HDR photography can be a powerful tool when used correctly. A lot of camera bodies these days have built-in HDR functions but there are also some online tools to help you achieve a similar look – as long as you are shooting in camera RAW and have Adobe Lightroom.
We here at KE use HDR for a couple specific reasons but it can be applied to almost any circumstance given your camera settings aren’t too strong: interior and exterior home shots, portraiture, and landscape. You see a lot of HDR imagery in premiere real estate websites. But what is HDR photography?
HDR stands for high-dynamic-range imaging and uses tone mapping to give the image the best exposure per each light source in the image. If your camera has built-in HDR and when HDR is turned on – the camera will snap three pictures: one under exposure, one over exposure, and one right in the middle. And then the camera will blend all three images together to give you the full tonal range. The results, if done correctly, can be quite remarkable.
As I previously mentioned, if you don’t have built-in HDR with your camera body you can simply set your camera file type to RAW and shoot that way. There are some great online resources to download that can replicate the look. One I recommend is Trey’s Lightroom Presets – http://www.stuckincustoms.com/lightroom-presets – he offers several presets you can try for free or you can buy packs of presets for a reasonable price.
Below are a few example photographs where I used HDR: a few from a home shoot where I used the camera’s built-in HDR function and then two from a wedding that I shot in RAW and then applied one of Trey’s HDR presets.