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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Architecture, Real-Estate & Buildings 
Thread started 15 Jul 2010 (Thursday) 14:37
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A thread for real estate, architectural, and interior design photography

 
GadgetRick
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Feb 19, 2013 06:01 |  #5626

ChrisMc73 wrote in post #15625675 (external link)
Ok, It looks like I've jumped into a thread with some awesome photographers doing what I am only wishing and hoping I can do, based on the shots posted in here. Lots of nice work you all. So how does an amateur get to the point where I don't look amateur?

Do you all use flash photography or strobe setups? All hand held, or mostly tripod? As I had posted before, just looking for some good beginners tips.

I'm just a little overwhelmed and don't know where to start, I mean I see your shots and they are all great angles, but is there an angle, or height, or shot you look for in every room, to get consistent shots etc?

I see some of your shots, and I can see where you made a good shout out of a spot I wouldn't normally think could look so cool. I try to get the entire room, or shower, or cabinet and sometimes your shots are just cropped in or crops of certain areas of those spots and they look great, is a lot of that done after a wider shot, or do you just see that and take it, etc...I know it takes an eye for photography, to capture certain stuff, and since this kind of photography is new to me I'm new to the angles and my eye isn't quite trained for the cool shots yet...

It takes shooting, shooting and more shooting. Much of the magic for some comes in post processing while others stive to get the best shot in-camera. Some us flashes/strobes while others do not. Some use HDR, some do not.

In short, there is no one size fits all for any kind of photography. You have to find what works best for you (i.e. develop your own style) and develop it.

There is nothing wrong with striving to be as good as the guys/gals who know what they're doing. It will only make you learn various techniques to improve your skills.

But, like all photography, you have to shoot a lot and try different things to figure out how it's done. There are plenty of resources online for info and to ask questions (like here) but you still have to get out and do it.

Good luck and keep us posted on how things are going for you!




  
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evo5ive
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Feb 19, 2013 08:26 |  #5627

ChrisMc73 wrote in post #15625675 (external link)
Ok, It looks like I've jumped into a thread with some awesome photographers doing what I am only wishing and hoping I can do, based on the shots posted in here. Lots of nice work you all. So how does an amateur get to the point where I don't look amateur?

There's no easy way or shortcut to get there. You need to know the basics, the 'rules' of real estate photography (verticals!!). There's also some necessary equipment, although there are budget options or software alternatives and processes for almost every piece. For example, a tilt-shift lens is often an unjustifiable expense for someone now getting into it but a lot can be done in post processing to help with the problems associated with not having one (verticals!). HDR can be used if you don't have a robust enough lighting setup, although some restraint is required as it's easy to go overboard.

ChrisMc73 wrote in post #15625675 (external link)
Do you all use flash photography or strobe setups? All hand held, or mostly tripod? As I had posted before, just looking for some good beginners tips.

I started using HDR but never found it gave me a result I was 100% happy with. I've since switched to multiple speedlights and am much happier with my images. That said, there are some people who get fantastic images using that technique.I also always shoot on a good quality tripod and either tethered or use a radio remote. This allows me to take multiple shots of the same room, adjust the lighting if needed, and blend them in Photoshop. It also allows me to highlight key areas with a flash if necessary.

ChrisMc73 wrote in post #15625675 (external link)
I'm just a little overwhelmed and don't know where to start, I mean I see your shots and they are all great angles, but is there an angle, or height, or shot you look for in every room, to get consistent shots etc?

I'll usually shoot a room from off centre, the exception being perhaps a grand entry foyer, or something similar, where symmetry is important. Generally I'll shoot from between waist and chest height. Every room is different, though, so you need to be the judge.

ChrisMc73 wrote in post #15625675 (external link)
I see some of your shots, and I can see where you made a good shout out of a spot I wouldn't normally think could look so cool. I try to get the entire room, or shower, or cabinet and sometimes your shots are just cropped in or crops of certain areas of those spots and they look great, is a lot of that done after a wider shot, or do you just see that and take it, etc...I know it takes an eye for photography, to capture certain stuff, and since this kind of photography is new to me I'm new to the angles and my eye isn't quite trained for the cool shots yet...

There's no way to 'learn' that type of thing, per se. Read real estate magazines, check out forums and see what other people are doing. Try replicating a few of their shots for practice. The more you shoot the more it will come.


Kirk
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ChrisMc73
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Feb 19, 2013 15:43 |  #5628

annietex wrote in post #15625991 (external link)
Well, my first advice would be to not strive to achieve Mike Kelley or Tyler Grundvig level quality out of the gate. They are awesome and make a good living at this stuff. Mike is the king of the flash, and Tyler rocks the HDR with a smattering of flash.

I would first read all you can here and on photographyforrealesta​te.net. Then find an agent you can do some free or greatly discounted jobs for to practice. They "good" angles will come naturally the more you shoot and the more you learn.

