What is HDR (High Dynamic Range)?
High Dynamic Range Photography or better known as HDR photography, is an unprecedented technique which gives 360 Virtual Tour Photography Companies an opportunity to take the same still image at multiple exposures and then thoroughly blend them together to develop one image that features the best exposed aspects from each of the photos.
For a 360 Virtual Tour, this is specifically useful as most 360 Virtual tours heavily depend on a 360 degree perspective. Most of the time, a few shots will be facing both away from and into a light source when shooting a 360 panoramic shot.
Generally speaking, this would mean that a professional 360 virtual tour photographer would have to choose between the two and possibly have dark patches that are underexposed on one side and light patches that are over exposed on the other side.
When using HDR Photography, most Professional 360 Virtual Tour Photographers and HDR Real Estate Photographers can shoot at 3 or more exposure levels:
And then blend them together to put together the ideal panorama.
Should I Hire An HDR Photography Company To Create My 360 Virtual Tours?
If you are thinking about using HDR for your photography, a handful of 360 Virtual Tour Photographers well tell you that you should first invest in a tripod and Pano Head, the ghosting caused by holding your camera by hand will leave you in a heat of trouble during post processing and can even make your scene unstitched.
If you do decide to invest in these pieces of equipment then with a small amount of experimentation and post production patience you can create some outstanding HDR imagery for your 360 Virtual Tour.
Technically, to take HDR images, 360 Virtual Tour Photographers usually use DSLR cameras where they can manually change the exposure.
Professional 360 Virtual Tour Photographers then set the camera in a fixed position on a tripod and take a variety of images at different exposures to use in order to create one HDR 360 Panoramic photo.
At times it can be seamless and easy, at others it can be a bit time consuming, especially for a 360 Virtual Tour where most 360 Virtual Tour Photographers need to capture a handful of images for each scene to stitch together later in post processing.
This is one of the variety of reasons a majority of 360 Virtual Tour Photographers use high end DSLR cameras that features exposure bracketing.
What Is Exposure Bracketing?
Exposure bracketing is a feature on a camera which gives 360 Virtual Tour Photographers an opportunity to set the exposures at 3 or more levels (generally low middle and high, then once you press the shutter button the camera will take the images in quick succession.
This has the added benefit of lowering ghosting due to the shortened time between taking the images saved by not having to manually adjust the exposure level.
Taking HDR Images
To take HDR images for a Virtual Tour, professional 360 Virtual Tour Photographers typically have their DSLR cameras set to manual exposure and white balance.
Once they have their camera and tripod set up, they then set their exposures by pointing the camera at the most overexposed part of the panorama (the sun if outdoors, otherwise the brightest light source). Next, a 360 Panoramic Photographer will then adjust the exposure until the image is just on the dark side of clear.
Finally, the camera should be set and ready to take exposure bracketed images for HDR. Often times, this is tested by taking a sample picture, if the camera takes 3 images for each press of the shutter button then exposure bracketing is set and the Professional 360 Photographer is ready to go.
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