I remember when I got my first big screen high definition television. It was delivered right before the Master’s golf tournament and I finally understood the hype about that particular golf course. I watched the Master’s every year with a golfer who had played Augusta National many times and had told me about how difficult the course was. Watching the tournament on a normal TV, I couldn’t understand what the big deal was compared to other courses but when I watched it in high definition, I could suddenly see all the undulations and variations in the greens and even though I don’t golf, I got it!
A similar change has recently come about with our virtual tour business. We started offering professional hotel photography services!! We recently began shooting our images using our new Dark Room technique and the difference is unbelievable. My husband Ben is a great photographer and has always captured beautiful images to create our 360 degree virtual tours but regular photography has certain limitations. Our 360 panoramas are created using 12 individual scenes blended together to form one picture. A full 360 degree spin might include a wall of windows on one side of a room and a long hallway on the other. Even a great photographer is limited in creating an image that is exposed correctly for these two extremes. The result is that the windows were somewhat blown out and the hallway was somewhat dark. The stitching software would then try to compensate for these extremes and the panoramic image lost some of its crispness and clarity.
Enter our new Dark Room photography package! With our Dark Room photography, each individual scene is photographed 9 times from the very same spot – using many exposures ranging from the very darkest to the very brightest. These images are then blended together so that the best of each setting is highlighted to create one picture. Now instead of 12 images making up a 360 degree panorama, we take 108 individual shots! Greg then uses several software programs to create a single panoramic image that is exposed for both the light and dark areas of the expanse. The results are simply amazing!
My favorite shot in this virtual tour is the panoramic view of the mountains and the lake off the back deck. That one 360 spin really shows off our new Dark Room process. You can clearly see the logs inside the outdoor fireplace AND the rain storm falling on a far mountain AND the detail of the bedspread through the bedroom window! The picture of the front of the house looks almost like a painting!