My grateful thanks to Resource Techniques for rooting out this piece of research by a university in the USA. http://goo.gl/RGJOi

I particularly like the pithy question with which they end their article.

This time of year it’s not the cloudy days that are the property photographer’s enemy, it’s the bright sunny ones.

This is especially the case if there are big trees or other tall structures causing high-contrast shadows over gardens and elevations when the bright Sun drops behind them – at this time of year that would be most of the daytime.

The problem is that there is, on a bright day, a difference of around 22 f-stops worth of available light in the real world* but the average digital camera records detail in a range equal to around 7 f-stops (less able cameras) to 14 (more able SLR cameras). The human eye can see the equivalent of around 20 f-stops in a scene, because it constantly adjusts as it focusses on different elements of it. In plain English, this translates to the unfortunate fact that in high-contrast scenes, a photograph’s detail can easily be lost with blocky shadows at one end of the scale or blown highlights at the other.

So – what to do? Read the rest of this entry »

The raison d’etre for estate agents everywhere, is to get the properties they sell, noticed ! Simples.

These days unless you’re selling property in central London where the upper end of the market is on fire (yes, I know, but I started writing this a couple of weeks ago), you’re likely to need to exploit every trick in the book to get your home noticed by the best available buyers. You could, for example, throw in with your sale a free Ferrari or Mini but that little trick was done to death in the ‘70’s; or you could make your home a raffle prize, but that’s not a new idea either and let’s face it, raffles are a bit down-market and much better suited to raising funds for the village hall roof repair.

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Link to Sister Article Getting your Home Noticed/Achieving the Best Selling Price

It is most definitely the case that some UK estate agents are catching up with the importance that property marketing, design and professional photography play in achieving the best result for sellers… see these chaps:  http://www.domusnova.com/ by way of example.

But as an intelligent vendor you will realise that even brilliant marketing will not alone send you laughing all the way to the bank. It might seem obvious, sadly for many it isn’t, but (with the possible exception of homes that are being sold for refurbishment) every seller needs to make sure that their house has been properly prepared for marketing (I’ve placed a link above where I’ve expanded on the reasons) – just as you would clean and polish your car if you were selling it.

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I said recently that I don’t think of myself as a photographer. My role in life is, and always has been, to make the properties I’ve been asked to sell look the very best they can. These days we’re not restricted to paper-based advertising, we also have the Internet which makes the world our showcase, rendering the need for property images to be that much more refined than perhaps they once were. With the portals bringing together all of a property’s competition on one screen it’s become even more important to make the one(s) we’re selling stand out from the crowd; literally there are thousands of homes available to buy and rent across the UK so anyone who’s looking must be given good reason to take time out from their busy lives and go see.

It just so happens that photographs are the most visual way to grab the attention of the best buyers; and, all other things being equal, the better the photos, the more potential buyers who will be attracted and therefore the better the price etc etc. So, for me photography is a means to an end – which isn’t me saying I’m not interested in photography; in fact I’m very interested in learning from the best and for that reason I spend a tremendous amount of time reading, learning and watching. I’d like to introduce you now to some of the people who have influenced me in one way or another. I very much hope that you’ll also take an interest in what they’re doing – you might be surprised at how techniques that are used by wedding photographers for example, might translate in some small way to property photography especially when you’re able to maintain an open mind – it’s being open to ideas and learning that enables you to grow…

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Most of us recognise that creating good photos of interiors can be problematical especially when there’s a window in  the shot. The light value outside of the window will often be massively higher than that inside, so that a good exposure of the room will result in the window being over-exposed, or vice-versa. There are techniques for dealing with this, including layering two photos that were taken off a tripod, (one correctly exposed for the exterior, and on top of that, a second photo exposed for the interior) and carefully selecting the window area of the photo that was exposed for the room so that its over-exposed window selection can be deleted leaving the correctly exposed window on the lower layer to be merged with the room exposure.  (You might need to read that a couple of times :o ) ). A similar and more detailed (perhaps even better explained) approach can be found here in this excellent article on Larry Lohrman’s site. However these solutions won’t help you when you have bright wall or ceiling lighting causing ‘halo’s’ to shine against a wall or ceiling – the effect of which can look hideous and spoil an otherwise good photo…

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