Before and After: Subtle, Hand Crafted HDR Enhances Real Estate Photos Without Distracting – Part 3

Part of the fun of real estate photography is High Dynamic Range (HDR) post processing to make a photo look more like what your eye saw when you were taking the photo. Sometimes you can do automated HDR on a photo, and it can look okay, but if you make a set of different exposures and composite the final image from that set, you can often get a much better pic. This usually gives a more subtle effect, without the fringing you sometimes get with automated HDR. Here are some examples, which also show lens distortion correction, straightening, keystone elimination, and tonal adjustment.

This is going to be an ongoing series, and the main text is going to be pretty much the same from post to post on this subject, because I’m going to assume people are seeing this post without having seen the others.

This was shot in a tight space with a wide angle lens, making this model home look ominous and looming. Bright midday lighting makes it pretty dark in the entryway and on the porch. I composited the shot with a a much brighter exposure for the dark areas to bring out the detail, and corrected the extreme keyhole effect.

This one is more subtle, mainly just using a brighter exposure in the shadows on the front. You can’t always be there at the right time of day to have the front well lit.

Before shot of Beazer home in RockwallAfter shot of Beazer home in Rockwall

My partner Brandy Suarez did this Beazer home! This is another example of contrasty lighting on a clear Summer’s day. Brandy touched up the shadows and toned down the facade so now you can see detail in both places. She fixed some distractions in the lawn too, and there was pretty bad keystoning as you can see in the flagpoles that appear to be leaning inward in the Before shot. Really the whole thing looks like it’s leaning back as the vertical lines recede toward some perspective point in the sky. This happens with all cameras when you tilt the camera up for a better composition. It’s important to be able to correct this in post. Now that you know what it is, you won’t be able to unsee it in almost all the photos people take of structures.