How To Get BETTER 360 Interior Shots!

How To Get BETTER 360 Interior Shots!


Today we’re going to solve a problem that has plagued 360
photographers forever, and that is: how do you shoot
a mixed lighting interior when you have bright sunlight
coming through windows and your interior is relatively dark… How do you shoot it? How do you edit it to
get the perfect exposure for real estate, for
interiors of any kind? This video will answer that question. And hey, this is a section
from my video course about virtual tours that I’m
giving you completely for free. So if you got value from
it then follow the link in the description if you want
to watch the entire course. I’m just gonna give you a heads up now, to do this you’re going
to need a 360 camera that has the ability to shoot manually. You will also need a photo
editing software of some kind that is able to combine several photos into one merged HDR image. This video will show my entire workflow and this is a really
valuable skill to have because when you understand
how to combine exposures into the perfect image you can then do it with any tricky lighting situation you come across in the future. Okay, so you’re at your shoot location. You have your camera in hand
and you’re ready to shoot. The first thing you need to do is assess the lighting situation. How bad is the overexposure going to be? Is the sun extremely bright and
the interior extremely dark? Or is the lighting actually
pretty good to begin with? This will effect exactly
which method we use to shoot and edit our image. So I’m going to show you three
different ways to do this depending on the harshness
of the light in your room. This will also depend on the
360 camera you are using. Some have more functions than others, but most should have the abilities of the camera I’ll be using in this video. So if your lighting is
pretty good to begin with, if you feel like there’s
a good mixture of light inside and outside and
it’s not that tricky, this is when we’re going to use the inbuilt HDR function of your camera. Some cameras are better than others but this is the fastest way
to get a decent exposure both inside and outside
within the same image. Simply set up your camera in HDR mode, put on a self timer, and go hide. The best thing about this is you barely need to do any
post production on your image. Just basic color correction
and you are done. However, you will need
to take a test shot. Look at those highlight areas and if there are still
any blown out detail then you’ll want to try the next method. And that is shooting in raw. If the contrast of your
lighting is more difficult and HDI won’t fix it raw is
the next level up yet again. This is going to give
us more manual ability to decrease our highlight, and is especially good
for and shadowy areas. So to shoot raw simply put
your camera into raw mode, set your exposure manually,
get it looking nice, but also make sure those
highlights aren’t too blown out. It’s better to expose for the highlights than for the shadows. The shadows are easier to recover. However it does also depend
on the camera you are using. So you will wanna get a feel
for your specific camera before you make you a decision on exactly where you wanna set that exposure. But, in most situations
exposing for the highlights will give you a better end result. Now activate the self timer,
run and hide and we are done. The finally advanced method for super high contrast lighting
is shooting in bracketing. Which means we are going
to shoot several shots at different exposures and then
combine them together later. You can shoot anywhere from three shots to as many as you’d like
and it does also help if you’re shooting in raw. You need to think of
bracketing as exposing for specific areas in your room. So the first shot might be
for the brightest highlight you want that to look
good on your live preview. Always try and keep your ISO low. So I would suggest
changing the shutter speed to achieve these different exposures. So let’s start here with the
really fast shutter speed so those really bright
highlights are exposed perfectly. Next I’m going to take a shot
in the middle of the range meaning I’m exposing for the mid tones, I’m not exposing for the
highlights or the shadows but the tones and textures
in the middle of the range. This will look the closest
to what the exposure should actually look like. Finally we’re going to take
one exposure for the shadows and look at the darkest
areas of your room. And we want these to be properly exposed. So in this room it’s
probably going to be the TV, the shadow under the desk and
a little bit of the bathroom. I’m going to slow down
the shutter speed a bit meaning everything else is blown out however those shadows
are exposed very nicely. I know this image looks terrible right now but the shadow areas look good
and that’s what important. Depending on just how tricky
your lighting situation is you might want to increase
it from three to either seven or 10 or more brackets. Essentially the reason you would do this is if there are many
different shades of light and dark in your room, you can
expose each one of them perfectly and then combine them together later. Resulting in an image with
100% perfect exposure. This is also going to help
us with our window areas because light will leak through
and affect the window frame because you have the
really bright exterior and then you’ve got the
dark window frame there. It’s gonna be light that spills in. So if we expose both of them individually we can then get them to work
harmoniously with each other. So there are two methods for bracketing. A lot of 360 cameras have an
in-built bracketing setting. When you set your multiple
exposures in advance and it then flies them all off one by one. The other way, if your camera
doesn’t have this feature or if you just prefer doing it one by one, is setting your exposure taking a photo, setting a different exposure,
taking a photo again. And so on until you’ve covered
the entire dynamic range. Bracketing is essentially
shooting HD on manually so you wanna make sure
