Jim Gross of Real Property Videos

Jim Gross

Until very recently the option to getting great looking pictures involved a labor intensive process. The solution for a realtor or home owner that wanted pictures showing views through the windows was to schedule a sunset shoot with a photographer who would show up at sunset and wait for that 20 minute block where the outside lighting was just right.

Lightroom edits

Then high definition photography (HDR) began to evolve. This time consuming process involved taking 3-9 shots of the same view from a tripod at varying exposure levels. Dark exposures would show the window view better while light exposures would highlight the inside. These pictures would be combined through a roundabout process in various programs such as Photoshop,  Aperture or Photomatrix. The result would be the best details of all the combined images. The dark exposure would help to calm the inside light down while mountains and yards would “pop'” out the living room windows. Kitchens would look like something out of an architectural digest. High end photographers would often use this process delivering 8-12 finished photos. This process clearly left most semi-professional photographers and all non-professionals unable to compete with the clarity. The post processing time to do HD Photography has always been too intensive for low to mid priced photographers to justify offering.

A new type of HD photography has emerged on the real estate market known as Enfusing. This can be done with most any camera and is very similar to traditional HDR. There is a donationware based plugin developed by Timothy Ames for Lightroom Enfuse which makes it possible to batch process stacks of bracketed photos directly within Lightroom.

This opens up the arena now for mid priced real estate photographers to offer similar quality by batch processing groupings of images keeping post production time to a manageable level. Generally, post production is about one hour for every one hour of shooting.  Realtors, as you begin utilizing the services of a professional photographer make sure that they understand and have the ability to include high definition or enfusing techniques and most importantly that they are using a post production software such as the ones mentioned above prior to delivering your MLS pictures.