Before and After Real Estate Photographs

I shoot mostly interiors and architecture. I am routinely asked to reshoot rooms and houses when there are updates to the property. Often, I’ll look at the previous or existing image to know what I’m walking into and examine angles and lighting. My goal is to improve upon the previous image. So I wanted to show you a few examples and walk you through why I did some of the things I did. While some of these tips may seem specific to interior and architecture, I think they can apply to other types of photography.

Front of a House


First up is the exterior of this house. I see a couple of things wrong. The perspective is off. Whoever took this photo stood too close to the house and pointed the camera up. Tilting your camera up will cause buildings to look like they’re falling over backwards. We see this all the time in people’s vacation photos of famous monuments and buildings. The other problem is that the sun seems to be just behind or almost directly over the house. This affects the exposure and makes things look washed out.

the "after" picture of the same house


In the “after” shot, I stood across the street and raised the camera as high as the tripod would let me. This makes the angle of the focal plane almost parallel to the mid-point of the house. In other words, the camera was about even to the eave above the garage. I had to step back far enough to get everything in frame without tilting the camera and I made sure my tripod was level. Lastly, I waited until mid-afternoon to make sure the sun was hitting the house. This makes the colors pop and adds brightness to the image. If you want nice blue skies, shoot with the sun at your back.



This kitchen shot is another example of bad perspective. I can’t identify a single vertical line. The room looks like it’s tilted toward you because the camera is tilted down. To keep your verticals vertical, you have to keep your camera level.



This “after” shot shows what a difference is made just by putting the camera on a tripod and making sure it’s level.

Living Room


This last shot shows a living room. Here the lamps seem overexposed and the room seems to be tilting to the left. When I walked into the room, I saw the opportunity to show more of the space.

Living Room


In the “after” shot, I chose a composition that shows more of the space. I opened the blinds so you can see the patio and I made sure to light the bedroom on the left. Also notice there is still detail in the lamps.

Well, I hope you’ll pick up some useful tips. If you have any questions on technique or lighting, let me know.


The Camera Lens Alphabet

Nikon Lens Acronyms


So last week I posted a link to an article on my Facebook page about the acronyms manufacturers use for their camera lenses. It did a pretty good job, but I want to take it one step further for Nikon shooters. In my opinion, there are a WHOLE LOT more letters Nikonians have to decipher. In fact, there’s an entire GLOSSARY on the Nikon site to help you break it down. Did you know, for example, that your lens might be gelded? Yikes!

So check it out for yourself and the next time you get pulled over for DUI and the officer asks you to recite the alphabet backwards, just start with “VR”. 😉

Canon and Nikon News Round-Up

Nikon D90

I haven’t done a “Photography News Round-Up” in a while; mostly because I usually post items of interest on my Facebook page which then gets posted on Twitter. So if you are already following me there, the following items won’t be news to you. For everyone else, I wanted to get you up to speed on some things you might have missed last week.

First up: from Nikon Rumors, the Nikon D90 is now officially on the “discontinued” list. It was replaced by the D7000 last year.

In other Nikon news: a guest post on Nikon Rumors last week tested the sharpness of 16 different lensesThere’s a slideshow gallery and you can view the larger images on Flickr. Canon 50mm 1.8 Lens

Over on the Canon Rumors site, there’s word that there may be updates to both the 1.4 and 1.8 versions of the 50mm lens.

You probably read in a previous post about price increases for camera lenses and bodies most likely due to supply disruptions in Japan. Well, if it’s any consolation, Canon Rumors is also reporting that 3 lenses are part of Canon’s spring rebate program. They are:

  • EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 ($150 rebate)
  • EF 75-300mm f/4.5.6 ($50 rebate)
  • EF-S 55-200mm f/4-5.6 ($100 rebate)

Not exciting enough? Well there are also reports that Best Buy has started a price war on many Nikon and Canon lenses and bodies. I checked the prices against Amazon, and if they are true, then they really look like good deals. The 5D MKII, for example, is listed at $2124 with in-store pick-up only. But when I checked on the Best Buy site for stores in the Orlando area, not only was the price around $2800, but they were out of stock. If you’re interested, click the link and check it out for yourself. Let me know if you have any luck. Happy hunting!

Photoshop in the News

Fake Osama Bin Laden Death Photo

Ibrahim Hamid/AFP/Getty Images


Photoshop has been in the news recently. You may have heard yesterday that a Hasidic newspaper photoshopped out Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and one other female staffer from the photo of President Obama and his team watching the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. You can read more about it here.

Now the Denver Post is out with 38 “fake” photos; from a fake death picture of  bin Laden to other historical events and magazine covers. Most of them involve just plain bad Photoshop skills. Of course the older ones were done before Photoshop even existed. Still, it’s interesting to see the reasons why photos were manipulated.

Check it out for yourself here.