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HDR Photography | What It Is, And Why We Use It

Updated: Aug 28, 2020


HDR photo of modern high rise real estate property in south florida

Ever wonder how we achieve such crisp clear windows in our photos? This is because as a Professional Photographer we use a technology called "HDR Photography".


What is HDR?

HDR is an abbreviation for High Dynamic Range. Dynamic range is basically just the difference between the lightest light and the darkest dark you can capture in a photo. "The "necessary" reason for making an HDR image is due to the fact that our eyes can perceive an extraordinary range of contrast in a scene, a range far greater than any camera's sensor can capture. We see into a scene's brightly lit areas, and we can also tell what's going on in the shadows. The camera is going to have trouble capturing the ends of that drastic range. If you choose to meter for the highlights (the bright areas), you'll lose pretty much all the detail in the shadow areas of the scene. Try it the other way—meter for the shadows—and it's likely you'll end up with what is commonly called "blown out" highlights." (excerpt from Nikon).



How does HDR photography work?

HDR photos are created by taking between two-nine photos of the SAME shot at different exposures. During the editing process, we merge those images together so it combines all the highlights and shadows together to create a more balanced image that looks more like the human eye sees.



series of photos of the same scene to show the process of creating an HDR photo
The bottom three images are the different exposures combined to help create the top image


Why use HDR for Real Estate Photography?

The main reason for using HDR (as mentioned above) is so the photo looks closer to the way our human eyes see things. HDR methods are used to balance interior spaces with exterior views, which is what creates bright interior photos with crisp clear windows. We find that HDR images are the most flattering when marketing Real Estate Photography.


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