Real Estate Photography

Real Estate Photography

I figured it might be time to share a little bit of what I do.
As a Commercial Photographer in Calgary, I’ve shot a huge variety of different things for clients. I’ve photographed a boat load of Real Estate.
Coincidentally, today is my 22nd Anniversary as ‘Sharpeshots’.
I started on this date in 1992.
Wow! Has it really BEEN this long?

When Digital entered the picture I began shooting Real Estate.
Doing it on film was a total nightmare. Switching to digital changed everything.
In terms of flexibility it’s unbeatable because there are any number of challenges that still need to be overcome.

I’ve said numerous times that in Real Estate Photography – ‘NOBODY lives in the Mid-Tones”
The cameras always seem to see an abundance of burned out highlights and blocked up shadows, there’s never much information in the middle.

As a photographer, you’ve got to bring that information out in the image.
It’s also complicated with the variety of different kinds of lighting available; the absolute worst of which is ‘CF’ or Compact Fluorescent Lighting.

Previous to those the only kinds of bulbs available were tungsten and fluorescent tubes.
Generally the property was lit primarily by tungsten bulbs so it was an easy colour ‘fix’.
The wattage of the bulb might change somewhat but the colour of the light they produced seldom did.

Not so any more. I think the industry will move to a much more standardized bulb. CF’s are hideous.

My ‘modus operandi’ is to go in with my 21mm Zeiss Distagon and my Canon 5D Mark III.
Add a Gitzo Tripod and an Arca Swiss Ball head and that’s it, that’s all.

I use no supplementary lighting whatsoever, not even small flashes.
Each shot is bracketed 5 times at one stop apart and the images are processed in Lightroom 5.
Highlights are pulled virtually to the minimum and shadows are opened up almost to the max.

The images are batch processed and fed into Photomatix Pro to be blended as exposure fusions. NO HDR.

I run them back into Photoshop and apply a 20+ step ‘ACTION’ (*Contrast, Noise Reduction etc.), and Voila’…

Shooting shortly after sunset gives the images an entirely different look and feel.
I vastly prefer it except in June where you start working at around 10 pm at this latitude.
On location I’m seldom in the house longer than an hour.

Post processing is highly automated, and runs about 2 to 2 and a half hours.
For MLS, this is just what the Dr. ordered.

John Sharpe/ Sharpeshots

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