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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Coto De Caza Real Estate Photographer

Real Estate & Architectural Photography

Home Staging by Deborah Muccillo – Interiors Within Reach
Coto De Caza Real Estate Photographer – Marc Weisberg

If it wasn’t for the property taxes and the electric bills I think I’d buy this house as a weekender or a starter home. It can be your for only $1,285,000. It was fun as a Coto De Caza real estate photographer being commissioned to photograph this stylish residence. You’d think the first image {top right} was the hardest to shoot. But it wasn’t. It was the most fun. The hardest real estate photography image to shoot was the living room below. Read on to find out why.

coto de caza architectural real estate photographer

Dark wood is always a challenge to shoot. Put that together with a spiral wooden staircase and wooden floors and its love at first sight. To pull off this shoot four speedlights were used. One was placed on the floor in the entry way, first level camera left. A second bouncing off the curved wall behind me to fill in the far wall. Third speedlight was in a 60″ bounce umbrella under the stairway first level camera right to fill in the foreground. And the last one was in the dining room hiding behind the pillar in view camera right. A Canon 16mm-35mm 2.8 was used at ISO 400 f7.1

coto de caza architectural real estate photographer

coto de caza architectural real estate photographer

How The Kitchen Is Lit: Outside the window a 40″ silver bounce umbrella pointing towards the range. A speedlight on the ground between the island and the range bouncing off the island cabinets at about 1/32 manual power hitting back at the range to light the cabinets. Another speedlight left side of island just out of sight bouncing off the island cabinets and back at the cabinets between the range and fridge. And a 60″ umbrella umbrella behind me, camera right to illuminate the island and foreground. One speed light in the dinning room {far end of image} in a 20″ bounce umbrella. In total 5 speed lights were used to create this shot. Set up time about 10-15 minutes. All post completed in Adobe Lightroom 5.

coto de caza architectural real estate photographer

This was the hardest room to shoot in this Coto De Caza home. The fact there there is a television {highly reflective} with dark wooden cabinetry surrounding it, dark wood floor and a very hallway with dark tile, a dark wood door and the end all posed a challenge. Four speedlights, a few umbrellas and a bit allot of finesse bouncing the lights of the walls did the trick.

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Marc Weisberg is an award winning photographer and Sony Artist of Imagery based in Irvine, California. Specializing in Luxury Architecture & Real Estate Photography, Food + Wine Photography, and Weddings & Family Photography, he’s easy to work with and produces clean, crisp, and technically flawless images. Marc’s photography is published internationally in over a dozen books and magazines. You can contact Marc by phone at 800.943.0414…. or email.

San Clemente Real Estate Photographer

Architectural and Real Estate Photography

Home Staging by Deborah Muccillo – Interiors Within Reach
San Celemente Real Estate Photographer – Marc Weisberg

Home staging Diva Deborah Muccillo of Interiors Within Reach, Laguna Beach, commissioned me to photograph this 10,000 sq. foot lot home in the fashionable community of Telega, San Clemente. It was certainly a challenging shoot. Some of the rooms were rather dark for real estate photography. So I had to pull out every trick I knew to make this property sparkle. Pictured below for the San Clemente real estate photography shoot is the living room with a big picture window looking out to the backyard and hills of San Clemente.

The Real Estate Photography Had Sell The Living Room View: The challenge here is to shoot for ambient light and show the outside vista …. a selling point for this $1.3 million dollar home. For this real estate photography shoot I needed to drop in the windows in post, due how glaringly bright it was outside. To do this I used two images: The fully lit capture and a second capture with no lighting and only exposing for the outdoor ambient light. Using CS5 and a combination of the Magnetic Lasso Tool for the window curves and the Polygonal Lasso Tool for the straight bits it was a quick process to cut and paste them onto the lit layer. A bit of masking was necessary to clean up the window edges and perfect the look. Overall I used a 60″ bounce umbrella with speedlight camera right, another speedlight tucked into the corner camera left to bounce off the wall and hit the arch at the right, and opened an umbrella {as a Gobo} to block light from one of the second story windows that was spilling a nasty patch of light onto the couch. There is no way this could have been done effectively with HDR and retain a super clean look. That’s why I’m a proponent of using speedlights to shoot my interiors and getting 99% of it right in camera with little to no post. Of course there are exceptions, especially when its a selling point.

San Clemente Real Estate Photographer

San Clemente Real Estate Photographer

In the image above, three speedlights were used. An exposure was made to capture the outdoor ambient light {wanted to show off the patio} and then the room {which was pretty dark compared to the exterior} was lit to balance the indoor and outdoor light. Two speedlights, camera right and left, tucked into the corners, high up, on small light stands, bouncing off the walls to the far side of the room towards the patio, and a 20″ umbrella just outside the doorway on the left of the room. I chose this image for its point-of-view and the way the doors framed the formal dining room. The technique is too, as much as possible, keep the lighting soft, as though it was just there naturally.

