Great real estate photography is about colors and lighting. There are two widely used methods for RE shoots: Flash ambient blending, and HDR. Both produce fine results, but take a look at the comparisons below and you'll see why I only shoot with Flash. For a deeper dive into why one technique would be used over the other, read on below. (TL;DR: flash ambient blending creates more inviting and real to life images that really show off your listing.)
Flash ambient blending is a superior method, no matter how you look at it. The results are crisp whites, colors are bright and vivid while staying true to life, and views of the outdoors that just can't be beat. The lighting and shadows still look completely natural because of the ambient lighting blend. It isn't as widely used for three reasons: there is a steep learning curve, it requires additional equipment, and the editing process can take a lot more time for newer photographers. Once familiarized with the process however, these gorgeous photos can be processed in the same, if not less time than HDR photos. In short, it's cost effective and beautiful when done right.
HDR is popular because - while it is also cost effective and a fast way to capture more detail than a single photo - the editing process is mostly automated through software. New photographers can set up HDR shots easily and not worry about spending a lot of time behind the editing machine. The results are, well, fine. You capture areas of rooms that would be lost to shadows in a normal photo, and you can make out views in bright outdoor conditions, but that's where the benefits end. The colors are never fully accurate due to lighting temperature variances and can therefore run the risk of misrepresenting or understating your listing.
The bottom line:
Flash ambient photography creates vivid, inviting images that truly make a listing stand out. The photos are accurate in color reproduction, show off crisp, clean whites, and perfectly capture views of outdoor spaces without compromise.