A couple of Sundays ago, I had a spread in the Real Estate section of the local Chapel Hill News. As usual I had two days notice. The forecast was for rain, rain and more rain. I have never done any real estate photos before, so was not even sure how to light the rooms. The outside shots, something for which I had better ideas were threatened by the weather. The concept was to capture cousins who live next door to each other in a development in the nearby town of Mebane.
The lead shot was suggested by the N&O’s photo editor. He suggested getting the two cousins on their property line, showing a bit of the exterior of both homes. It did not start off well. The rain got us all wet. The wind knocked my light stand over and my cheapo wireless trigger has not worked the same since. When I finally got my flash working again, I had raindrops on my lens filter that snuck by me unnoticed. Looking closely at this image, you can see the blurry spot between ther feet. Regardless, I prefer this shot the most from the published photos. The flash is shooting through an umbrella from camera left. I might have used Lightroom’s neutral density filter to balance the exposure afterward. I probably should have been able to do this by balancing the light better at the shoot, but it was raining. I used my shorter lens, but the shot would have worked better with an even shorter one.
The owner on camera left had a great dog, honey, who wanted in on the action, but the water drops on my lens filter did not let me use those images.
Before that I took some interior photos in one home. I have one Vivitar on a stand with an umbrella and no idea how to light a room with ambient cloudy light from a window. Fortunately for me, the homeowner was quite patient. I spent a good half hour experimenting with bare flash, bounced flash and umbrella’ed flash, trying to get the light right. The right answer probably revolves around using multiple light sources. There is probably a second-best solution with one flash, which I have yet to figure out, but this time it was Lightroom’s neutral density filter to the rescue again. The flash was on too strong on camera right, so the light was not properly balanced.
I was asked to get family members in the photos, creating a more natural setting. Well, only one person was home for this house. He was chatting with my photo assistant, who is also my chauffeur and, oh yeah, my wife, and I caught him in his living room there. There is a bit of flash reflected in the TV. I was shooting through an umbrella high on camera left, but should have found some way to bounce the light directlyy off the ceiling.
The homeowner could not have been more helpful or patient. I took another shot of him out on his patio construction project. It was not printed, so I will blog about it later with the other outtakes.
They put this kitchen shot on the inside page. I have no idea why. In my opinion it was the weakest of my shots.I did not have a wide enough lens to get the tiny space all in one shot. I laso hav ethe flash too hot as you can see the shadow and rellcection in the framed print on the wall. With the cloudy view, catching the window iteelf was not a viable option. Remind me to avoid these shoots on rainy days in the future. Despite my image, I like waht the family had done with the kitchen and this little eating area.
After I took the lead shot, I went in to shoot the home on the left. The homeowner had his dog, Honey, and his baby girl, Brooklyn, with him. (I’ll need to call my daughter Fenway or Yawkey :) if I ever have one. Go Sox.) I had a lens filter covered in rain drops. The lighting was tougher in this house and I never noticed the rain drops until I looked at the photos on the monitor in my office – a bit too late! You can see the blurry spot on the fireplace corner.
Stay tuned for the outtakes.If you find this post useful or interesting, please consider buying me a cup of coffee.