New for 2018, Panorooms is offering a higher quality image process for luxury listings. Restricted to properties that have a listing price above $500k and with square footage of at least 2,500 sq/ft, these images bring the attention that a higher end listing requires. (Why the restrictions?)
While our traditional process uses an external flash unit to brighten the interior of each room to better match with the brightness outside, the luxury process is entirely different. We start by mounting the camera to a special tripod head and pair that with a unique lens that allows precise framing of each shot. Then, instead of capturing a single exposure and relying on editing to even out the bright and dark portions of the composition, we take multiple exposures across the scale. This captures some areas that are too dark, others that are too bright, and some that are “correct.” Finally, using several software tools, we blend these sets of images together to create one very detailed image with an immense amount of depth and detail. Then we edit that final image by hand to extract the perfect finished image.
The process is very involved and takes significantly longer than the traditional process, which is why these are priced not based on the size of the property, but by the number of finished images you require. The results are spectacular! See for yourself with the gallery of homes below, then keep scrolling to see some of the features that make this advanced process stand out.
What Makes These “Better”
It’s a complicated question because there’s nothing wrong with our traditional process. The best way to think of it is that while the traditional photos are a very good compromise in terms of cost, quality, and overcoming difficulties; the Luxury Photos simply don’t compromise anywhere. Here are a few specific areas in which these photos deliver amazing results.
Notice how across the entire composition, everything appears to be evenly lit. Areas that appear dark are brightened to show detail, areas (like windows and lightbulbs) which are usually the brightest elements of a scene are darkened, and everything just appears to look the way it should without compromising. Even parts of the room very far from the camera have a proper amount of light, something you cannot achieve with a single on or off camera flash.
Since there is no external flash in use, there are no shadows being cast in unnatural places. The only shadows you see are those being created by lights in the room, or from the natural light flowing through the windows. As a result there aren’t any harsh dark areas (the kind created when a flash hits an object in the room) to be found.
One of the side effect of the multiple exposures we take to create ideal lighting is a dramatic boost in contrast and color detail as well. A cherry kitchen cabinet that might usually appear black in a typical photo, can show off it’s gorgeous red tones.
Thanks to the totally unique lens that we employ for these photos, we can create a look that is unmatched. While keeping all of the walls and other vertical lines straight and true we can literally move the lens elements to show more ceiling or floor. Typically you’d need to tip the front of the camera up or down to accomplish that, which turns those vertical lines into intersecting perspective planes which looks very odd to our eyes.
Why the Restriction?
While these are “better” photos than our traditional process, they’re not always better. Over time we’ve found that smaller homes with more artificial light and less natural light actually turn out better with our traditional process. These limits help to screen out properties that will be better served with our traditional process. But we make the rules, so we can break them if you’d really like.