Aurora HDR Real Estate Photo Editing Tutorial

If you work in real estate, you know how important great imagery is in getting people interested in a property. First impressions last, and too many real estate shots don’t do justice to the building itself. A lot of the interior shots are distorted or too shadowy in some areas and too bright in others. How do you fix that?

Skylum’s revamped HDR editing program includes the next generation of AI-powered software that saves you time and makes creating the perfect HDR image easy. You can use either bracketed exposure images or single-images for tone-mapping, and the Quantum HDR Engine will do all the heavy lifting for you in optimizing each image individually.

Aurora HDR 2019 also minimizes common problems like over-saturation and contrast loss, as well as controlling noise and reducing issues such as halos and ghosting. Other new features are the HDR Smart Structure, LUT Mapping, and the rejuvenated Aurora HDR Looks, which replaces the Presets feature. There are even Looks created especially for enhancing real estate images.

Let’s have a quick look at what Aurora HDR can do for you.

There are five bracketed images here, from under to over-exposed. I load them into Aurora HDR 2019:

bracketed images

© Chad Sucher

Aurora HDR 2019 merges them, and the Quantum AI engine uses its intelligence to see how the image can be improved. Here’s the result:


© Chad Sucher

This looks great already, but to add the finishing touches we shall add one of the Looks—in this case, one of Randy Van Duinen’s signature real estate collection, a tungsten/daylight mix.

aurora hdr looks

© Chad Sucher

The split screen shows the ‘before’ image on the left and the ‘after’ one on the right. As you can see, the Look applied has given the image on the right a warmer tone, and more of the shadows are brightened.

There are many different Looks to choose from, including many that are suitable for architecture and real estate. The before/after below is from the Architecture looks and is called ‘detailed interior’:

architecture looks

© Chad Sucher

This Look has really made the details pop and the colors warmer—you can see the beautiful grain of the floorboards and the intricate detail of the stonework. All of Aurora HDR 2019’s Looks are fully customizable, and the slider allows you to adjust the strength of the effect.

Let’s look at a different set of merged images and see what we can do. The image below is merged but unedited apart from Quantum HDR’s adjustments. As you can see, the result is pretty mind-blowing already!

quantum hdr

© Chad Sucher

Mixing the exposure between interior and exterior is always a challenge with traditional photography, and here you can see why HDR is such a key part of real estate imagery. Aurora HDR has mixed the different lighting sources to produce a well-balanced image. Let’s look at how this image will change when we add a Look to it.

This is another Architecture look, called ‘bright interior’. The before/after split shows what a difference this Look has made:

bright interior look

© Chad Sucher

Yet again, the detail has been brought out beautifully. Here is the full image with the Look applied:

hdr after real estate interior

© Chad Sucher

If you wish to tweak the image after applying the Look of choice, that’s simple too.

On the right-hand side of the screen, you will find the HDR develop panel, with all the tools you could possibly need to add the finishing touches to your images, from vibrance/saturation to contrast and structure.

Final Thoughts

The Looks were added in just one click, and I’m sure you’ll agree that getting professional results in such a short time can free you up to do the other important tasks that you have to be getting on with.

At the core is Skylum’s revolutionary Quantum HDR Engine, an AI-powered tone mapping technology that’s been three years in the making within Skylum’s AI lab.

See how it works here: The Aurora HDR Photo Editor

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