where you can get a good image from a smartphone, why does it matter that you use the most up to date technology when capturing visuals? After all, the images captured on a smartphone can look stunning if you know what you’re doing with it.

But we’re looking at the next level here. HDR matters because it brings an image to life. If that’s not what we’re trying to do as real estate agents, then what are we in this for? The best agents use the best images. We already know that. People browse the property listing sites in pretty much the same way as they do social media. They scroll. And scroll and scroll and scroll until something catches their eye.

Stopping the scroll is everything we’re trying to do. Once we have the attention of a potential buyer then we’re in the game. Until that point, we’re just another listing on another site with another agent.

HDR is one of the most amazing ways to stop the scroll. It captures the attention with the stunning detail. And this is detail so good that it even stands out on a small phone screen.

Where Does HDR Matter?

Great question. Let’s start with exterior shots. One of the most startling contrasts when taking an image is the difference between the light of the sky and the relative darkness of the ground. This means a simpler phone camera or even a good digital will struggle to make up the vast difference between these two. The digital sensors will make the darks lighter and the lights darker. The result? You get an image that meets somewhere in the middle. You lose the vibrancy of the sky and the detail of the house and garden. In short, you don’t have a great image.

HDR keeps the lights light and the darks dark. This way, you get the images that provide the wow factor for both your vendors and buyers.

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In terms of interior shots, we all work hard trying to ensure –

- Each room looks spacious
- We get the right angles
- The image displays the potential

    And all of these together sell a lifestyle rather than a home. Buyers love this, buy into the concept and this is when homes sell.

    But when you use a lesser quality device to capture the image, all of the colours merge into one, the definition disappears and it doesn’t look like an amazing place to live. That’s another reason HDR is so important. It allows all of the definition to jump out from the visual, delighting your clients and your potential buyers.

    HDR shows the depth of the images, the subtle differences of the colours in the visual. This shows it as it is – a series of subtly distinct shades, just the way the human eye sees things. If you’re not using HDR then you’re losing out.

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    When Is The Best Time To Use HDR?

    Well, the first answer to that question is every time. Gone are the days when high quality visuals are exclusive to only the top end properties. This is an amazing yet affordable way to increase the value of what you offer every client every time.

    In terms of what time of day, the golden hours of sunrise and sunset are especially relevant for the use of HDR photography. This is the time of day that most outdoor professional photographers seek. They come out in that first and last hour of sunlight because the colours are far more vibrant – rendering the images even more spectacular.

    And we should be using this technique in our real estate visuals when the property is suitable. Capturing these distinct, vibrant colours to highlight the beauty of the property transforms the way it looks online. When people fall in love with a home online, it’s because of the visuals. And when someone falls in love with a property they are much more likely to buy, offer over the asking price and compete with other buyers for their dream home. And much of this is made possible by using the most important three letters in real estate visuals – HDR.

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    What Else?

    Well, the natural look is a great way to break toe disconnect between the way something looks online to what it looks like in real life. Overuse of photoshop can make a property look a million miles from reality. That’s where HDR comes in – the images bring out the natural beauty rather than altering reality.

    Create an inspiring portfolio of images for a property and then answer phone calls all day about it – because the quality of HDR photography changes everything. It brings the property to life inside and out. And we don’t need anything more than that.

    How Can backbone Help?

    Well, this is quite simple. Backbone Creatives (photographers) use that technique on site at the property you have taken on your books. Then Backbone edits the visuals with the 3 photos to have the perfect result. This means you get amazing images for your clients every single time. Add HDR to your marketing team right now with Backbone!