First attempt at Real Estate, Tips Wanted

Started Apr 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
Tommygun45
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Re: First attempt at Real Estate, Tips Wanted
In reply to DtEW, Apr 19, 2013

DtEW wrote:

1. Use a tripod.

2. Level the shot left-to-right: Shots 2, 3, and 4 are left-to-right level, the others are not.  This is usually the most noticeable flaw and people will write you off instantly for that.  Use the guide lines that you can enable in the NEX for reference, and what you need to pay attention to is the middle vertical line.  If you can align that with a known vertical line in the scene, the shot will be level left-to-right.  Aligning any other vertical guide lines will not produce a left-to-right level shot unless your camera is front-to-back level...

3. Level the shot front-to-back: Unless you know specifically what you are doing to achieve a certain effect, you should also level the shot front-to-back.  Again, using the guidelines... you need to get all the known vertical lines in the scene to be parallel to all the vertical guide lines.  When you achieve this, you might find that your perspective is either too high or too low...

4. Use a tall tripod:  I use a tripod that extends to 7+ feet high and almost 8 pounds (despite the need to climb, crawl and run) because I shoot a lot of industrial urbex, which ideally has cathedral-height or higher scenes... but I don't want to have to perspective-distort as much in post.  Obviously, regular real-estate usually doesn't require that high of a perspective...

Or...

4a. Use a shift lens: which is the classical solution for such perspective issues...

Or...

4b. Perspective-distort in post, which has negative ramifications on resolution, and more so the noticeable distortion of the natural noise pattern that can be seen if you print your work to a large size... which is probably not what your going to do for real estate.  So perspective distort should be OK for web sizes.

Front-to-back level is often massaged to impart a sense of epic scale and spaciousness (slight upwards tilt of the perspective), but too much is also noticeable as a negative.

Even with bracketing, the windows (and even the bathroom!) seem blown-out.  You need to bracket wider.  Or perhaps use the built-in HDR feature, which I think brackets the widest (I don't use it; RAW devotee).  But I would also think that to bake-in the white balance (which is the case if you use the any of the JPEG outputs) , you want to get yourself a gray card and set a custom white balance before each shot.  The color temp of incandescents, CFLs, and now LEDs vary quite widely.  Also, look into Enfuse plug-in for LR.

That's just some tips.  We've often mused that our urban exploration is a weird subset of real-estate photography.

Thanks for the advice, very helpful. One question though.. Could you elaborate a bit more on the left to right uneven comment that you made? I can see it in the first one of the bathroom, the ceiling lines are certainly a little crooked. However on the other shots I was frequently taking the shot placing the tripod in the corner of the room to maximize its viewing angle. This naturally leads to angled shots. I was pretty sure I was level with the tripod and camera although they might have been slightly off I am just having trouble seeing it.

Also how would you correct the perspective? In LR is this possible with the crop tool?

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