Make sure and check the market you're getting into, too. I live in north Texas and there are a couple guys who have driven down the pricing to about half of what we "should" get paid. I don't rely on this as my only means of income so it's not huge for me, but it might be for you.

And most of all good luck!

Thanks for that web site, that I shall visit and dive into!
Its not a major source of income for me either, I'm doing it to help a home builder friend out and a real estate agent friend out, with hopes of getting helped out when I plan to sell and build, so its a win win for all. I enjoy it too as I love seeing homes, new and existing homes, just homes in general, nicer, upper quality homes. So having fun while working is a benefit as well.

Thanks for the advice.




  
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ChrisMc73
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Feb 19, 2013 15:54 |  #5629

GadgetRick wrote in post #15626663 (external link)
It takes shooting, shooting and more shooting. Much of the magic for some comes in post processing while others stive to get the best shot in-camera. Some us flashes/strobes while others do not. Some use HDR, some do not.

In short, there is no one size fits all for any kind of photography. You have to find what works best for you (i.e. develop your own style) and develop it.

There is nothing wrong with striving to be as good as the guys/gals who know what they're doing. It will only make you learn various techniques to improve your skills.

But, like all photography, you have to shoot a lot and try different things to figure out how it's done. There are plenty of resources online for info and to ask questions (like here) but you still have to get out and do it.

Good luck and keep us posted on how things are going for you!

Thanks Rick. I think I'd be more of a non-flash or flash guy, and right now more non-flash since I've been shooting natural light subjects for about 3 years now, I'm not an expert with flash or strobe. And HRD, in my opinion, often times creates unrealistic effects for homes, and when trying to sell a home, I don't want a potential buyer to see it in HDR and then go see it live and not like what he/she expected to see, so I don't want to do HDR, though I am a fan of some of the effects, just not for selling homes.




  
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ChrisMc73
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Feb 19, 2013 16:07 |  #5630

evo5ive wrote in post #15626954 (external link)
There's no easy way or shortcut to get there. You need to know the basics, the 'rules' of real estate photography (verticals!!). There's also some necessary equipment, although there are budget options or software alternatives and processes for almost every piece. For example, a tilt-shift lens is often an unjustifiable expense for someone now getting into it but a lot can be done in post processing to help with the problems associated with not having one (verticals!). HDR can be used if you don't have a robust enough lighting setup, although some restraint is required as it's easy to go overboard.


I started using HDR but never found it gave me a result I was 100% happy with. I've since switched to multiple speedlights and am much happier with my images. That said, there are some people who get fantastic images using that technique.I also always shoot on a good quality tripod and either tethered or use a radio remote. This allows me to take multiple shots of the same room, adjust the lighting if needed, and blend them in Photoshop. It also allows me to highlight key areas with a flash if necessary.


I'll usually shoot a room from off centre, the exception being perhaps a grand entry foyer, or something similar, where symmetry is important. Generally I'll shoot from between waist and chest height. Every room is different, though, so you need to be the judge.


There's no way to 'learn' that type of thing, per se. Read real estate magazines, check out forums and see what other people are doing. Try replicating a few of their shots for practice. The more you shoot the more it will come.

Thanks Kirk, good information to know.




  
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ChrisMc73
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Feb 19, 2013 16:11 |  #5631

Whats making my current tasks more of a challenge is that there is no furniture in a brand new builders home, so the shots can't be done with the same kind of setup and eyeball and layout as a lot of real estate shots where there is furniture and stuff involved. These are empty rooms...sometimes lights and stuff aren't working, etc...




  
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GadgetRick
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Feb 19, 2013 20:12 |  #5632

ChrisMc73 wrote in post #15628848 (external link)
Thanks Rick. I think I'd be more of a non-flash or flash guy, and right now more non-flash since I've been shooting natural light subjects for about 3 years now, I'm not an expert with flash or strobe. And HRD, in my opinion, often times creates unrealistic effects for homes, and when trying to sell a home, I don't want a potential buyer to see it in HDR and then go see it live and not like what he/she expected to see, so I don't want to do HDR, though I am a fan of some of the effects, just not for selling homes.

You're going to have a very hard time shooting without flash unless you're shooting multiple exposures and combining them mainly because it's going to be extremely difficult to get the windows right.

I think you're mixing up the wacky HDR you see out there with what I'm talking about. Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif'


And another example (just recently posted this one for someone else):

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif'


HDR doesn't have to be all funky-looking. I guess, technically, I'm just doing exposure-blending but most people call anything where you combine multiple exposures HDR these days so it's just easier to call it HDR. :)

Either way, you'll need to shoot with a flash or multiple exposures, otherwise, you'll have an extremely large problem getting the windows exposed correctly. For the 2nd photo I posted, it was late morning and the condo was facing to the East towards the Atlantic. If I didn't use multiple exposures, the windows would have been blown out and you wouldn't have been able to see the view.