every strength of light is properly exposed. Take as many images as you have to until you think you’ve got
all of your bases covered. Now let’s edit. There are many different
programs that will allow you to combine multiple exposures into one image. In this example I’m going to be using Adobe Camera Raw within Photoshop. However, no matter which software you use whether it’s Lightroom or
a dedicated HDR program, the work flow is exactly the same. Okay so here we have our first image which was shot with in-built HDR. And overall this is
looking pretty good inside. However those highlights
are still kind of blown out. So I can do quick a color correction to see how much I can fix. Let’s bring those highlights down. Maybe the shadows up a bit. I’ve done a quick color correction here to try and fix the windows however, I’m still not happy with
this and I wouldn’t be happy giving this image to a client. This shot is perhaps a seven out of 10 in terms of getting the exposure right. And I really think we can do better. Next I’m going to open up
our single shot raw file in Adobe Camera Roll. And straight away it looks really dark but I’m going to bring down the highlights and I’m seeing more detail there. And this is going to
take a bit of tinkering but after moving a bunch of sliders I got the same result as before, if not slightly better in
terms of overall dynamic range. Now you can see slightly
more detail outside. However after stitching
this image I can say it is good, yes, but it’s still not the 10/10 image I need to give to my client. Raw is a really cool feature
no question, however, the lighting inside this
room is too high contrast for one single image to give
me a perfect exposure. Which is where bracketing
is going to save the day. All right so here I’ve opened up my three bracketed images within Camera Roll. Here they are, one, two, three. All very different exposures. And now we want to blend the
three together into one image. The way we do that is
by selecting all three. Then we’re going to right click and select merge to HDR. Now it’s going to combine
all three together as a fourth image on the left hand side. So when we click merge,
then I’ll quickly save it and here we go, there it is,
our merged bracketed HDR shot. And that dynamic range
without touching it yet, already looks really, really good. After doing a 60 second color correction this image is already a nine out of 10. I love this image, I can’t
believe how well this turned out. The shadows look good,
the highlights look good, the windows look good and you can see everything that’s outside. However, if you’re like
me then you’re probably not willing to settle for
a nine out of 10 image when you can get a 10/10. And the way we get a 10 is
by using even more images. So I shot my first brackets
sequence with three shots, and I shot a second one with seven shots. Which covers an overall
wider field of dynamic range. So what I’m going to do here is repeat the same process as before,
going to select them all, merge to HDR, do a really
quick color correction and look at that. How good does that look? Can you believe those
windows look almost like paintings hanging on the wall. The exposure was basically perfect. I love this image and
I would be really happy sending this to my client. Something that definitely
helped in this situation was shooting my bracketed shots in raw because it meant I had
more flexibility later on when I was editing to
bring up the shadows, bring down the highlights, and get the balance of
the exposure perfect. When shooting jpeg it’s just more limiting and you have less flexibility later on. So there you go, when you’re
shooting your next interior you’ll have three tools to choose from. In-built HDR, shooting single shot raw, and then bracketed raw
depending on harshness of the light coming through the windows. You’ve got options to cover all bases. When shooting 360s professionally, it’s really important you
get your exposure right. If you’re shooting virtually
tours to paid clients they won’t be too happy if
the windows completely bright when there might be something nice outside that would be worth seeing. Which is why the bracketing technique is definitely going to be worth your time. Yes it is a little bit
more post production work but it’s completely worth
it to get you image from a seven out of 10 to a 10/10. I’d strongly suggest you
practice all three of these techniques and the workflow behind it. Once you get really good, you’ll be able to take amazing photos inside difficult lighting
situations like this, really quickly. So depending on the camera you own, the workflow might be slightly different. So it helps to practice and practice. Cause when you show up for your client you’ll be able to do it really fast and give them an awesome result. Cool, well I hope you enjoyed the lesson. If you got value from it, this is nothing compared to
what you will learn in my video course about virtual tours. It covers everything you need to know from planning your virtual tour shoot, to shooting like we’ve just done here. We’ll cover a lot more
shooting techniques in depth in the course, as well as post production. I’ve got a lengthy post
production section that teaches all of my best secrets for getting amazing results in post
production and then the most important thing. How do you make money from your work, how do you sell yourself,
get clients and create a business out of it because
look, it’s really nice to be able to take pretty photos
but if you’re looking to shoot virtual tours, you’re
probably wanting to make money from your work so it becomes a sustainable thing for you. Which is why I added a big
section about doing business, getting clients, and making
money from your virtual tours. I’ve put a link to it down there so if you want to learn more then be sure to pick up your copy today. Cool, well that’s all from me. Leave a like if you like this video and hit that subscribe button for more awesome virtual tour
content coming really soon. And with that the sun is
out, the birds are chirping, I’m going to shoot me some 360. I’ll see you in the next video.

