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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Architecture, Real-Estate & Buildings Talk 
Thread started 25 Feb 2015 (Wednesday) 12:10
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Is anyone shooting something other than Ultra Wide HDR for real estate?

 
Masa ­ Yume
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Feb 25, 2015 12:10 |  #1

I see a lot of strange stuff in real estate photography - there's one guy in my area who adds purple to all the exterior shots, and he must be doing well because I see his stuff everywhere. I thought I'd avoid the same ultra-wide HDR that I often see, but I am starting to realize that it's what the client wants.

Have you been successful with a style other than ultrawide HDR? I'd love to see it to get some fresh inspiration.




  
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mikeassk
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Feb 25, 2015 18:22 |  #2

The clients generally want Fast, cheap, and good enough.

Ultra wide makes cookie cutter houses and units look bigger and also paint an interior map. Ultra wides are super useful for getting finished quickly.

While HDR looks rough, its effective and quick. Of-course flash/ hand blending is better but it takes more time to get as many photos.
HDR cheap style can produce 30-50 photos with less time processing than shooting.

While not the prettiest option, the difference is slight enough to an agent who sells homes in less than a week and wants the photos the next morning.

Best approach is to market to the highest end market, that the only place the money really is left in real estate photography.


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rgs
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Feb 26, 2015 19:17 |  #3

UWA is dishonest if it misrepresents the size of the house - especially interiors. I have had clients say the same thing so it's not just me. They say when their client sees a place live that's smaller than the photos looked like they usually complain. UWA needs to be used judiciously. The idea is to make the house look as good as possible without deceiving. My main camera/lens is a 7DII with a 10-22 but I am usually nearer the 22mm end than the 10mm.

I have also had several clients complain about HDR. They may not know what it is (many do) but they definitely know the look and don't like it. Often my first meeting with a client will be started by them showing me some HDR images and asking why it looks like that.

I use exposure fusion - specifically the LR Enfuse plugin - which takes bracketed shots and automatically blends them much like we would do by hand in PS but in a much more precise way than most of us can manage. I have had good results and happy clients.


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shaunmcfd
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Mar 02, 2015 11:47 as a reply to  @ rgs's post |  #4

I am a real estate agent and continuously have clients asking what was done to make the image look like a painting. There are a couple agents that use HDR in their listing photos and most people I talk to don't like it. Neither of the agents use a tripod so the angles are horrible and they always shoot as wide as possible. The biggest complaint I hear about the HDR photos are how the house looks nothing like the pictures and that gets them frustrated. I have been using Machinery for my blending as I can't stand the way Elements 12 looks after photomerge exposure. I am contemplating going the Lightroom/Exposure Fusion route but would really like to sample it before I make the purchases. I have heard nothing but good things about it.


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rgs
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Mar 02, 2015 12:51 as a reply to  @ shaunmcfd's post |  #5

LR-Enfuse is donationware. A very small donation activates it and you can install it and play with it before donating. Most of the interiors on my RE site (http:// …) were made with EF. My suggestion is to download it TODAY!

My routine is to make the first exposure for the windows and then make 6 more, each on stop more light (by SS - NOT APERTURE). In post, I determine how many of the brackets to blend (usually 4 or 5 - rarely all 7), blend with LR-Enfuse, tweak in LR (they tend to be a bit flat but easily fixed), and then - if needed - go to PS for any hand blending needed. Enfuse does seem to need help to get windows right sometimes.

I might add that it seems to me that if I balance the windows equally with the interior light (the way we see it live), the image loses some sense of depth and looks unnatural. So, unless the outside view really demands it, I want the windows SLIGHTLY lighter than the interior. I think that makes more photographic sense. I also work to make detail visible in any lights. I don't want windows or lights blown.

Hope this is helpful.


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shaunmcfd
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Mar 02, 2015 13:00 as a reply to  @ rgs's post |  #6

Very! So all I need to do is purchase Lightroom and then make a donation to download Enfuse?


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rgs
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Mar 02, 2015 13:06 as a reply to  @ shaunmcfd's post |  #7

Yes and you can download and try it out before the donation.


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Marshmellow
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Mar 02, 2015 21:26 |  #8

I agree with rgs that UWA is dishonest but sometimes you can't avoid it. My clients all prefer the UWA shot. I shot some tiny 500 sqft condos and to even get the shot, you have to shoot as wide as 12mm fullframe.

It really depends on how you compose your shot and your post production. You have to use volume deformation with either DXO Viewpoint or a Photoshop plugin to fix the perspective so that it looks realistic.