  
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ChrisMc73
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Feb 19, 2013 21:34 |  #5633

Yes, that goofy HDR is what I've seen some realtors using here and what I don't like. You examples are much better! So I'll probably need to figure that out, even though most of the newly built homes I'm shooting don't have much of a view, no grass or yard or landscaping to see through the windows, so blowing them out actually worked better for some of my shots. But the lake or beach views I can see where you'd want to see it all. I really need to work with someone, there seems to be so much to know and remember for this type of photography.

Also, to do the multiple exposure stuff, are you doing the bracketing inside your camera and using a certain program to combine them? Or how does that work?




  
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GadgetRick
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Feb 20, 2013 05:55 |  #5634

ChrisMc73 wrote in post #15630064 (external link)
Yes, that goofy HDR is what I've seen some realtors using here and what I don't like. You examples are much better! So I'll probably need to figure that out, even though most of the newly built homes I'm shooting don't have much of a view, no grass or yard or landscaping to see through the windows, so blowing them out actually worked better for some of my shots. But the lake or beach views I can see where you'd want to see it all. I really need to work with someone, there seems to be so much to know and remember for this type of photography.

Also, to do the multiple exposure stuff, are you doing the bracketing inside your camera and using a certain program to combine them? Or how does that work?

Most realtors don't want blown-out windows regardless of the view.

Right now, I do a 3-shot bracket then combine them in post. There are a LOT of tools you can use for this. Everyone finds different things work better for them. Believe it or not, I combine mine in CS6. I use a combination of LR3 and CS6 to edit them. Others use HDR software--I have a couple of different packages and have found I like what I'm doing better than using the other tools. That's not to say you can't get great results from the other tools--just look at the other work others have posted for evidence of that.

Again, it's more of a find your style and what works best for you kind of thing.




  
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evo5ive
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Feb 20, 2013 10:03 |  #5635

ChrisMc73 wrote in post #15630064 (external link)
Yes, that goofy HDR is what I've seen some realtors using here and what I don't like. You examples are much better! So I'll probably need to figure that out, even though most of the newly built homes I'm shooting don't have much of a view, no grass or yard or landscaping to see through the windows, so blowing them out actually worked better for some of my shots. But the lake or beach views I can see where you'd want to see it all. I really need to work with someone, there seems to be so much to know and remember for this type of photography.

Also, to do the multiple exposure stuff, are you doing the bracketing inside your camera and using a certain program to combine them? Or how does that work?

Check out a program called SNS-HDR. I find it does a better job at blending exposures than Photomatix, especially for something like real estate use.


Kirk
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annietex
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Feb 20, 2013 11:17 |  #5636

evo5ive wrote in post #15631625 (external link)
Check out a program called SNS-HDR. I find it does a better job at blending exposures than Photomatix, especially for something like real estate use.

That's what I use and it's awesome! Lately I've been blending a flashed exposure on top of my merged image and have been very happy with the results. Highly recommended.


Ann
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vinmunoz
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Feb 20, 2013 17:26 |  #5637

GadgetRick wrote in post #15629799 (external link)
You're going to have a very hard time shooting without flash unless you're shooting multiple exposures and combining them mainly because it's going to be extremely difficult to get the windows right.

I think you're mixing up the wacky HDR you see out there with what I'm talking about. Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

IMAGE NOT FOUND
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif'


And another example (just recently posted this one for someone else):

IMAGE NOT FOUND
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif'


HDR doesn't have to be all funky-looking. I guess, technically, I'm just doing exposure-blending but most people call anything where you combine multiple exposures HDR these days so it's just easier to call it HDR. :)

Either way, you'll need to shoot with a flash or multiple exposures, otherwise, you'll have an extremely large problem getting the windows exposed correctly. For the 2nd photo I posted, it was late morning and the condo was facing to the East towards the Atlantic. If I didn't use multiple exposures, the windows would have been blown out and you wouldn't have been able to see the view.

nice....


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rpaul
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Feb 22, 2013 12:31 |  #5638

Have my first interior shoot this Sunday ... a small gig, just one room for an aspiring interior designer. Huge thanks to all the contributors here, though. I've read at least 1300 posts in this thread alone. You've definitely helped me preempt some errors I would have otherwise made, and turned me on to some techniques that will be useful. My test shots at home have been promising ... will be posting here for feedback once I have some results from the weekend.


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ESMcBlurM3
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Feb 22, 2013 12:46 |  #5639

Good luck Rob!


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GadgetRick
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Feb 22, 2013 15:23 |  #5640

rpaul wrote in post #15640371 (external link)
Have my first interior shoot this Sunday ... a small gig, just one room for an aspiring interior designer. Huge thanks to all the contributors here, though. I've read at least 1300 posts in this thread alone. You've definitely helped me preempt some errors I would have otherwise made, and turned me on to some techniques that will be useful. My test shots at home have been promising ... will be posting here for feedback once I have some results from the weekend.

Good luck and post up some photos! :)




  
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