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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

 
lacogada
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Jun 23, 2015 15:53 |  #7186

Here's one where I had enough space to correct the verticals.

Is this a little better ?


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lacogada
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Jun 23, 2015 15:56 |  #7187

[QUOTE=cccc;17607863]I​f you need to fit the top of the home in the frame, take a few (or a dozen) steps back. Make sure your camera is level, then shoot. You will likely have a ton of empty space in the bottom of your frame, just crop to your liking when you're done. Here's a quick example. These were shot at 29 mm with me far away from the home, maybe 25+ feet from the curb?

Thanks for the info CCCC




  
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cccc
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Jun 23, 2015 16:13 as a reply to  @ lacogada's post |  #7188

This is a little over exposed. Bring down your exposure half, maybe a full stop.




  
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Jun 23, 2015 17:08 as a reply to  @ lacogada's post |  #7189

It feels like you went a little too far with the verticals correction. Just something makes it feel like it's being pulled too much.

This could also be because your camera is set quite low in relation to the house, which would be an easy fix by raising your camera level up a few feet.

But a definite improvement over your last post! Pull the highlights down a little bit and you should have a fairly nice image.


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lacogada
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Jun 23, 2015 18:55 |  #7190

cccc wrote in post #17608164 (external link)
This is a little over exposed. Bring down your exposure half, maybe a full stop.

Not on that computer now, but will lower exposure.

Appreciate the feedback.




  
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lacogada
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Jun 23, 2015 18:58 |  #7191

Luxury wrote in post #17608242 (external link)
It feels like you went a little too far with the verticals correction. Just something makes it feel like it's being pulled too much.

This could also be because your camera is set quite low in relation to the house, which would be an easy fix by raising your camera level up a few feet.

But a definite improvement over your last post! Pull the highlights down a little bit and you should have a fairly nice image.

I was sitting in my vehicle when I took the picture.
Street is probably 16" to 20" below house elevation, so that may have come into play.

Thanks for the feedback, I'll keep that in mind.




  
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tytlyf
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Jun 23, 2015 19:01 |  #7192

rgs wrote in post #17607906 (external link)
Off Camera Flash

Thanks. I typically shoot interiors with only a single flash and no blending (1 image). I've attempted recently to shoot HDR with a flash as one of the brackets and wasn't happy with the results. Below is an example.

Single image w/ flash versus 5 shot bracket w/ 1 flash bracket.


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rgs
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Jun 23, 2015 23:00 |  #7193

tytlyf wrote in post #17608360 (external link)
Thanks. I typically shoot interiors with only a single flash and no blending (1 image). I've attempted recently to shoot HDR with a flash as one of the brackets and wasn't happy with the results. Below is an example.

Single image w/ flash versus 5 shot bracket w/ 1 flash bracket.
thumbnail
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forum: Architecture, Real-Estate & Buildings

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forum: Architecture, Real-Estate & Buildings

I'm going to make some comments and suggestions which I hope you will understand as my opinion based on my experience. Others may disagree.

First, for as much more post as #2 needs, I prefer it to #1. Look at the modeling on the dark chair and front of the planter. In #1 the flash has completely flattened all that beautiful natural light. This is my experience with flash - it is very difficult to get the complex light that a naturally light room produces. That said, if you want to use flash primarily, you need to get it off of the camera and (usually) use more than one. I suggest you get Scott Hargis' e-book here (external link). It's a very good study.

Second, if I was going to use flash in a bracket, I would use it on all exposures. Otherwise you may get bad color balance problems (look at the ceiling in your example).

I am not a fan of traditional HDR. I find the results tend to be flat and unnatural looking - particularly the too light shadow areas. I much prefer Exposure Fusion for blending and, until LR 6 was released, my blended images were done in LR Enfuse. But LR 6 has a new merge to HDR that is very natural looking and tends to hold more detail in darker areas than Enfuse does. In addition, LR produces the merge as a DNG file which gives a lot of extra leeway for editing after the merge.

Many of the HDR and EF tutorials suggest using 2 stop brackets. I have tried lots of different bracketing approaches but my best merges have come from making a 7 shot, 1 stop bracket in the field and then selecting best 4 or 5 for the actual merge. Sometimes I will use 3 or 6 shots but it's usually 4 or 5. And it is important that the brackets be adjacent. If there is more than 1 stop between them, some sources suggest, there may well be "holes" in the response that make the merge less effective. If you skip brackets, you might as well use a 2 stop bracket. Also I tend to choose darker brackets to hold detail in lighter areas. If there are too many of the lighter ones, sometimes the blown highlights tend to bleed into adjacent darker areas.

Finally, if I can't get the windows right, I will use my darker brackets to blend by hand in PS. The windows in your all flash version probably need to be that dark because the outside view is really nice. But usually, I think, the windows should be a bit lighter to create depth in the photograph. If they are too balanced with the inside exposure, they look like artwork hanging on the walls rather than outside views.

