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How to improve the quality of your 360° photos? Guide part 1

Why don’t your photos look as they should?

We get many questions from you why the photos you have taken with great 360° cameras don’t look as good as those made by your competition or as those you’ve seen on advertisements.

Some spots are too bright others too dark. Some objects aren’t visible at all as a shadow was casted on them. Funnily enough the same photo can be overexposed as the light is pouring out of window making it impossible to see what’s outside and making it difficult to see the interior properly (especially difficult for the room to look appealing in those conditions). The colours are too cold, too warm, or have too many purple tones. In addition, there is strong noise which makes everything look blurry. Sometimes there are also strangely coloured borders of objects (more about chromatic aberration soon 😉). As if that was not enough, there is a tripod visible on the floor, or it is reflected in the mirror. How to deal with it? Our guide (divided into parts) is about to address those issues and present you with solutions.

Before you start suspecting your hardware or software for virtual tours of poor quality, it is worth delving deeper into 360° photography. Attractive photos that you see in other announcements or advertisements could have been made simply with different technique (using more advanced functions or plugins), and most likely someone also post-processed them with the help of specialized programs.

In today’s article, you will learn about the basic options for improving the quality of your photos, which will give you better results with very little time and effort. Beginners are the ones who can get the most from this. In the next post, we will deal with the advanced options! Stay tuned 👀

First,  you should take a look on how the same place at the same time of a day appears on the photos taken with different methods.

How to improve the quality of your 360° photos? Guide part 1, Evryplace Knowledge Base

Evryplace creates virtual tours of exactly the same quality as the photos we upload to Evryplace. Therefore, to create better walks, we just need better photos.

Basic option: auto settings

Automatic camera settings are the primary mode for taking pictures – they are the fastest option and require no skill. Just press a button on the camera or in the application on the phone and it’s ready. If we want to use the automatic mode, our photos will often be too dark (as in the example shown below) or too bright.

How can we improve the photos at this stage?

In Auto mode, we can adjust the brightness of the photo by moving the EV (Exposure Value) slider. We will achieve a similar effect by increasing the brightness in post-processing of the photo in the graphic editor and the Evryplace graphic corrector. This will give us an effect similar to that obtained using the Manual Settings described in the next section.

How to improve the quality of your 360° photos? Guide part 1, Evryplace Knowledge Base

Medium option: manual settings

A good compromise between the time spent shooting and the result.

It is worth manually setting the camera mainly for the shutter speed and aperture.

How to improve the quality of your 360° photos? Guide part 1, Evryplace Knowledge Base The aperture is responsible for the depth of field to a great extent. Surely each of us has seen a photo with an artistically blurred background. In the case of real estate, we want everything to be sharp, so the aperture should be as closed as possible – a value of 5.6.

How to improve the quality of your 360° photos? Guide part 1, Evryplace Knowledge Base We need a short exposure time when we want to capture something dynamic – for example a running horse or falling leaves. In the case of real estate photography, each element (walls, furniture, etc.) is static, so we can be sure that nothing will move during shooting, and we can set the camera to take a photo “longer”. Assuming that we set the aperture to 5.6 (the highest value of the three to choose from) – we choose the exposure time to such a value that the photo appears properly lit. The exposure time is expressed in fractions of a second, so ½ means longer exposure time than ¼. The more light entering the camera, the brighter the photo.

It is best to use these two parameters, optimally we want to have the lowest ISO – sensor sensitivity (Well, it’s not exactly that, but for the sake of this article we can think of it like that). High ISO causes “grain” in the image, we increase the ISO only when we cannot choose the appropriate parameters of exposure time and aperture (when we “exhaust the scale”). In the case of residential photography, this should not happen.

How to improve the quality of your 360° photos? Guide part 1, Evryplace Knowledge Base

However, as you can see in the photos attached, the problem remains that the light from behind the windows makes the photo overexposed, and when we set the parameters for a darker photo – there is no light in the darkest places.

What if you could take dark photos and light photos and get the best out of them? This is what the professional method using the DFE plugin is all about, which we will tell you more about soon!

What to pay attention to? What are the shortcomings of this option? What else can be done?

Note the overexposure – it occurred in both Auto and Manual modes. Even in the Auto mode, in which the photos themselves turned out to be too dark, you can see that the light has poured out of the window and overfilled the photo with light. As a result, not only the reception of the entire photo is worsened, but we simply cannot see what is outside the window (and we could have used it to our advantage).

In both cases there is also the so-called Chromatic aberration, i.e. blue and purple shadows at the edges of, for example, windows – we will talk more about getting rid of it in the next articles.

As you can see, there is still a lot of things that can be improved (there are still many that we haven’t even mentioned, so as not to burden you with all of them at once), but you already have tools that will allow you to easily improve the quality of your photos. We will deal with the next, more advanced steps soon (once you get to know them, you will be able to easily implement them).

This article is a very important introduction on your path to improving the quality of 360 ° photos. We hope that thanks to it you already know what is worth paying attention to and what parameters to manipulate to emphasize the advantages of a given room. Try to implement these changes to your photos and in a week, you will be able to introduce new ones with us and create better and better 360 ° photos 🙂


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