So this week could feel like my latest architectural post, that was actually written quite well by Steve Troletti. But don’t fret. It’s actually going to tap on techniques we’ve learned all throughout this year’s challenges, and should really not be a large challenge for most.
I’m introducing the notion that architectural photography, indoors, is really a crossed skill for real estate photography. Ever played around on Zillow, dreaming? Ever actually been looking for a new place? What’s the result? HORRIBLE PHOTOS of the new home. You could actually, if you’ve considered semi-professional or even professional photography, be taking these skills you’ve acquired and applying them to generate revenue.
Here’s the deal. You either HDR or use real lights, to do it like a pro.
Here’s my story with “real estate” photography. I considered myself an advanced amateur photographer. My mother saw greater potential in me, and she was an interior designer, retired now. She knew that I could handle the challenge, and asked me to consider becoming her portfolio photographer. As an interior designer, she needed professional shots of all the work she was doing. I mulled it over. I bought a book, actually a couple of books. I realized that I needed just the right wide angle lens for these kinds of shots, and didn’t have it. So, as payment for my first gig, she bought me the lens I needed. I was a Nikon guy then, and the Sigma 10-20mm (there are newer better options out today) was a God-send. It actually became one of my favorite two lenses for all occasions. I dearly miss an ultra wide, now that I’ve switched to the FujiFilm XF system. There’s 3 at the top of my Amazon XT-1 wishlist, in no particular order. FYI. Fast forward, I’m shooting all her stuff, and it was awesome fun. If I’d had the time and gumption, I’d have pursued some more interior design clients, and maybe the higher end real estate clients. Over the years I found a couple of really good folks to follow and learn from. One being Scott Hargis. Just looking at his work, I learn so much. I take his Flickr feed fullscreen and just wander around, learning so much.
This week’s challenge is to take what you’ve learned and apply it. I’ll link to a couple of blog posts that will help you more than I can, so read them! Scott’s blog I linked to above is mostly images, but he’s written some good posts as well. Also, he’s got a book you might consider as well, especially if you want to pursue this farther beyond the themed week. He’s all about lighting interiors instead of the HDR method.
FYI, my method was to light them as well, and mom’s company simply set up an account at Samy’s Camera, and I called in what I needed for each job, to rent. I started out with the overkill, getting large Prophoto and Broncolor set ups. Such a waste of mom’s money. Once I realized I could achieve all I needed with a Pelican case of speed lights, I’d PocketWizard them all together, and presto I was getting the same results, with smaller, easier to hide, lower cost lights.
However, I think the majority of you will find the challenge easier if you use an HDR method. But here’s the deal, don’t over do the processing. You don’t want me know it’s HDR. This is the time for restraint with this technique. If you have more than one speed light (aka flash) and can control them both with your camera, or even a cheap set of Chinese made triggers, go with that method.
I hope I’ve motivated you to do what we already know how to do, but with a little purpose. If you’re shooting your own home or a friend’s, consider tidying up more than you would normally. Declutter everything. And you might consider removing ANYTHING personal. Let’s buck up and treat this one like you’re trying to sell that room!
Oh yeah, one more thing…USE A TRIPOD! And try to level the camera. The goal is not angled walls. We want clean lines and everything orderly. The photo above is a great, bad example of how not to do it.
The rules are pretty simple:
- Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+, Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2015.
- The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
- The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
- Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.
[photo credit for featured image: Symmetry, mmmmm good, by Trevor Carpenter]