I hope I haven't rambled on too much. I think you need to either concentrate on blended exposures or get the flash off the camera and use more than one when needed. These are just suggestions. Take them for whatever they are worth to you.


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PECE ­ Photo
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Post edited over 3 years ago by PECE Photo. (5 edits in all)
     
Jun 23, 2015 23:45 |  #7194

rgs wrote in post #17575499 (external link)
But it is clear from your responses that you do have a predisposition to artificial light. Even the way you write of it, just referring to it as "light" as though ambient lighting was not really "light", reveals your prejudice.

You presume that any blending process (there are several it's not limited to just HDR) does not have "creative control". That's wrong on two levels:

First, blending processes are extremely mutable and getting more so daily. The automated result is merely the starting point from which many more adjustment can, and usually should be made. There is lots of control involved in a final blended image.

Second, in real estate photography, the goal is not "creative" photography but competent photography that presents the house in its most attractive and honest way. Creative manipulation is indeed the currency of advertising, but not real estate photography. In fact, photographs that are too "creative" will annoy buyers who sometimes feel deceived and may even run afoul of MLS rules.

Like I said in my first response, you've got to know both artificial and ambient lighting and even when to combine their use.

I don't have a predisposition to artificial light at all. Maybe I rambled on too much and my thoughts became unclear. I'll try it again more concisely this time.

I do have a predisposition to what I think is good light. This is the key paragraph here because it is the difference between you and me. I'm saying use all the good light you can get your hands on, and you are saying "just use that light that happens to be there, and if it's bad I'll fix it later". To exemplify, I use ambient, and quite a bit, in every one of my photos, but I'm not afraid to add some light when the ambient is horrible.

What I'm saying is simply if you are not using artificial lights, you are limiting your creative abilities, and frankly you are essentially saying each time you walk into a room "the ambient is perfect here, and no artificial light could help me produce a better photograph".

You've made some other assertions that are just wrong too. Tell me, why don't product photographers just throw the products they photograph under the incandescents in their living room and just use their post production control you speak of to produce the desired effects? Why do they buy lights? Why do they spend hours adjusting the lights and reflecting them? It's because the photo could not get that same effect any other way!

You can't post your way out of bad light. You can say that you can over and over, but it will never be true.

And what we are trying to do is make things look as appealing as possible. Go into any industry... Fashion, food, cars, any one, and what do you see? Amazing pictures that make products look as appealing as possible. Why in the world would anybody think the pictures of a house being sold would be any different? That is beyond me. We want the most appealing images as possible, and since you can't post your way out of bad light, if you blend and blend only it is very much a disservice in my opionion on many occasions becasue natural light is bad on many occasions. These propagated falsehoods of being able to fix things in post are why I said photography at the lower levels is moving backwards. People are depending to much on post and blending and in doing so they are trying to bring back quality that was never there in the first place.


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Jun 23, 2015 23:59 |  #7195

Two impromptu shots of Santa Fe Opera's Crosby Theatre, taken during the break while photographing some new additions to the site.
Handheld, pp inspired by Ezra Stoller photography.

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/308/18481786864_6f20550a6a_b.jpg

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/295/19107627931_4a485afcd1_c.jpg


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Jun 24, 2015 00:00 |  #7196

Very Nice.


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tytlyf
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Jun 24, 2015 08:15 |  #7197

rgs wrote in post #17608544 (external link)
I'm going to make some comments and suggestions which I hope you will understand as my opinion based on my experience. Others may disagree.

First, for as much more post as #2 needs, I prefer it to #1. Look at the modeling on the dark chair and front of the planter. In #1 the flash has completely flattened all that beautiful natural light. This is my experience with flash - it is very difficult to get the complex light that a naturally light room produces. That said, if you want to use flash primarily, you need to get it off of the camera and (usually) use more than one. I suggest you get Scott Hargis' e-book here (external link). It's a very good study.

Second, if I was going to use flash in a bracket, I would use it on all exposures. Otherwise you may get bad color balance problems (look at the ceiling in your example).

I am not a fan of traditional HDR. I find the results tend to be flat and unnatural looking - particularly the too light shadow areas. I much prefer Exposure Fusion for blending and, until LR 6 was released, my blended images were done in LR Enfuse. But LR 6 has a new merge to HDR that is very natural looking and tends to hold more detail in darker areas than Enfuse does. In addition, LR produces the merge as a DNG file which gives a lot of extra leeway for editing after the merge.

Many of the HDR and EF tutorials suggest using 2 stop brackets. I have tried lots of different bracketing approaches but my best merges have come from making a 7 shot, 1 stop bracket in the field and then selecting best 4 or 5 for the actual merge. Sometimes I will use 3 or 6 shots but it's usually 4 or 5. And it is important that the brackets be adjacent. If there is more than 1 stop between them, some sources suggest, there may well be "holes" in the response that make the merge less effective. If you skip brackets, you might as well use a 2 stop bracket. Also I tend to choose darker brackets to hold detail in lighter areas. If there are too many of the lighter ones, sometimes the blown highlights tend to bleed into adjacent darker areas.

