What is the difference between HDR and HD?
Okay, let me explain HDR, which any high-end architectural photographer must do, and often landscape photographers as well.
It’s a technical trick used to compensate for the fact that even the highest quality digital sensors in today’s cameras still cannot match the “dynamic range” of the human eye. Dynamic range is the ability to discern detail in both very bright and very dark areas of an image.
For example, imagine a photo of a hillside, with a bright sky and the sun glowing, and down the hillside is the opening of a cave, very dark. In a photograph, the sky and especially the sun will simply be white, without detail, texture or color variation. The hillside with show trees, rocks, etc. with nice colors and detail. Then in the cave opening shows as black – even though the human eye can see at least faint details of rock textures, etc, for a short distance into the cave opening.
HDR is a technique where you put the camera on a tripod, take several photos at different exposure settings, and in Photoshop you combine different portions of these matching (“bracketed” is what we call it) photos. One exposure for the sky, one for the hillside and one or more for the cave opening. A best exposure of the sky captures fine detail in the white clouds and sun… a best exposure makes the hillside look beautiful, and a best exposure for the cave opening can capture the rocky detail some distance into the opening. Combine the best portions of these three, and you achieve a final photo comes close, or may even exceed, what the human I can detect.
In real estate this is essential, mostly to achieve balanced indoor shots where the scene outside the windows or patio doors would normally blast white with overexposure. There are two techniques for dealing with this problem. One is to take multiple bracketed exposures and blend them in Photoshop, this being called HDR photography. The alternative is to use strobe flash lighting, carefully set up in the room, to brighten the room to the lighting level of the sunlit scene outdoors, which means making it a LOT brighter. For stills, this is done with strobe “flash” lighting. With video, the lighting must be continuous, needing movie production lights, essentially impossible economically on real estate jobs. Even with strobes (for stills) this really requires hiring an assistant to set and move lights from room to room, and greatly increases the time required to shoot. Very few real estate photographers do HDR to the level they should because they feel they don’t get paid enough to do this sort of thing. We put YOUR needs over ours and create true HDR so your property captivates. It’s why more and more people are turning to us to handle their premium property marketing needs