When I began photographing homes in HDR I was totally amazed at what I saw. It gave a whole new look that seemed to be an improvement to some of my shots with an on camera flash.
But as time went on, and as the saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt, I soon realized that my HDR images lacked that clean crisp look. They looked somewhat surreal. This was not the look I was after and I felt it did not provide a proper representation of the homes I was photographing.
When camera makers began introducing in camera HDR, a number of Realtors jumped on board and were then suddenly adding their own HDR images to the Multiple Listing.
No longer impressed with what I was producing, I started looking for an alternative to HDR. I thought about bringing strobes, softboxes, reflectors and a whole bunch of equipment to do my shoots. But then I realized this can be troublesome when going in someone's home that they are still living in. Many times there are young children and pets present and this could be a hazard waiting to happen.
Then after much experimentation and trial and error I came up with a method of HDR processing that I believe, gives a much cleaner and professional look without having to bring a boat load of equipment in people's homes.
If you look at the door and ceiling in the image above it actually looks dirty. Of course it was not dirty at all. This is due to the extreme HDR processing. The image below is the same series of exposures as the image above but processed differently. The only lighting used is the ambient light from the light fixtures in the room and the daylight coming in from the windows
HDR has gotten a bad name and there are a number of photographers that claim they do not like it. I, on the other hand, believe that is has its place when used properly.