Finally, if I can't get the windows right, I will use my darker brackets to blend by hand in PS. The windows in your all flash version probably need to be that dark because the outside view is really nice. But usually, I think, the windows should be a bit lighter to create depth in the photograph. If they are too balanced with the inside exposure, they look like artwork hanging on the walls rather than outside views.

I hope I haven't rambled on too much. I think you need to either concentrate on blended exposures or get the flash off the camera and use more than one when needed. These are just suggestions. Take them for whatever they are worth to you.

Thanks for the feedback. Of the 5 bracket shot, I think just 1 was a flash shot. I haven't tried doing all flash shots and blending. I used the LR HDR merge for the bottom shot and it does have some PP. I could probably bump up the highlights on the flash shot to make the outside more natural as well. I will typically drop the highlights all the way and pump up the shadows.
When I tried this experiment I was saying to myself, this HDR process takes nearly 3x as long as the single flash shot in PP. I was left thinking the agent/owners I worked for would most likely prefer the single flash shot vs. the technically correct HDR shot. Additionally, when I blended the HDR, I could never get the windows as clear as the single shot. (which was another deciding factor). I'm getting to the point where I'm just going to make life easy and do what the agents like and not worry too much about the technical stuff.


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rgs
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Jun 24, 2015 09:23 |  #7198

tytlyf wrote in post #17608896 (external link)
When I tried this experiment I was saying to myself, this HDR process takes nearly 3x as long as the single flash shot in PP. I was left thinking the agent/owners I worked for would most likely prefer the single flash shot vs. the technically correct HDR shot. Additionally, when I blended the HDR, I could never get the windows as clear as the single shot. (which was another deciding factor). I'm getting to the point where I'm just going to make life easy and do what the agents like and not worry too much about the technical stuff.

Doing off camera multi-flash takes time on site. Blending is a bit faster on site but takes time in post. There are agents that want it cheap and fast. They want to pay you $100 (or less) per house and want you to do 5 or 6 houses a day. I don't work for those people. There are others that understand and will pay for better work If I shoot 2 houses a day and make as much as the guy who shoots 6 per day, I might as well do the better work for those who appreciate it. You can't be everything to everyone.

I had a call last week from the busiest broker in a large suburb of my town. They wanted what amounted to an in-house photographer. I would have been paid $60 per house for several houses per day. They liked my work but weren't willing to pay for it. We agreed (very amicably) that I just wasn't their guy. I'm still working for others and I'm quite sure they will find someone to do their work.

As to the windows, they are the hardest part for me. Sometimes they just have to be hand blended in PS and then the masking is the trick. I find the quick selection tool combined with very light feathering in "refine edge" works best for me. You may find other combinations that work better for you. It seems that the most obvious tools are NOT the best most of the time.


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cccc
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Jun 24, 2015 09:46 |  #7199

rgs wrote in post #17608969 (external link)
Doing off camera multi-flash takes time on site. Blending is a bit faster on site but takes time in post. There are agents that want it cheap and fast. They want to pay you $100 (or less) per house and want you to do 5 or 6 houses a day. I don't work for those people. There are others that understand and will pay for better work If I shoot 2 houses a day and make as much as the guy who shoots 6 per day, I might as well do the better work for those who appreciate it. You can't be everything to everyone.

I had a call last week from the busiest broker in a large suburb of my town. They wanted what amounted to an in-house photographer. I would have been paid $60 per house for several houses per day. They liked my work but weren't willing to pay for it. We agreed (very amicably) that I just wasn't their guy. I'm still working for others and I'm quite sure they will find someone to do their work.

As to the windows, they are the hardest part for me. Sometimes they just have to be hand blended in PS and then the masking is the trick. I find the quick selection tool combined with very light feathering in "refine edge" works best for me. You may find other combinations that work better for you. It seems that the most obvious tools are NOT the best most of the time.

Curious... How long does it take you (typically) to shoot a home? I used to be into exposure blending, but I became much happier when I moved to multiple flashes.




  
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Jun 24, 2015 09:58 |  #7200

PECE Photo wrote in post #17608582 (external link)
And what we are trying to do is make things look as appealing as possible. Go into any industry... Fashion, food, cars, any one, and what do you see? Amazing pictures that make products look as appealing as possible. Why in the world would anybody think the pictures of a house being sold would be any different?

And the photography budget for those other industries, for the most part FAR exceeds that for RE photography...Those industries know that good photography cannot generally be accomplished in an hour or less...

I believe we would all love to have hours to shoot (and style) every property to make it as appealing as possible, but its not going to happen for all but the very high end market. There just isn't enough money for that in a majority of RE shoots. So compromises have to be made...how much depends on the photographer, and/or the agents demands/needs...


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