28 thoughts on “How To Get BETTER 360 Interior Shots!

  1. Method 4: use luminosity masks to exactly merge those bracketed shots. That way you will get rid of this uneven lighting across the walls. In my eyes THAT would be a 10/10 photo.

  2. Ben, would you recommend the Z1 over Insta 360 X in term of quality? Im trying to lean towards the Insta because of Insta360Care and a ton more accessories.

  3. What is the price of the pro course and what to do when people/company’s hesitate let create a tour because of security (cameras, sensors and stuff like that)?

  4. At 7:31, there is stitching boundary (discontinuity) at the desk, chair, and floor. Is it the result stitched by the inbuilt software of Z1? or the auto stitching algorithm of Photoshop? What kind of stitching method you recommend to fix this kind of problem?

  5. Amazing information mate, I actually started to think about doing virtual tours for money, but in Brisbane real estate agents are very 'old school' and hard to engage in this! I will also try the bracketing thing. Quick question: my camera can shoot in raw (DNG files) but I have to ask – what is the benefit of it? how exactly technically does it give you better dynamic range to work with?

  6. First of all thanks for all your passion and videos you make.
    But how to stich these two circle images into panorama image on PC? Or you make it with mobile app? I did not get it…

  7. Didn't know raw bracketing is possible until I watch this video, results are like dslr 360 photos. Someone should compare raw bracketing of ricoh theta z1, mi sphere ans insta360onex 🙂

  8. Hi, Ben! Can you show a few links with your tours on the platforms of your clients? Let it be a few Instagram and Facebook accounts and sites. I need to see how entrepreneurs use 360 tours in their businesses, how it's handy and userfriendly.

  9. Many thanks to share this part of your course because this is challenging point. I'm always struggling with exposure specifically inside situation with windows. I never test bracketing, it looks easy with your course indeed more post-prod but the result is great. I will make test with my Theta Z1 😀Thanks again for sharing A question : can bracketing can be as well useful for exterior shoot ? or this waste of time ?

  10. Thanks for this, may see about putting it to use. Glad you got right into the information, I’ll grab your course for sure when I can.

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