Why Editing Is Key To Good HDR Real Estate Photography

Why Editing Is Key To Good HDR Real Estate Photography

HDR photography is a fast and effective way to produce some quality real estate photos. There’s no need for additional lighting and you can keep your gear kit to a minimum. However, while it might be fast and easy to photograph on location, that’s not always the case when it comes to editing.

Keep reading to learn why good editing is the key to high quality HDR real estate photos.

Table of Contents

Understanding The HDR Editing Process

Editing is the key to good HDR real estate photography. A good editor will produce a much higher quality image than an editor with limited HDR experience, even if they’re given the same files to work with. It’s easy to understand why this is the case once you understand the HDR editing process.

As discussed in our article Understanding Camera Settings for HDR Real Estate Photography,  you’ll have at least one over-exposed image, a perfectly exposed image, and at least one under-exposed image to work with.

You’ll upload the files to an editing software like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop and blend them together. Check out why we think Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are the best editing programs for real estate photography.

In theory, you will be able to use the best lighting from each exposure and blend them all together to make one, perfectly lit photograph. In practice, this takes a bit of editing skill and a good amount of experience.

To read more about the best lighting practices, check out our article Best Lighting for Real Estate Photography.

At its best, HDR Real Estate Photography can create beautifully lit photographs that highlight all the best parts of the frame. At its worst, you’ll get a truly terrible, mis-colored, and flat looking image that won’t do the space any justice.

3 Examples Of Great HDR Real Estate Photography

As you can see below, these images are pretty spectacular. The lighting looks incredible, the images have depth, and the colors are perfect. The editor of these images very likely hand blended these images in Photoshop and has years of practice.

3 Examples Of Terrible HDR Photography

In stark contrast to the HDR images we saw previously, these images are lightyears away from them in terms of over all quality. The colors are off, the lighting is flat, and they just generally don’t look good.

All 6 of the images above used the same general photographic and editing technique. All of them were created using an HDR style. The difference in the final product all comes down to editing skills and to some extent which program you are using to edit.

This is not to say that photographic technique and the skill of the photographer on location doesn’t matter because it obviously does. However, this does illustrate our main point that editing is the key to good HDR real estate photography.

How To Make Sure Your HDR Images Look Great

The best way to make sure that your HDR images look great is to be honest with yourself. If you already have some solid editing skills or are confident you’ll pick it up easily, then give it a go and see how the images come out. It will take a lot of practice, but you can absolutely get there with some dedication.

If, on the other hand, you are iffy about editing or not positive that you’ll put in the effort necessary to properly learn the skill, you can just as easily hire a professional. This is an extremely common practice amongst professional real estate photographers.

Finding the right editor will save you a ton of time and free you up to photograph more properties. However, be aware that there are A LOT of real estate photo editors out there. And I seriously mean a lot.

Talk to anyone that’s ever asked for suggestions on a good real estate editor in a Facebook group and they’ll tell you they were immediately bombarded with messages from possible editors offering their services. Finding a good one that works well with you might take some time.

Luckily, you can check out both our articles covering this subject to help you find a great real estate editor.

How to Choose a Great Real Estate Photo Editor will give you a good overview of what you need to look for and Questions to Ask When Searching for a Real Estate Photo Editor will help you start the interview/trial process.

If you’re just getting started in real estate photography, check out our Beginners Guide. It’s full of helpful articles and tips that will guide you in the right direction as you begin your real estate photography journey.

You can check out our Gear section as well to see reviews and recommendations on the latest real estate photography gear.

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About author
Matthew Digati is a professional Real Estate and Architectural Photographer. Matthew has worked as a Real Estate and Architectural Photographer since 2015 and has photographed properties and projects all over the United States.
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