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Thread: Shooting for real estate ads

  1. #1
    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Shooting for real estate ads

    Hi all,

    A friend who is a realtor has asked me to shoot apartments that his is selling. I shot the first one today, results were as expected - not great.

    I shot this one during the afternoon, Stockholm latitude means low sun peeking though windows, and very high contrast.

    Obviously lighting is tricky... Any tips re lightning?

    Thanks,

    Lars
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting for real estate ads

    Scrim the windows and fill the interior with flash. OR maybe consider multiple exposures for HDR blends.
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Shooting for real estate ads

    i saw a tip in another thread for using multiple exposures for phase backs with an adapter:
    set your ambient exposure for the windows to be just right, say 1 sec. then make four 1/4 sec exposures using the device to trick the back into thinking it is one exposure. apply flash as needed to the interior during the four exposures.

    coutesy fo Capture Integration:
    http://www.captureintegration.com/20...ple-exposures/

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    Member Greg Lockrey's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting for real estate ads

    Hose the driveways down with water and shoot while wet. It will give a clean appearance. Oops, you were looking for a lighting tip.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting for real estate ads

    Shoot at dusk so the house interior lights are more of the lighting than the strobes. Use the strobes as more fill than main. If you have a window in it than just do a separate exposure for that and cut and paste into the main image.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Shooting for real estate ads

    Lots of good tips. Lars, you did not say if the apartments were empty or furnished. Makes a big difference in how to portray the space. If empty, the brighter daylight and some reflectors will increase the "space" of the place. If furnished, as Guy commented, take advantage of the interior lighting to create a very inviting and lived in space. If you cannot shoot in the early evening as suggested, do what Jack suggested, and scrim the windows with something like a single black net material that will act like a gigantic neutral density filter and not overpower the interior. Doing the separate exposures and then cut 'n paste also works well if you cannot scrim things. Make use of accent lights as much as possible if you have them. Things like pencil flashes and stuff can really bring out deep recesses and other areas, as well as provide light outlines around furniture and pieces to create more depth and bring out textures, if present.

    Slightly off topic, but worth asking.....does your friend have a budget for this or are you doing it more gratis? I ask, because i have found real estate folks very reluctant to spend much for this kind of work, even though it may up the sales prices and chances many time over. Might not be as much an issue with super high end things, but always worth asking about, unless you are just looking for some portfolio opportunities yourself.

    LJ

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting for real estate ads

    I know from doing this for a long time that you can not always control when you will have access, so make sure that you have some portable strobes and shoot with HDR in mind when the lighting is not co-operating.
    A tilt/shift lens is very handy in apartments.
    Also, make sure that you are absolutely square to the wall that you are shooting toward. It will save you a lot of time in post.
    Remove distracting elements from the scene. People tend to leave newspapers, dishrags, etc. around, even when they know their property will be photographed.

  8. #8
    dlew308
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    Re: Shooting for real estate ads


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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting for real estate ads

    Well, I've balanced outdoors and flash light (Nikon D300 set at manual exposure, expose for outdoors, set flash to fill indoors. My main problem is getting the indoors lighting even.

    I think perhaps multiple exposures is the way to go, using a very wide flash reflector and painting all areas using the flash pointed in different directions.

    LJ,
    This was my first real estate gig, for practice. Fully furnished in this case. I can probably get about 200 per apartment and 300 per house - if I can make a decent portfolio. No huge budget, a shoot should take 2 hrs plus up to 2 hrs post-shoot. I am taking all opportunities I can to make a name, so I don't really need McKinsey-level hourly rates. Plus it helps me understand another aspect of digital post-processing needs for my software effort.

    Guy,
    Shooting at dusk is only realistic in the winter this far north Sunset is 3:45pm in winter and 10:15pm in summer.

    Cindy,
    Good advice about cleaning up and using a level for reducing post-processing. Unfortunately I have no shift lens to use with my Nikon so I have to make do with a poor man's shift (superwide + crop).

    dlew,
    Thanks for the link!

    Lars
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting for real estate ads

    Lars,
    If you get a few of these jobs, you might want to consider the 24 PC lens. It is really valuable in tight quarters (apartments, condos, etc.) for getting the equipment out of the shot when there are reflections as well as perspective control.

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    Re: Shooting for real estate ads

    I've done a number of these jobs for interior decorators doing "before and after" shots for their portfolios.

    The single most valuable lighting tool I've encountered is a large diffused globe, light modifier on a strobe head mounted on a stand that places it 3/4-height to the ceiling. It provides broad, even shadowless light to fill the room ... then I use some accent lights to highlight key areas.

    I actually have 2 of these and place the second one out of the line of fire in an adjacent room so it isn't a dark foreboding cave.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...+globe&ci=1161

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting for real estate ads

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I've done a number of these jobs for interior decorators doing "before and after" shots for their portfolios.

    The single most valuable lighting tool I've encountered is a large diffused globe, light modifier on a strobe head mounted on a stand that places it 3/4-height to the ceiling. It provides broad, even shadowless light to fill the room ... then I use some accent lights to highlight key areas.

    I actually have 2 of these and place the second one out of the line of fire in an adjacent room so it isn't a dark foreboding cave.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...+globe&ci=1161
    Interesting... poor man's version would perhaps be a rice lamp hanging from a light stand just below ceiling height, with one of my Nikon flashes tucked inside. Ikea is your friend

    One thing that's great about the US is that there is generally a competitive market for all kinds of products. Not so here. Even though ProFoto is Swedish company, prices for sure are twice those at B&H. In fact YFO, the only listed dealer in Sweden, no longer lists prices for any products. The pro market is perhaps considered not sensitive to price. I don't get it.
    An example is the current offer on the Hasselblad H3DII-31. Calumet lists it for $18K. Over here the list price is 215 K SEK (before VAT), which equals over $34K at today's exchange rate. Almost 100% premium for a product that is made in this country? Ridiculous.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

  13. #13
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting for real estate ads

    Heck almost could have me buy it here and bring it over to you and still save a ton of money. I found a new business module. Gear mule. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Shooting for real estate ads

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    Interesting... poor man's version would perhaps be a rice lamp hanging from a light stand just below ceiling height, with one of my Nikon flashes tucked inside. Ikea is your friend

    One thing that's great about the US is that there is generally a competitive market for all kinds of products. Not so here. Even though ProFoto is Swedish company, prices for sure are twice those at B&H. In fact YFO, the only listed dealer in Sweden, no longer lists prices for any products. The pro market is perhaps considered not sensitive to price. I don't get it.
    An example is the current offer on the Hasselblad H3DII-31. Calumet lists it for $18K. Over here the list price is 215 K SEK (before VAT), which equals over $34K at today's exchange rate. Almost 100% premium for a product that is made in this country? Ridiculous.
    You don't need the Branded ones ... I bought one of mine on e-bay for a fraction of price for the Profoto one.

  15. #15
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting for real estate ads

    Might have to get one of these myself.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Shooting for real estate ads

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Might have to get one of these myself.
    Honestly Guy, it's solved more problems than any other single light modifier I've used to date.

  17. #17
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting for real estate ads

    I agree it is hard to get a overall soft light over a set like this without bouncing it into the ceiling which sometime the ceiling comes into play. Chimers has them and I am trying to think of the name they use. Looking at B&h right now
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  18. #18
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting for real estate ads

    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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