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07-03-2012, 08:25 PM   #1
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Landmark Estate
Lens: 18-55mm Kit Lens Camera: K-r Photo Location: Westchester, NY ISO: 100 

I had the opportunity to shoot this newly restored landmark estate briefly with permission from the owners. Originally I was going to stay on the sidewalk. I was very much surprised to have been given access to the grounds. Unfortunately I only had my kit lens (walking around) on me. So I made the best of it. I did some PP too. It's not as clear/sharp as I would have wanted. Comments welcome. The owners seem eager to get more photos done (interior and exterior), so I'd like some feedback for a possible re-visit. Thanks. (More Here)

F/11 1/30 @ ISO100 28mm



F/11 1/40 @ ISO100 18mm


07-05-2012, 08:00 AM   #2
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As to sharpness, those are pretty slow shutter speeds if you're shooting handheld: either bump the ISO to get a faster speed, or use a tripod.

I can't claim any expertise on architectural photography, but this looks like a challenging location for getting wide views, due to all the fences, bushes, and so on. In #2 you've found a fairly wide viewpoint, but by zooming out to 18mm and standing close the foreground becomes overemphasized. And because you're below the house, the converging vertical lines become pretty extreme. Try re-shooting #2 from farther away (and higher, if at all possible) with a longer FL.

#1 is a nice perspective on the house (although it looks a little bit tilted). The bushes in the foreground are distracting, as is the blown-out sky. The blue sky in #2 is really helpful. Looks like you had partial cloud cover; the light on the subject is very soft. Some glare off the roof; maybe try a polarizing filter.

If you get the chance to shoot interiors, I'd say at a minimum you'd want one flash you can bounce off walls or ceilings, and multiple flashes could really help. Again, speaking theoretically rather than from experience.
07-06-2012, 12:43 AM   #3
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Both the shutter speeds should be fine... 1/28 = 1/30th ( in effect ) and 1/18 is slower than 1/40th that it was shot at. I've shot at that kind of speed with a way longer lens than that with no issues.

The biggest issue is the perspective issues you mention. Second shot definitely needs either shooting with a proper camera :P ( Large format with tilt/shift ) or accept some cropping by holding camera vertical then cropping.
07-06-2012, 05:55 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Katier Quote
Both the shutter speeds should be fine... 1/28 = 1/30th ( in effect ) and 1/18 is slower than 1/40th that it was shot at. I've shot at that kind of speed with a way longer lens than that with no issues.
The rule of thumb you're invoking (denominator of shutter speed in seconds equal or greater than focal length in mm) is, well, just a rule of thumb. And, indeed, both these images are acceptably sharp at this size. But OP said he wants sharper.

07-06-2012, 06:23 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
As to sharpness, those are pretty slow shutter speeds if you're shooting handheld: either bump the ISO to get a faster speed, or use a tripod.

I can't claim any expertise on architectural photography, but this looks like a challenging location for getting wide views, due to all the fences, bushes, and so on. In #2 you've found a fairly wide viewpoint, but by zooming out to 18mm and standing close the foreground becomes overemphasized. And because you're below the house, the converging vertical lines become pretty extreme. Try re-shooting #2 from farther away (and higher, if at all possible) with a longer FL.

#1 is a nice perspective on the house (although it looks a little bit tilted). The bushes in the foreground are distracting, as is the blown-out sky. The blue sky in #2 is really helpful. Looks like you had partial cloud cover; the light on the subject is very soft. Some glare off the roof; maybe try a polarizing filter.

If you get the chance to shoot interiors, I'd say at a minimum you'd want one flash you can bounce off walls or ceilings, and multiple flashes could really help. Again, speaking theoretically rather than from experience.
Yes, you are right about the challenges in the location. I must stress that I was not setup as I would had I expected to be on the grounds. I had no filters nor my tripod. My K-r with 18-55 kit lens on and that's it. I have been lately trying to just practice shooting more, so I bring my camera with me where ever I am. As it is the kit lens, if something happens to it, I am not out a whole lot.

It may very be possible to shoot #2 from further away. I will have to try that if/when I return. As for #1, I am standing outside the property wall which gave the best shot of this portion of the house. I was intentionally trying to frame this shot through the existing greenery.

With the possibility of shooting the interior, I was leaning more on the side of using natural light throughout the home. With these historically large windows, it should suffice with slow shutter speeds on a tripod. I want a natural look, but I will have to look more into this. (PLUS I will be able to suggest time of day and look at that days weather, so this will play in my favor.)


QuoteOriginally posted by Katier Quote
Both the shutter speeds should be fine... 1/28 = 1/30th ( in effect ) and 1/18 is slower than 1/40th that it was shot at. I've shot at that kind of speed with a way longer lens than that with no issues.

The biggest issue is the perspective issues you mention. Second shot definitely needs either shooting with a proper camera :P ( Large format with tilt/shift ) or accept some cropping by holding camera vertical then cropping.
Though I think the shots came out OK, I'd like to see the shutter speed a little bit faster to capture image more sharply.

Yes #2 is somewhat problematic with the perspective. I myself like it because it actually makes the bldg more grand but that might have a connection to my familiarity with the property and it's history. The challenge is the location where I stand is below the bldg line plus it's a slope down away. If/when I return, I will try some different things to overcome this.

