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05-06-2011, 12:04 PM   #1
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real estate photography help?

Hey everyone,

I do real-estate photography and Im kind of getting better I think.. .lol
I would like to know how to get the windows outside to be a nice colour and still have the inside of the house visible?

I have struggled with this a lot.. . but im really not a fan of the k-x hdr feature as it does not work all that well.. . it gives a weird glow around things.

I would like to have the image look as I see it not compensating for the extreme brightness or darkness.

I use lights to light up the room a lot but is doesn't seem to help.

I have posted a few examples.

is this possible with one shot or am a doomed to spend 30 min in photoshop blending two images for the rest of time?

Thanks everyone.

Jesse





05-06-2011, 12:19 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jesse Dumonceau Quote
I would like to know how to get the windows outside to be a nice colour and still have the inside of the house visible?
Not sure I follow what you are saying here. Are you talking about the outside shot and being able to see the interior of the house through the window from outside?
05-06-2011, 12:30 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
Not sure I follow what you are saying here. Are you talking about the outside shot and being able to see the interior of the house through the window from outside?
I believe he wants to photograph the interior without blowing out the windows and without using HDR. But there's a second issue. Look at the roofline of the exterior photo, there's a weird halo effect where the roof meets the sky.

I'm no real estate photographer. The only thing that occurs to me for interior photos is off-camera lighting to bring the interior brightness closer to the exterior. Highlight compensation should help rein in the bright spots. Some exterior photos could benefit from a circular polarizer.

Last edited by audiobomber; 05-06-2011 at 12:36 PM.
05-06-2011, 12:32 PM   #4
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That actually can be a bit difficult with some of the more reflective coatings they have on window glass and storm windows these days. I was trying to take some pics for my folks not too long ago? You apparently can't actually see into the windows of the house I live in now at all. I can't get a pic of it that allows you to see in because the privacy coating on the windows prevents that. Same with the storm windows on their porch. Opening the windows is about the only way I've ever been able to get any decent pics that have some interior view.

05-06-2011, 12:35 PM   #5
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The basic problem is that you have a scene with a dynamic range that exceeds your camera's sensor - so you either underexpose part, or overexpose another part.

You could either try out-of-camera HDR with Photomatix or Luminance, or go with exposure blending with Enfuse/Hugin. Enfuse - PanoTools.org Wiki
05-06-2011, 12:36 PM   #6
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Dan is correct I am talking about the windows being blown out.

I just threw the hdr shot up as an example why hdr is no good.

Thanks all!

Jesse
05-06-2011, 12:40 PM   #7
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would a better camera fix this?

jesse
05-06-2011, 01:09 PM   #8
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I do a lot of this for my wife (an interior designer) some samples can be seen at amytroute.com.

It's all about dynamic range. the exposure between the outside and the interior are so far apart that the camera cant cover the entire range so you have to choose. Expose for the windows and the interior is underexposed. Expose for the interior and the windows are overexposed. You have to close that gap by adding light to the interior so that the required exposure is closer to what the exposure would be for the windows. My K200 needs about a 4 or 5 stops difference to get close. Add to that the need for higher aperture settings to maintain the depth of field so everything is in focus and you have your work cut out for you.

Because most work I do happens during the middle of the day, it is a real problem. I have tried exposing for the windows and pumping up the exposure in PS with less than desirable results. So I finally just bought some soft boxes and strobes. It has really helped and now I can get the windows and interior relatively close although I might need a little more light as I still feel there is room for improvement.




Last edited by mtroute; 05-06-2011 at 01:49 PM.
05-06-2011, 02:31 PM   #9
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An acquaintance of mine does architectural photography: he takes pictures of B&Bs, high-end hotels here on the OR coast, etc. He goes the multiple-exposure route & combines them in Photoshop, I believe. It's true "HDR," but without the tone-mapping, that aspect of what we call "HDR" that gives things a surreal glow. It's fine if that's the effect you're going for, but if you want reality, then you don't want the tone mapping, right?

So, sounds like you either light the interior to compensate for the relative brightness of the exterior, or you take multiple exposures and overlap them in software, allowing the correct exposure for each part to be seen in the final image.

Either way, it's extra work.
05-06-2011, 02:32 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jesse Dumonceau Quote
would a better camera fix this?

jesse

I doubt it (though I could be wrong).. it is the nature of the beast, as other posters have mentioned - the dynamic range exceeds the capability of the sensor. The best option in IMHO is to use flash properly.
05-06-2011, 03:03 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtroute Quote
I do a lot of this for my wife (an interior designer) some samples can be seen at amytroute.com.

And a darn good job of it you are doing based on the posted example.

How much extra equipment did it take to to capture that shot?
05-06-2011, 03:18 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Colbyt Quote
And a darn good job of it you are doing based on the posted example.

How much extra equipment did it take to to capture that shot?
Thanks for the compliment!

Two Cowboy Studio 180w strobes with 28" softboxes...

CowboyStudio Photography Lighting | Studio Equipment | Studio Accessories
05-06-2011, 03:21 PM   #13
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Jesse, i started shooting real estate with the K10 and have gone thru the K20, K7, and now the K5. The K5s dynamic range is amazing for this kind of work, and has cut my post processing time. However, i have to shoot multi exposures and sometimes flash and overlay at least 1 image to get the windows correct. My other method requires exposing for the window lighting (expose, lock exposure and then frame the shot). now pull the original up in photoshop, then create a duplicate image in and lighten the image. Then a layer mask is done on the duplicate and the windows are painted in. In 5 years of this i have not found any other way to balance the lighting. Heres a quick and dirty example from using one image. first is the original, second is the duplicate lightened image and the 3rd has the windows painted in. hope this helps, and if you solve the problem in one shot, send me the technique. Any distortion is corrected as a last step.

Last edited by ivoire; 03-30-2012 at 07:42 PM.
05-06-2011, 04:47 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jesse Dumonceau Quote
would a better camera fix this?
No. The outside really *is* a lot brighter than the inside. A camera would have to be completely broken to lie about that.

You've hit the right solutions either use HDR, or add light to the interior. When you added light, chances are you just didn't add enough. As for HDR, I wouldn't bother with the built-in HDR or pseudo-HDR features in the camera, but with the right software, you can do a surprising amount with just a single exposure. ACDSee's "Lighting" tool is great for this sort of thing, for example. Better still if you add some light to the interior (even just by turning on the all lights already in the room) - the closer you can get the lighting the levels, the better the results you'll get trying to bring them closer in PP.
05-07-2011, 06:35 AM   #15
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learning curve

OP is asking for help in running before they can walk. Exposure balancing needs to be learned by doing, there is no simple fix as every situation is individual.

What you have to manipulate is the aperture versus shutterspeed to achieve a suitable out-door exposure, and the aperture versus flash power to achieve a suitable indoor exposure.

Of course, you also have to obtain even illumination from your flash equipment, which is an art in itself.

You may have to wait for the correct time of day to be able to achieve the balance you require.

May I suggest OP fully learns the individual skills before trying to combine the skills and apply them to this particularly demanding form of photography.

Something that may help OP is to study "Fill-in Flash", since the set of skills is broadly similar.

Nobody can give you the correct settings for the job, you have to meter, measure and learn the limitations of the equipment you have at your disposal.

hope this helps

K33F

Last edited by keithlester; 05-07-2011 at 06:36 AM. Reason: typo
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