San Clemente Real Estate Photographer

Kitchens typically take the longest to photograph. There are many reflective surfaces, stainless steel, marble, granite, and glass that all act as mirrors at different angles and they reflect light and everything else. Its very easy to pick up distracting glare. And there are always lots of corners / areas that are dark and need fill light. In this case there are dark wood cabinets, dark granite and not much light was reaching the area. To light the kitchen and keep it looking natural while bringing out all the features I used the following gear. Two umbrellas camera right: a 40″ lighting the foreground counter, and a 20″ umbrella to light the farthest part of the counter and the stove area. Two more speedlights were used behind me bouncing into the wall creating a blanket of soft light filling in the rest of the dark areas of kitchen. In all, four speedlights were used. Only Adobe Lightroom 5 was used to prefect this image.

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Marc Weisberg is an award winning photographer and Sony Artist of Imagery based in Irvine, California. Specializing in Luxury Architecture & Real Estate Photography, Food + Wine Photography, and Weddings & Family Photography, he’s easy to work with and produces clean, crisp, and technically flawless images. Marc’s photography is published internationally in over a dozen books and magazines. You can contact Marc by phone at 800.943.0414…. or email.

Headshots for Business Professionals

Sotheby’s International Realty | HÔM | Laguna Beach

A recent headshot session with realtor, broker, soccer player and software consultant David Arthur. I’ve been doing allot of work lately with Orange County real estate professionals and really enjoying creating professional headhsots for them that help them show off their best image for marketing. It always important for me, when doing a headshot for realtors, that the session is kept fun, light and relaxed. It can be intimidating standing in front of the lens, so I really go out of my way to make sure that my clients are extra comfortable. In a quick session we got six different headshot | portrait looks. This is important, so that David’s headshots can be utilized in a variety of media and marketing materials. Two different suit and tie headshots | portraits. A jacket off headshot | portrait. An open collar headshot | portrait. An arms crossed headshot | portrait. And a casual look headshot | portrait.

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Marc Weisberg is an award winning photographer and Sony Artist of Imagery based in Irvine, California. Specializing in Luxury Architecture & Real Estate Photography, Food + Wine Photography, and Weddings & Family Photography, he’s easy to work with and produces clean, crisp, and technically flawless images. Marc’s photography is published internationally in over a dozen books and magazines. You can contact Marc by phone at 800.943.0414…. or email.

Orange County Headshot | Portrait Photographer

What to Look For In a Quality Headshot | Portrait

Recently I photographed the upper school faculty at Tarbut V’Torah, a private Jewish day school in Irvine. This orange county headshot | portrait photographer wanted to do a kind of modern day, Irving Penneque theme. Just a simple grey seamless with minimal props. Teachers were encouraged to bring props that were either personal or directly related to the subject they taught or their position at the school.

orange county headshot | portrait photographer

The set up was quite simple. A 3’x4′ Chimera softbox camera right, with a ProFoto 300w/s compact flash head f8.0 – f11.0, a 2’x4′ strip light with another ProFoto 300w/s compact flash head was positioned camera left as a kicker about a stop less and a white Lastolite 33″ Tri Grip silver/white reflector directly opposite the softbox for fill. A Canon 5D Mark III with an 85mm 1.2 L was used for all portraits. Pocket Wizards were used to trigger the lights. A 12′ grey seamless for the background.

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So what does a client look for in a quality headshot | portrait photography? 1] Clean, crisp work that my clients can not create with a point and shoot or even with an off the shelf DSLR. 2] Gorgeous lighting. Possibly they can’t put a finger on exactly what makes it look special, but, it should be flattering light and possibly dramatic. 3] Expression: A quality headshot | portrait should show someone’s personality. Their human side or even their quirky side that tells the viewer something about them that they would not have known. 4] Is there a congruent theme? When doing a folio of group of portraits is there a uniting theme that ties the story line together? It’s important to note the these portraits were done on three separate days to accommodate teaching schedules. However the theme and the look is consistent. 5] For this shoot, which ultimately will be used for public relations, the skin tones have to look natural. If this were a fashion shoot or a more stylized shoot we could have gone black & white, possibly toned the images blue. or even desaturated them a bit. 6] It’s been said that “The eyes are the window to the soul.” For this shoot it was important to me that their eyes are easily seen. This is accomplished by having the softbox positioned shoulder height {length wise for the catch light and tilted up slightly for to create a natural vignette}, chin turned slightly towards the light, so that the eyes are filled with light and the catch light appears at three o’clock. As teachers who are constantly around children from grades k-12, it is important to me that they are portrayed as approachable and warm. Especially the fact that the parents will be judging the school largely by its faculty and curriculum. As photographers we have the ability to make deliberate choices of how we portray our subjects. Some esthetic considerations that come to mind are lighting and lens choices. 7] Posing or ‘Un-posing.’ How is the subject standing. Do they look comfortable, or uncomfortable? Are the hands properly posed? What are the hands doing? I do take the time to give direction when photographing headshots and portraits. It is important to me that individuals look and feel 100% comfortable. If I sense that they may feel or look awkward I’ll make the necessary connections and corrections to their posture, their stance, the tilt of their head, the direction of light, their body language and what their hands are doing. Paying special attention to tension held in the shoulders, furrowed brows, wrinkled foreheads and facial expressions, are tell tale signs of comfortability. 8] Connection. Each portraits session was done in under 15 minutes, most in 10 minutes or less. Its my job as a human being and photographer to create a connection with each subject. This does two things. a) It puts the person being photographed at ease, b) distracts them from the obvious – being photographed and c) Its just fun to connect, learn something about who they are, share some common ground and hopefully have a laugh together too. I know my equipment inside and out, and can chit-chat with ease while I’m behind the lens. In the beginning of my photography career this was hard to do. Now , it is second nature for me. Through practice and mastery, knowing your gear, and not having to think about what you are doing will allow you to be at ease and put your subjects at ease too.