  
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Alveric
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Mar 02, 2015 22:00 |  #9
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Marshmellow wrote in post #17457763 (external link)
I agree with rgs that UWA is dishonest but sometimes you can't avoid it. My clients all prefer the UWA shot. I shot some tiny 500 sqft condos and to even get the shot, you have to shoot as wide as 12mm fullframe.

It really depends on how you compose your shot and your post production. You have to use volume deformation with either DXO Viewpoint or a Photoshop plugin to fix the perspective so that it looks realistic.

Or use a tilt-shift lens.

I don't care for HDR; point in fact, I've prepared a publication for potential clients illustrating why it's bad and why they should demand something better.


'The success of the second-rate is deplorable in itself; but it is more deplorable in that it very often obscures the genuine masterpiece. If the crowd runs after the false, it must neglect the true.' —Arthur Machen
Why 'The Histogram' Sux (external link)

  
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rgs
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Mar 02, 2015 22:34 |  #10

Alveric wrote in post #17457812 (external link)
I don't care for HDR; point in fact, I've prepared a publication for potential clients illustrating why it's bad and why they should demand something better.

Is your publication available on line. I would really like to see it. A page on my website is a discussion of the bad aspects of HDR. In my market what I typically see is either bad HDR or bad flash - all done in a hurry because they are charging so little for the service. Do you consider EF as HDR? Most don't since it's just automated layer blending but some do because it starts with brackets. I'm curious to know your thoughts.


Canon 7d MkII, Canon 50D, Pentax 67, Canon 30D, Baker Custom 4x5, Canon EF 24-104mm f4, Canon EF 100mm f2.8 Macro, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC

The Singular Image (external link)Richard Smith Photography (external link)
Richard Smith Real Estate Photography (external link)500PX (external link)
Fine Art America (external link)

  
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Marshmellow
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Mar 02, 2015 23:47 |  #11

Yes tilt-shift or RhinoCam will work too and they will actually do a better job. Stitching those photos is easy as pie. If the real estate agent is willing to stay longer and you have the money, I recommend that. Otherwise UWA + volume deformation is the way to go if you need to be in and out before the floor planner is done.

Regarding HDR, I honestly only use the incamera HDR function. I used to use LR Enfuse which is GREAT but from a business perspective, incamera HDR saves time and it looks good and natural.




  
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dkizzle
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Mar 20, 2015 11:29 as a reply to  @ shaunmcfd's post |  #12

I dont shoot RE but in camera HDR on my 5dm3 creates very real looking images with not PP needed.


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Alveric
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Mar 20, 2015 14:44 |  #13
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rgs wrote in post #17457854 (external link)
Is your publication available on line. I would really like to see it. A page on my website is a discussion of the bad aspects of HDR. In my market what I typically see is either bad HDR or bad flash - all done in a hurry because they are charging so little for the service. Do you consider EF as HDR? Most don't since it's just automated layer blending but some do because it starts with brackets. I'm curious to know your thoughts.

Hey there, rgs. Sorry, I missed your post till now that the thread was bumped (I hardly subscribe to threads anymore).

Yes, it is. It's the second on this list: http://www.diamantstud​ios.ca/downloads/ (external link)


'The success of the second-rate is deplorable in itself; but it is more deplorable in that it very often obscures the genuine masterpiece. If the crowd runs after the false, it must neglect the true.' —Arthur Machen
Why 'The Histogram' Sux (external link)

  
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sspellman
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Mar 21, 2015 16:21 |  #14

I shoot 5-8 houses a month with UW lenses with manual exposure blending and some fill flash. HDR looks terrible to me so I don't do it.


ScottSpellmanMedia.com [photography]

  
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Mrslinger85
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Jul 20, 2015 12:46 |  #15

Granted, I'm new to real estate as far as doing it as work, but I am not new to architectural/interior photography. I shoot primarily with these lenses in this order:

TS-E 24mm
17-40L
TS-E 17mm

The main issue I see with a UWA is how much it can distort a room's size. The agents I work with want a more honest representation of size. I've found that taking photos from kneeling get a bit more realistic look. I don't ever use HDR because I think it looks gaudy and unreal. I do ramp up the shadows and whites to make rooms look brighter. Tilt-shift is very handy for vertical lines and being able to tilt up or down, especially in tall rooms. My whole goal when shooting any subject is to have an honest and real representation of it. I think UWA can sometimes skew things. You just need to use it correctly. HDR, if used in moderation is not a bad tool, its just very easy to blow out colors and saturation to make the photo look alien.


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Is anyone shooting something other than Ultra Wide HDR for real estate?
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