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Real Estate Photography

I have tried my hand at many types of photography: portraits, engagements, landscapes, products, and I finally had the wonderful opportunity to check one more thing off of my photography list.

Most folks would consider this an easy thing to do. Just get a fancy camera and click away. It turns out it's not as easy as it seems. Real estate photography presents many challenges. Two of the most common challenges are: lighting and space. 

Lighting is especially difficult. Every room in the house has different light available. Some have large windows that allow plenty of light, others have small windows or no windows at all where the light is insufficient. There are two ways to deal with this situation. Option one is to bring in strobes/flashes and use them to light up the area by bouncing the light off the ceiling or the white walls around the house. Option number two is to shoot HDR. By shooting bracketed photos you have a number of exposures, generally three or more. One is underexposed, one is exposed properly, and last one is overexposed. By combining the three photos together in software like Photoshop, Photomatix or Nik Collection by Google it allows to show information that is usually hidden in the shadows and information that would normally be blown out in the brightly lit areas. I had intended to use my 3 YONGNUO YN560 IV flashes to light up the house. It turns out it is difficult to hide the flashes and to make it look evenly lit. Due to limited time, I decided to go with the second option. The photos below are HDR(high dynamic range).

Any photography in tight spaces is difficult. Real Estate photography has no shortage of tight spaces. Kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, and offices generally have less space than the rest of the rooms in the house and they are definitely more challenging to photograph. Most photographers use a wide angle lens to capture as much as possible. They are very useful and ultra wide angle lenses are even more so.  All of these are very costly and they present challenges of their own. Most wide angle and ultra wide angle lenses distort the lines. This can be corrected in most post processing software but this is dependent on the lens and the software available. My go to wide angle lens is a rare Tokina 17mm f3.5 lens. I would put a link on Amazon for this lens but it can't be found. There are some on eBay. I had to order one from Japan. The reasons why I chose this lens are: size, quality, and price. The size is very small, it provides excellent quality, and sharpness for ~$300. This is also the lens I use for my automotive rolling shots.

Overall I'm happy with the results and I'm excited for other opportunities to improve with the lessons learned.

I would like to thank the Realtor, Adelina Draghici, for the opportunity to shoot this house. If you are in the market for a house do not hesitate to call her. She was very helpful when I was in the market for a condo and I plan on asking for her help again when I'm ready to purchase my next home.

For more details on this great home on Mercer Island click here to go to the listing site.

Coldwell Banker Bain
(206) 334-4424

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