HDR Tutorial for Real Estate - Photographing Interiors

Do you need to photograph an interior with bright light coming through the windows? Are you wondering why you often get photos where the interior is too dark?

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to take interior photos where the room is bright and the view is preserved.

Part 1 lists the steps and camera setup to take the photos. You'll actually take multiple shots, each with a different exposure.

Part 2 shows how to merge the photos into a well exposed interior picture.

Camera Setup to Shoot an Interior - Simple Technique

Follow the camera setup below to take the photos with the simple technique.

If you are a professional photographer, or need to ensure to get all details in the window's view, use the advanced technique instead.

The simple technique assumes your camera has an AEB (Automatic Exposure Bracketing) function that lets you take at least 3 photos in 2 EV steps (or 5 in 1 EV step).

Camera Setup Instructions

Check that the flash of your camera is switched off.
Set the ISO to 400.
Select an aperture. F/8 is often a good choice when using a wide-angle lens.

Aim your camera to a point in the room which has an average brightness level. Keep away from the brightest areas such as the windows and from the darkest parts of the interior.

Make sure your camera is set to spot metering mode (not matrix metering) when you are doing this.

Using the shutter speed wheel, dial until the shutter speed marker in the view finder lines up with the zero marker (or a little above zero).

Set your camera to Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) mode.

If you aren't familiar with setting AEB on your camera, check the Exposure Bracketing setup tutorials.

Canon 5D III
Nikon D700
AEB setup examples  [view more...]
Using the AEB options, set the Exposure Increment to +/- 2 EV if your camera supports it, or otherwise to the highest it supports.
Canon 7D
Nikon D700
Switch your camera to Continuous Shooting mode.
Mount your camera on a tripod if you have one. If you don't, try to find a steady surface where you can rest your camera.
Frame the shot, check the focus, then press and hold the shutter button until the bracketed photos are taken.
Once you have taken the photos, merge them in Photomatix. NEXT: Merge to HDR