Archive for » January, 2010 «

Best Time to Shoot
Shot at Dawn
Shot at Dawn

There are occasions, when you basically have no choice, but to shoot around noon time. Either the realtor made arrangements for you, or the homeowners wanted to get it over with, because they wanted to enjoy their evening in privacy. If that is the case, your best companion should be Adobe Photoshop and the knowledge of replacing washed out windows. You can always bracket your exposures and either blend them together or use them for your “window magic”.

After photographing many homes during all possible times of the day I arrived at the conclusion that there is no better time to capture the special ambiance and atmosphere of a home than in the late afternoon or right after sunset. The goal is to match the interior light situation with the exterior which will result in a more balanced and inviting photograph. I personally like the 10 – 20 minutes before sunset, since it provides a very warm light and softens dark shadows, especially if you are photographing a waterfront property. The trick, as always when using a small light to light a big thing, is to wait for the ambient to come to you. The 10 – 20 minutes after sun-down are usually called the “magic hour” and will give you the most wonderful and intriquing images. Many photographers only shoot at this time of the day and will not settle for anything else. I would say – go with the flow, educate your clients about the benefits of afternoon shootings, but try your best , in case they think that the higher the sun, the better the light. At the end you will have to work around your customer and his/her wishes. Happy Shooting!

Why Should Your Verticals be Vertical?
Verticals
Verticals

The use of a wide angle lens has many advantages, but also one serious disadvantage- “wide angle distortion”. While this isn’t always an issue in landscape photography, in real estate photography we deal with it on every single photo shoot. Even if your realtor likes what you are delivering, straight lines will distinguish you from being average. We live in an environment full of vertical walls and if we look at an image where the vertical lines are off, we feel uneasy, disoriented and possibly also some kind of tension. This is a vertical world, where gravity defines up and down and vertical defines the direction gravity is pulling, so we all have this sort of hyper-sensitivity to verticals. If you start paying attention to them, you pretty soon will spot any small deviation and the urge to fix it. So how can we fix converging lines? There are several methods that you can use and it is usually a matter of preference. You can skew your lines in Photoshop or PS Elements, or PTlens. For someone that already has Photoshop I recommend using it. For someone that doesn’t have either I’d recommend PTlens since it is $25 USD and Photoshop is $600+ USD. The current versions of Photoshop Elements (~$99 USD) also work well. Scott Hargis has put together a great step-by-step tutorial and I recommend checking it out. http://scotthargisphoto.wordpress.com/2009/10/11/lets-get-this-straight/