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#1 turkishexpress

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 12:06 AM

Hello folks,

 

I have been thinking about getting into real estate photography for a while now.  I used to be a Realtor in VA for my family business and have access to a lot of real estate professionals in the current area I live in.  Does anyone here do this or have any small tips they can share with me regarding gear, lighting, processing techniques etc...  Any tips/help would be appreciated.  Thanks!

Gem



#2 geedee

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 03:47 AM

I guess you only have to look at some of the rubbish pics on the web sites of those trying to sell houses to know that there are so many photographic devices to hand out there today that anyone thinks they can photograph property for sale purposes....?

 

I have tried to take reasonable quality pics of my own place as a record of it`s build and to present it well photographically for myself as I built it. Though kinda like Tony has commented on his experience of specific landscape areas where you go on a trip/holiday to be there  specifically to capture a great image.... his thinking being that the folk who have the opportunity of getting the best pictures are those who live there... as they have more opportunity to see it in different weather and light combinations than anyone restricted by time...

 

So it seems to me that if possible and justified by the profit margin timing on a visit relative to light/weather might be more important than might be initially thought for some properties, even for interior pics given the way a room might be lit by the sun at a particular time of day, and as one who values natural light in a sitting room or kitchen environment... there may be others like me..or those who like to see the sun through there bedroom window in the morning..etc. etc. etc.

 

Yup there is a LOT that can be done in PP for sure, though think there was a recent case where an (Australian ?) agent involved in an on line property sale managed to chose an angle to block out a huge overpowering water tank close by the property and may have doctored other pics in PP to the same effect...Think that perhaps there were legal ramifications.

 

One other thing along similar lines, I am sure I read somewhere in the past that using wide angle lenses can alter the perception of room size which may be frowned upon in certain circles...?

 

As Chelsea said in the last show Dom Bower did a show with them on property photography which you may find interesting .. available on You Tube I think.

 

Best of luck in your ambition..   


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#3 turkishexpress

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 04:59 PM

Thanks for the response and as you have stated on your first sentence I see so many properties for sale with horrible pictures attached to them.  This is part of the reason I figured I would get into this sector.  Most photogs seem to charge $200 for a simple shoot which I figure is a good entry point.  Unless you're dealing with multi million dollar properties, most agents seem to try to take the pictures themselves or just use pictures that were used in previous sales anyways.  And you're absolutely right about the time of the day and even the weather associated with the time of the shoot.  I've figured out through trial and error at my own house that I like cloudy days for interior shots and can paint some light in using a few light sources (flashes).  

 

Post processing is another thing I'm very good at since my other job involves the use of photoshop all day.  HDR has gotten so good now with new photoshop cc that when done right and in moderation looks very good and could really set any mood you'd like, especially in 32bit.  But I know that many good real estate photographers also paint their pictures with external lights and create some amazing effects which I would love to emulate some day.  

As far as gear goes, I've so far only used my 24-70mm 2.8 (on a full frame) with some flashes and a tripod and shutter release to make some good photos.  At 24mm, there is some distortion but it's easy to fix pp.   There is definitely need for a 16-18mm though in tighter spaces such as half baths.  I'm planning on renting one soon to test it out for my own house.  


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#4 David Pavlich

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 10:53 PM

HDR.  No, not the tone mapped stuff.  About 98% of what you shoot indoors can be done without any sort of extra lighting.  First always shoot your indoor stuff during daylight.  Always shoot with all the lights on in the room and the windows allowing as much light as possible.  Use a tripod and remote release.  Use a good wide angle zoom.  I use a 16-35 f4 Canon on my 5DIII.  Here's my workflow:

 

Set your camera on Aperture priority, f11 and ISO100.  Take a shot and remember what shutter speed the camera has selected, let's say 1/20 for the sake of this "shoot".  Now, put your camera in Manual, ISO100, f11 and now you'll take 5 shots at the following shutter speeds (I do two stops between exposures):  1/8, 1/13, 1/20, 1/30, and 1/50.  This will give you the darkest shadows and the brightest highlights.

 

Then I go into Light Room and choose one of the shots and do a Lens Correction only.  Now, sync all of the shots.  I then export the 5 exposures to Photomatix Pro 5 and merge them in Fusion Natural, Real Estate.  This gives a totally natural look.  I do no processing in Photomatix.

 

Now send it back to LR and do anything like cropping or straightening.  Here's a family room I did.  Note the outside detail seen through the window.  Had I shot this exposing for the room, the windows would have been blown out.

 

xDmLwkA.jpg

 

David


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#5 turkishexpress

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 08:32 PM

Great information, thank you very much.  I did not think about leaving all the lights on.  It definitely makes the scene look much warmer.  I will try this, this week and report back.  Meanwhile here are some I've taken of my place so far at 24mm and between F11-13.  

