Night Time Real Estate Virtual Tours:
Shooting virtual tour points at night is a dramatic way to highlight a 360º experience. It’s complex to produce, but worth the effort. Challenges include using slow shutter speeds, mixed lighting and people & traffic that may pass through the field of view.
Most photographers don’t attempt to shoot these, and one shot cameras won’t work. Shooting at night is complicated enough, but shooting multiple HDR shots over 360 degrees requires skill and sometimes a bit of luck. The biggest challenge in urban environments are cars and trucks. Even in the dead of night, in a large city, there are always vehicles on the road to deal with.
- Sometimes you just have to wait for traffic to clear, but with 5 bracketed slow shutter picture frames, a lot can happen in 6 to 10 seconds (0.3″ to 3.0 second frame sequence in a 72º field of view*).
- I have devised a technique to shoot overlapping picture frames, to minimize the touch-up process that comes with moving objects.
- Lens flares from light posts and signage are unavoidable. The only way I have found to deal with them is with “content aware fills” in Photoshop and using the healing brush to fill in others.
Check out a dozen or so upscale Nashville luxury apartments and condo’s I shot this month. They are in chronological order from, yes, 3:30 AM to just around sunrise. It’s the best time to shoot avoiding movement.
*I typically shoot 5 columns and 3 rows. 5 / 360º = 72º per column. 90%+ of the work I see others do are 4 columns and 1 row. It takes me six times as long, but the more pictures, the better the imagery.