Thanks for the critiques.
07-06-2012, 11:09 AM   #6
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Hello
If you're interested in a reshoot yes use a tripod. With this kind of subject it's a great asset for framing, composition and sharpness. Looking at what equipment you have the Tamron 17-50 should be the best lens to use. The hazy day you had is good as it gives a bright light and eliminates hard shadows. Regarding photo one the sky is washed out, to fix it strip in a new one or select the washed out area and paint in a blue sky. The framing is fine with the evergreens. I would clone out the green hose laying on the garden bed in front of the house. The image overall is somewhat dark, I would lighten it up a bit and dodge the building a bit to emphasize it. It also has some what of a yellow/green cast that needs to be corrected. Photo 2 is badly tilted. You can easily correct with the Edit/Transform/Distort. This give you control over all aspects as you can drag each corner to where you want it but you will need a little more space around the building as you will lose some of the areas on the edges with the necessary corrections. You can have the building looking quite good that way without the slants. Drag the guides from the rulers and place them on the building edges so you know when they are properly perpendicular.
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07-06-2012, 11:22 AM   #7
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I think it's been covered above but yep if you reshoot a tripod would be in order. Architecture is tough, and guys that specialise in it in many cases still shoot large format for the tilt shift of the bellows to correct perspectives (there are of course some tilt shift lenses out there that fit Pentax (the K 28 f3.5 for instance) but on a crop sensor they aren't as useful. Lightroom can do a pretty good job of correcting perspectives if you have it

As for shutter speed sharpness equation the best rule of thumb is for apsc 1/4.5x FL for very sharp (1/3xFL on FF) the 1/FL is for acceptable on FF.SR will allow for less though so you can get away with 1/2xFL allowing for SR correcting a couple of stops.
Lighting if you get inside will be crucial as well.
07-06-2012, 01:58 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gregory_51 Quote
Hello
If you're interested in a reshoot yes use a tripod. With this kind of subject it's a great asset for framing, composition and sharpness. Looking at what equipment you have the Tamron 17-50 should be the best lens to use. The hazy day you had is good as it gives a bright light and eliminates hard shadows. Regarding photo one the sky is washed out, to fix it strip in a new one or select the washed out area and paint in a blue sky. The framing is fine with the evergreens. I would clone out the green hose laying on the garden bed in front of the house. The image overall is somewhat dark, I would lighten it up a bit and dodge the building a bit to emphasize it. It also has some what of a yellow/green cast that needs to be corrected. Photo 2 is badly tilted. You can easily correct with the Edit/Transform/Distort. This give you control over all aspects as you can drag each corner to where you want it but you will need a little more space around the building as you will lose some of the areas on the edges with the necessary corrections. You can have the building looking quite good that way without the slants. Drag the guides from the rulers and place them on the building edges so you know when they are properly perpendicular.
Regards
Greg
QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
I think it's been covered above but yep if you reshoot a tripod would be in order. Architecture is tough, and guys that specialise in it in many cases still shoot large format for the tilt shift of the bellows to correct perspectives (there are of course some tilt shift lenses out there that fit Pentax (the K 28 f3.5 for instance) but on a crop sensor they aren't as useful. Lightroom can do a pretty good job of correcting perspectives if you have it

As for shutter speed sharpness equation the best rule of thumb is for apsc 1/4.5x FL for very sharp (1/3xFL on FF) the 1/FL is for acceptable on FF.SR will allow for less though so you can get away with 1/2xFL allowing for SR correcting a couple of stops.
Lighting if you get inside will be crucial as well.
Yes, Tammy & my manfrotto tripod are a must. I will look at PP if/when I re-visit. I added some saturation and vibrance to photos to bring out in the brown bricks but then had to pull down on greenery. I guess some of the yellow-ish should have been brought down too. Honestly, I really did like the distorted view of the #2. I do see now what you have all said about the straight edges and perspective problems. I am well versed in PS and I can fix this easy enough but I will remember this if/when I re-visit.

The shutter speed will be easier controlled with tripod and upping ISO if necessary. Going from 100 to 200 wouldn't have vastly affected photo quality but would have given a faster shutter speed and possible a slightly sharper image.

Been thinking about adding to my lenses. Any thoughts on getting a UWA lens? (Sig 10-20 or Tam 10-24). I know it would help with capturing more in each shot and due to my inherent love for architecture, I know eventually it will need to be added to my collection.

07-06-2012, 02:36 PM   #9
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The wide angle distortion does not bother me at all, but the center line of the frame should be vertical so the left and right side lean tends to balance out.
07-07-2012, 06:33 AM   #10
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Wide angel lenses are nice. If you do interiors in particular they are quite handy. Either of the one you mention are nice depends on which you can get a good price on. I don't have either, only have read the tests on them. I have the 10-17 fisheye. Gets everything in but you need to to do correction in pp where the rectilinear lenses do it optically. I got mine as an open box unit at the camera store, they had the Pentax 12-24 there too but it was a couple hundred more than the fisheye. The other option is with a tripod and and multiple exposures and stitch them together.
07-07-2012, 07:40 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gregory_51 Quote
The other option is with a tripod and and multiple exposures and stitch them together.
True, although with architecture you may not be happy with stitching unless you rig up a no-parallax pano head. (Without that it may be impossible to hide the stitch, especially if there are any receding lines across the stitch.) Which is to say, the cost of an UWA lens may be justified.
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