 

ix4tRVul.jpg

 

wyBoH1el.jpg

 

OpM65VUl.jpg



#6 geedee

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 05:51 AM

Nice place..(-:

 

I have no expertise in promoting property sales and no great skills in photography though have typed a fair bit in critique of the work of those more skilled than I...(-:

 

Your pics have plenty of detail for sure and I suspect that can be a logical priority to entice a viewing..? Though I wonder if trying to set a mood can have any value in creating a series of pics..as opposed to a more clinical approach..?  Thinking along the lines of including a softer pic of primary rooms from an alternative angle to the "clinical" images of the same rooms...though if web space is a determining factor...hmm.

 

I am ever seeking to get just a bit more into home interior pics, contemplating the 12-24 as an improvement over my 16-35... most of the time set at 16mm though the rooms I have attempted to photograph are often smaller than the wide open spaces accepted as the norms in some countries...(-:

 

Kitchen pic has captured the existence of the patio (?) door(s) which are a very important aspect to giving a feel of what it might be like to be in the space, though it would perhaps PP could be used to reduce the over exposed effect or reduce the exposure just a tad...?

 

The lounge area(?) pic seems to capture detail well though again it seems that there is a desire to see more, which can be no bad thing..? (-: It seems there may be a door/window to the right of frame that may have added some extra feel to the image..?

 

The dining room again seems clinically captured, though it leaves me wondering if I might not have tried to include a measure of how it connected to the room next door by taking a few steps to the right and angling the pic to give more of a hint of the interconnection between the two rooms..

 

Your pics are sharp enough for the purpose for sure, though I think it might be worth trying out something around 16mm if acceptable in law for promoting house sales at your location. Image stabilisation could be worth while as dependant on the time worth spending on creating a set of pics for any particular property time setting up a tripod may not be justified for every pic...?

 

Thanks for an interesting post. 



#7 turkishexpress

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 04:32 PM

All very good questions and comments.   These pictures are just a small sample of what I have captured this week.  I have tried many other angles as well to connect the parts of the house together along with giving more insight into how the exterior spaces look from the inside but you have given me some more ideas.  Also, I have not had the need to go much wider than 24mm yet due to the larger scale I'm working with, but I have plans to.  They are legal to use for purposes of real estate and I will rent one of the 16/18mm primes to capture some of the half baths and closets inside the house.  Here are a few other samples...   

 

prUtQHFl.jpg

 

ie37J8ql.jpg

 

zLsoJtIl.jpg

 

 



#8 geedee

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Posted 25 February 2016 - 06:38 AM

I note this subject is under the heading "professional photography" and I am not professional in property sales or photography...! 

 

Pleased if you find anything of interest in that which I type.  You have posted a clear and precise images of a property and I suspect many house viewers may want or expect no more than that. David`s image shows so much of the room that presents a feel for what it might be like to live there in that the room looks lived in more so with the dog looking comfortable lying at the door, and I suspect that will appeal to many folk, though I guess some might not like dogs and the possible effects of their little accidents on the fabric of the home... I guess there can be much to consider though the "lived in" look works best for me. Dressing the scene as perhaps in tables set for a meal, a nice car in the driveway (if available) Dinner suit or evening dress laid out on the bed a bottle of Champers appropriately positioned all promoting an aspirational lifestyle. Lights from within the home instead of black looking windows, again a time of day consideration and if the street has trees and the neighbourhood has similar quality properties, perhaps worth incorporating a hint of the surroundings as opposed to isolating the house in a pic..? 

 

Thanks for posting the extra pics, interesting insight... My good lady wife ever has her head buried in property magazines/web pages, and much to my "delight" insists on sharing her thinking on all aspects of interior design contained therein...(-:

 

Thanks for posting an interesting subject and pics..   



#9 David Pavlich

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Posted 25 February 2016 - 09:36 AM

You might consider renting a wide angle zoom or a wide angle prime like a 14mm to ensure you can get as much of the room as possible.  It's tough when you get to a smaller home with small rooms to capture enough of the space.

 

Good luck with your shoot!!

 

David


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#10 turkishexpress

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Posted 25 February 2016 - 10:45 PM

I note this subject is under the heading "professional photography" and I am not professional in property sales or photography...! 

 

Pleased if you find anything of interest in that which I type.  You have posted a clear and precise images of a property and I suspect many house viewers may want or expect no more than that. David`s image shows so much of the room that presents a feel for what it might be like to live there in that the room looks lived in more so with the dog looking comfortable lying at the door, and I suspect that will appeal to many folk, though I guess some might not like dogs and the possible effects of their little accidents on the fabric of the home... I guess there can be much to consider though the "lived in" look works best for me. Dressing the scene as perhaps in tables set for a meal, a nice car in the driveway (if available) Dinner suit or evening dress laid out on the bed a bottle of Champers appropriately positioned all promoting an aspirational lifestyle. Lights from within the home instead of black looking windows, again a time of day consideration and if the street has trees and the neighbourhood has similar quality properties, perhaps worth incorporating a hint of the surroundings as opposed to isolating the house in a pic..? 

