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Frames From My Week

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Another week of real estate photography, this week with some really special homes. Here are some of my favourite frames. 

 

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This house was my favourite. Set in a secure estate, the flow between indoors and outdoors was really nicely thought out. Rim flow pool with a view off into the valley also a nice touch. 

 

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Not quite my taste in decor, this home had amazing sea views and also some nice architectural features. 

 

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Today's shoot was in a house in the northern part of the city. Stunning place, really, with a private pool set directly against the house, plus loads of bedrooms and many other features. The best was the double layered deck that leads you to the most incredible sea and city views. Pity about the crappy deck furniture...

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I really like No 1!

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Mike Gorman

 

Lumix G9 , GX8 - Leica 12, 15, 20, 25, 42.5 - 8-18, 12-35, 12-60, 35-100, 45-175

 

 

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2 hours ago, Mike G said:

I really like No 1!

 

Yeah, me too. I added it to my RE portfolio. I got a lovely email from the owner complimenting me on the photos, which is always nice. 

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Good on yer.

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Mike Gorman

 

Lumix G9 , GX8 - Leica 12, 15, 20, 25, 42.5 - 8-18, 12-35, 12-60, 35-100, 45-175

 

 

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I particularly like the interior shots.   Incredible dynamic range.  Impressive how you could get the exposure perfect for both the interior and the outside sky/clouds.   Is this an HDR image?

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3 hours ago, blurmagic said:

I particularly like the interior shots.   Incredible dynamic range.  Impressive how you could get the exposure perfect for both the interior and the outside sky/clouds.   Is this an HDR image?

 

Yup. I only shoot HDR for real estate and recently I have begun using Aurora 2019 as a plugin to Lightroom. It's a lot slower to use than the normal Lr HDR process I have been using but the results are definitely a lot better. 

 

I will be writing a review of Aurora once I have had a little longer to properly investigate all its uses. It's a pretty complex program (similar to Photoshop but running on a more logical interface). 

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These are very good.

 

I recently shot a friend's flat for an AirBnB listing, and found it much more of a challenge than I expected.  Everything has to be perfect, and any dust or minor blemishes in paint seems to stand out in the photograph.

 

One of the issues was that there was a strong afternoon sun, which affected the white balance of certain areas.  From one angle a brushed steel surface looked like brushed steel, and from another angle the low warm sun made it seem slightly gold.  This was fairly easy to correct in Photoshop, but other things were more difficult.

 

One strange feature was that the blue of the sky was a different shade through different, adjacent windows.  I can only suppose that the glass was not identical in each frame.  A sliding glass door was partly open, leading to another shade of blue where the two glass doors overlapped.

 

I tried to do HDR to capture both the sky and the interior, but found it difficult to get a good result.  I will be interested to read your comments on Aurora.  And, yes, I did use a tripod.

 

Overall, the results were much better than my friend had before, so she was very happy.

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Dallas - what the others have said:- these are very good.

 

No.7 (second last image) has interesting reflections and continuations of lines at play - well spotted & taken.  I am sure that M.C.Escher would like it. :)

 

 

 

 

Edited by Hugh_3170
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Thanks for all the comments - much appreciated feedback. 

 

@Anthony yes, white balance is always tricky with interiors, especially if there is a lot of greenery outside. I normally use the eye dropper tool on a patch of ceiling that should be white to get a Kelvin value. I then apply that same value across most of the other images of the same room manually, but I also take into account the colour casts coming in from other walls. 

 

One thing to remember when doing interiors at this level (RE & Airbnb) is that perfection isn't necessary because we're not going to print and we have no control over the colour of the device the end user is likely to be consuming the image on. Obviously you want to try and get it looking as good as you can, but don't get hung up on slight variations in colour. The only way around that is to use flash and then paint in parts of the image using layers in Photoshop masks. It becomes very time consuming and if you're not careful you end up with a very sterile looking image. I disagree with many RE photographers on this sort of thing. Mostly they don't want to see reflections on things like wooden floors or tiles, so they flash the crap out of them and the end result looks like a computer graphics rendered image with no nuance or life to it. In a word, unnatural. 

 

I've used a lot of different HDR programs for property photography over the years and they all tend to offer a different look. Up until Lightroom brought out its own way of blending images I was quite happy with the Enfuse plugin which I bought many years ago. Incredibly that same plugin still works on the latest Lr and I haven't updated it in literally years! However, it is very slow compared to Lr and when you're shooting sometimes up to 5 properties a day every minute saved on editing becomes important. So Lr HDR blending has become my go-to method if I need to get through a lot of images in a day. However, having played around with Aurora 2019 since before it was released (I got an advance copy) I am now able to export the 3 bracketed frames I use to it from Lr and bring them back again in not too much more time than I would do it in Lr. The results are significantly better for RE work than Lr on its own. That said, I still prefer to work with images in Lr than in Aurora. It is going to take something truly ground shakingly excellent to get me away from the simplicity of Lr workflow. 

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Thanks, Dallas, very interesting.

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Excellent images Dallas. Are these shot with the Panasonic 8-18mm? What I don't understand is the cleaning hose in the swimming pools, I wouldn't want that in the image but maybe I'm too picky? The plastic deck furniture is unbelievable. Do you have a saying in such things?

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13 hours ago, Luc de Schepper said:

Excellent images Dallas. Are these shot with the Panasonic 8-18mm? What I don't understand is the cleaning hose in the swimming pools, I wouldn't want that in the image but maybe I'm too picky? The plastic deck furniture is unbelievable. Do you have a saying in such things?

 

Thanks Luc. The "Kreepy Krawley" is a standard fixture in all South African homes with a swimming pool. Sometimes clients do remove them, but I prefer it if they don't because what invariably happens is they drip water all around the side of the pool which ends up being a lot more unsightly than the APC in the pool itself. All these images were made with my new 8-18mm Leica. :) 

 

That last house with the plastic furniture is actually unoccupied permanently and the owner rents it out on a daily basis on (I think) Airbnb. It sleeps 12 people in bedrooms for R6000 per night. Put in perspective that's about $430 today. Quite a bargain if you've got Dollars amongst friends to burn for a holiday in Durban. :D 

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