Why Hire a Professional Photographer

Research has shown that photography is the way most buyers first learn about a home. First impressions are important. Show your properties at their best –  hire a professional to put your homes “In the Best Light”. Here is some very interesting research.   Source by Ruxta Realty – See more at:...

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HDR or Exposure Fusion

What’s wrong with this photograph? Short answer: HDR. Do you like it? It has a kind of fantasy look doesn’t it? Somebody likes these types of photos because they are common on real estate web sites. They may be flashy and attention grabbing but they’re not real.   Long answer: The photograph has been tone mapped. Tone mapping is a part of the HDR process. It’s the part that often produces strange results that look more like an illustration than a photograph. This one has too much local contrast, the shadows are too light and an “outlining” effect has been created by the HDR process. It might look good to some but it doesn’t look natural and misrepresents the actual appearance of the home.   Do you like this version better? It’s a single exposure that was carefully processed in LightRoom to achieve a full dynamic range and to make the home look its best. This house will actually look like this on a nice afternoon.   What is HDR? (You can skip to the last paragraph if you don’t need a detailed explanation.) It stands for High Dynamic Range. The interface between the human eye and the brain is remarkable. We can see an enormous range of bright and dark light values (known as dynamic range). When we stand in a room and look out a widow at a brightly lit scene, our brain rapidly re-processes the visual information so both the room and the outside scene look right. It’s so fast you can’t even catch your brain doing it (unless you step out of a darkened room into to a very bright day). From the inception of photography in the 1830s, photographers have struggled with dynamic range because photographic materials are not so capable. So you get windows that are so bright that no detail is visible, lights that blow out everything around them, or rooms that are so dark that almost nothing is visible. Digital photography has turned this big problem into a small one. Digital sensors are no more capable of handling a high dynamic range than were the most modern films (probably even less so) but electronic processing is much more versatile than chemical processing. HDR was the first...

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Light and the Photographer’s Day

Attractive, appealing photographs, especially of structures, are more about exceptional or unusual light than anything else and the middle of the usual work day does not often provide the best lighting. So here is a breakdown of the best times of day for exterior photographs. 1. The Blue Hour The “Blue Hour” is what photographers call the time beginning about 30-45 minutes before dawn and immediately following sunset because of the rich blue nature of the light. There are very nice colors in the sky that change from minute to minute. The light can be gentle and flattering but also create very deep, rich colors. It’s a flattering time for many buildings.  The image above was made during the “Blue Hour” and light was balanced with interior lighting. 2. The Golden Hour The “Golden Hour” begins with the sunrise and lasts about an hour. In the late afternoon it starts about 1 hour before sunset. During these times the light takes on a marked golden tone. The color is dramatic, the shadows are long, and the modeling is flattering and dramatic. There is no better description of this time than “golden”.  Almost anything looks good during the “Golden Hour” and buildings are no exception. As the golden color fades to normal daylight, the sun stays low and the shadows long providing flattering light with good modeling for another hour or two. Later in afternoon another hour or two of good daylight precedes the afternoon golden hour. The image below was made during the “Golden Hour”. Notice the flattering glow the light produces. 3. Midday The middle of the day is rarely good for outdoor photographs. The sun is high, the shadows unflattering, and nothing looks it’s best. If your photographer’s work looks flat, dull, hot or generally uninteresting, it’s a good bet it was done during midday. I hope these examples demonstrate why I wait for these special times of day for exterior photographs....

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