 

Thanks for posting the extra pics, interesting insight... My good lady wife ever has her head buried in property magazines/web pages, and much to my "delight" insists on sharing her thinking on all aspects of interior design contained therein...(-:

 

Thanks for posting an interesting subject and pics..   

 

All very good points.  As far as the outside pictures go it's really hard to get lights to come through the inside of the windows unless you take the picture at a much later time of the day and paint the interior with flashes going off.  At least that's what I've been able to gather from many videos on youtube.  As far as the "lived in" look I think it's a great idea.  I will try to see what I can come up with.  I do have 4 dogs in the house as well but unfortunately they're not as well behaved as the one David posted up. :D


You might consider renting a wide angle zoom or a wide angle prime like a 14mm to ensure you can get as much of the room as possible.  It's tough when you get to a smaller home with small rooms to capture enough of the space.

 

Good luck with your shoot!!

 

David

 

Funny you should mention that and great advice  :D  I went and rented the Nikkor 14-24mm 2.8 today from our local camera shop and I have to say I'm pretty impressed with the results.  I definitely need a 14mm in my life.  I was speaking to some of the guys at that store and told them about what I was doing.  They said that the sweet spot for many real estate photographers is 15mm.  Here are some shots.  You can see how much more is getting in the field of view compared to some previous ones.  

 

8lEejYQl.jpg

 

wdFwuZtl.jpg

 

pyBN4XOl.jpg

 

hPPv0CCl.jpg



#11 geedee

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 08:12 AM

For me that 14-24 lens has logically opened up the interior spaces, using a 24-70 by comparison seems considerably limiting as you may have discovered.  When I upgraded my camera I had the cash in my pocket to buy the 14-24 but the salesman suggested that the 16-35 might have advantages and it seems the VR ability was thought to be a considerable advantage.... though it would take a brave man at that time to undermine one of Nikon`s iconic lenses... Seems though there are new cheaper lenses that may even outperform the 14-24 in terms of pic quality though perhaps not built just as well..?

 

Yup, your pics are well improved with the 14-24 in obvious ways.. and with that lens you can crop out that which you do not want. My thinking in the bedroom pic was that the heating/venting system grills might be best left out, likewise the majority of the blank wall and flooring to the left of the study (?) pic

 

You have made a good job of retaining detail outside the windows too, so yup, much improved.

 

Without any real knowledge... I wonder at the depth of field increase with the 14-24 at 2.8  compared with the same setting on a 24-70...  One other thought is how the perspective might differ between the two lenses relative to perhaps exaggerate the dimensions of a room...hmm.

 

It seems the 14-24 supposedly does not to bend the verticals at the edges as much as other wide angle lenses..?

 

I have taken pics of narrow rooms through open windows from outside the room...

 

Pleased that you took a chance on trying out a wide angle approach and seem to have found some benefit in the process..

 

IF Nikon decide to incorporate VR to the 14-24 then count me in...(-:



#12 turkishexpress

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 12:50 PM

You're right about the cropping.  I think I can take some stuff off the bedroom and the office pictures.  I just left the door to the laundry room in there for giving perspective of where everything is but it does look ugly now.  

 

As far as the lenses go, the widest angle on the 14-24 nikkor definitely distorts.  Fortunately most of it can be corrected in post process as you can see.  And I agree on some of the other lens options out there.  I'm going to have to research and see if there are other lenses out there that compare in terms of sharpness.  I have a hard time dishing out nearly $2K on a wide angle for 2.8.  How fast it is really doesn't matter to me so if it's a f4 lens I'd still be happy.  Everything I'll be shooting with it will be between f11-13 range and on a tripod anyway.  I was even considering a 14mm prime as David mentioned.  Usually primes are a bit sharper and less expensive.  


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#13 David Pavlich

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 02:14 PM

Ahhhh,....that Nikon lens is legendary! You know you're going to be spoiled after using that chunk of glass. ;-)  You can correct that distortion on LR.  My shot was at 16mm and had that traditional wide open "lean" to it.  A couple of clicks and voila!  I do like LR. :-)

 

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#14 turkishexpress

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 09:03 PM

Ahhhh,....that Nikon lens is legendary! You know you're going to be spoiled after using that chunk of glass. ;-)  You can correct that distortion on LR.  My shot was at 16mm and had that traditional wide open "lean" to it.  A couple of clicks and voila!  I do like LR. :-)

 

David

 It sure is :D  I just wish it's price was a little better.  I figure I'd have to do about 10 jobs to make the price of the lens back though which is not too shabby!



#15 turkishexpress

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 12:40 AM

Well, just watched some reviews on the wide angle category and went over to DxO mark to see how these lenses held up on the D750 body.  According to my research the best wide angle lens I can get currently, especially for the price, is the Tamron 15-35 2.8 VC.  It's actually sharper than the Nikkor although it loses about 1mm on the wide end which is not a deal breaker.  I think that's going to be my next lens...


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