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Marc Weisberg is an award winning photographer and Sony Artist of Imagery based in Irvine, California. Specializing in Luxury Architecture & Real Estate Photography, Food + Wine Photography, and Weddings & Family Photography, he’s easy to work with and produces clean, crisp, and technically flawless images. Marc’s photography is published internationally in over a dozen books and magazines. You can contact Marc by phone at 800.943.0414…. or email.

What Does Quality Real Estate | Interior Photography Look Like?

What to Look For In a Quality Real Estate | Interior Photography

I recently came across a post in Portland, photographer’s, Larry Lohrman’s excellent blog Photography For Real Estate. It speaks to what quality real estate / interior photography looks like. And in a shameless self promotion, I’m using one of my recent images below.

Using HDR photography for an entire real estate, interior & architectural shoot is in my opinion is not going to render clean, crisp images. Sure, there are times when its warranted. For instance, exterior shots when their is too much dynamic range between the brightest areas and shadows areas for the camera sensor to capture and it just not possible to light the entire scene. Even then, HDR use should be light handed. Too much of a heavy HDR hand renders cartoonish looking captures with inaccurate color casts and halo’s and ghosting.

I agree with Scott Hargis. Capture it all in camera, tethered whenever possible, with however many off camera speedlights you need with as little as possible Photoshop afterwards. Below is a diagram of a recent interior shoot that I photographed in Laguna Beach. Photographed with my Canon 1D Mark III and a 24mm-70mm 2.8 L. Five Canon 580EX speedights were used for this shot, all in manual mode, with various settings from 1/4 power down to 1/32 power, triggered by Pocket Wizards. Kitchens typically take the longest to light. There can be allot of different surfaces you need to take into consideration. Here we have the black glass front of a wine fridge, a glass table top, windows, tile and stainless steel that can all reflect light in way we don’t want. It was about 10am and the sun was only coming in from the front window in the kitchen. Everything else was fairly dark. I took an overall exposure to include as much outdoor information as possible and lit the rest of the image. It was a tricky shot and took some patience.

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Quality Real Estate | Interior Photography

Larry writes:

“It occurred to me that if you look at the compilation of photos that have won the PFRE monthly photo contest there are some important lessons to be learned. The reason this compilation of photos is important is because they are by some of the best interior photographers and they are carefully judged and selected by the jury of past winners. Many of these photographers have progressed beyond real estate photography into upper end interior photography. So this compilation of photos is as close to a definition of quality real estate/interior photography as you will find.

Here are some real estate/interior photography principles that come to mind when I look over the several year history of PFRE contest winners:

  1. Removing lens distortion, converging verticals, chromatic aberration color and WB problems is fundamental: Photos that have any of these problems don’t even make the cut for further consideration. Removing all these distracting effects is just basic post processing.
  2. The majority of the winners use restrained artificial (small flash) lighting: There are very few of winners that used bracketed shots processed with HDR or Exposure Fusion software. But the photos that do use HDR/EF are completed with careful attention to final finishing to reduce unbelievable color and all the classic issues that HDR and EF can have. In more recent years there is less HDR and EF than just several years ago. Winning photos are lit so that the artificial light adds to and complements the the natural ambient light.
  3. Ultra-Wide angle lenses are used with restraint: The effective focal length for most are not very much wider than 24 mm or 20 mm.
  4. Composition is a big factor: Seeing and visually illustrating the story of the space is very important. Positioning of the camera and careful consideration of what’s included in the frame and what’s excluded excluded is important. Winning photos show careful attention to detail in the area of composition.
  5. Staging: This has to do with how the furniture and other items in the room are arranged. This arrangement contributes to the design and feeling of the room. Great interior images are usually staged and this many times doesn’t happen in real estate photos. However the real estate photographer can do minor amounts of staging themselves.” ~ Photographyforealestate.net

Marc Weisberg is an award winning photographer and Sony Artist of Imagery based in Irvine, California. Specializing in Luxury Architecture & Real Estate Photography, Food + Wine Photography, and Weddings & Family Photography, he’s easy to work with and produces clean, crisp, and technically flawless images. Marc’s photography is published internationally in over a dozen books and magazines. You can contact Marc by phone at 800.943.0414…. or email.

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