HDR Photography

HDR - 7 shots sequence

No camera on the market is able to take photos in high-contrast situations.

When we say ‘high contrast’, we mean the big difference between the brightest and the darkest areas of the same image.
For example, the sky, the sea, a sunny beach and people in the shade under beach umbrellas.

With traditional photo shooting we would obtain the following results: the people under the umbrella correctly exposed and a burnt beach and sky on a white overexposed background that’s unable to show any further detail.
Otherwise, a detailed sunny beach and blue sky correctly exposed while the people under the umbrella will be under-exposed, dark or completely black.

This happens because digital camera sensors, as well as the traditional film cameras, capture shots with a limited exposure range, resulting in a loss of details in bright or dark areas.

HDR balances such a loss by taking multiple shots at different exposures and combining them together to give you a picture that has many broader color tones.

In this example, we took three different shots of the same scene, using three different exposures.

A “normal” photo, taken with the average exposure, automatically calculated by the camera.

An “under-exposed” photo that will result in lots of dark spaces but also clear details in the high range light, such as the view outside the windows.

An “over-exposed” photo that will look very bright yet will show details in low lights, such as indoors and shaded areas.

These three shots were imported in an HDR software for post-production.

This particular software allows you to mix the shots together, take the best parts of all three images and generate a high impact final shot.

HDR sequence - 3 shots at different exposures and final result

Usually you do well with 3 shots, but you can even do better with even up to 11!

HDR sequence - 11 shots at different exposures and final result

The result is exactly what we were looking for: showing the details of the dark interior together with the bright external view of a fantastic panorama in all its glorious tones.

This is the “fusion” of 11 shots, merged together in a high-impact HDR image.

Below, some other examples with 3 shots, that make apparent the advantages of the HDR technique.

HDR photo with 11 exposures

Here’s another example.
This shot is more difficult, because we wanted to show both an extremely bright patio, and a pretty dark kitchen.
This situation is almost impossible to manage with a single shot. The shot with the right exposure is indeed this one…

Whereas this is the result using HDR.
As you see, all details are clearly visible both indoors and outdoors.
With a subsequent tweak using Photoshop, we reduced minor defects such as chromatic aberration (that is the purple or green smudges on the edges of some objects) and the overall perspective: the vertical walls and the column are straight now.

Normal exposure - Against the sun

Here is a third example.
This is even harder, because we wanted to shoot the table under the patio, which is totally facing the sun.
In such a situation the camera’s sensor can’t  photograph correctly both direct sunlight and an object in the dark with a single shot: it’s impossible.

HDR - Against the sun

Nevertheless, even in this situation the 3 shots and the HDR processing allowed us to obtain this spectacular result.
Here as well, we made a few corrections, reducing the wide angle effect and straightening the perspective a bit.

The importance of the photographs in the Vacation Rentals field.

We are never going to highlight enough how important good photos are for the success of your business in the Vacation Rentals field.

When a prospective client searches for an accommodation in your area, a small thumbnail of your property will come up, piled up against dozens of other competing properties.

That initial thumbnail is your golden chance to open up your world to prospective guests.

Your potential clients can’t read dozens of headlines nor descriptions in seconds, they can only focus on visuals at first. And that’s what we all do.

Think about it for a second: if you’re planning a holiday in Florida, for example, and you are presented with a list of available properties, how do you make your first selection? What drives your first click, a text …or an image?

And once they click on your listing, how do you make that first, striking impression that captures the eye and makes them say “Yes”?
A stunning, professional-looking ‘photo gallery’ is the answer to this very first pivotal decision-making moment.

Marketing experts say that ‘clients buy with their eyes first’. And it’s true.
If you’re not an established brand like ‘The Ritz’ or ‘The Plaza’, your potential clients know nothing about your business, about your reputation, or about your reliability.

At first glance, presenting a great portfolio of high-quality, inspiring photos is paramount.
It’s vital that your photos are well above average, at least better than the photos of the competitors in your area.

Improving the quality of your photos is fundamental, no matter what kind of property you have.

High level properties reap huge rewards for displaying high quality photos.
And so do all other types of properties, including the unpretentious ones, achieving amazing success if photographed correctly.

Yes, you’ll increase the odds of being fully booked as a result of the wonderful first impact that your improved photos create on your future guests.

So our advice is to move ahead and don’t procrastinate with your new photos!

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