"Painting" with Light, Exterior Shots with Impact

By
Real Estate Agent with Georgia Elite Realty

Bridgemill Dusk Photo

This shot was inspired by Carson Coots blog http://activerain.com/blogsview/105809/My-Real-Estate-Photo and Propertysnaps82's dusk shots over at the Flickr PFRE group.  This was my first shot at "painting with light" and I have to say, it was a blast!

The idea is basically to use a long exposure (6-10 secs) and then use 500w Halogen work-lights to "paint" the light onto the subject.  In this photo I used two 500w work-lights to light the tree, the front of the home and the foreground as the shutter was open.  The lights inside the home all came from the existing fixtures with the exception of the two rooms, second story far left, and the first story room on the far right (you can see the light on the ground if you look closely).  It was necessary to place additional lighting in these rooms as the bulbs were either burned out or the light was very weak and did not produce the results I was looking for.  Had I had a few extra light bulbs with me, I shouldn't have needed the extra lights (instead I had five 500w halogen work lights with me... go figure.)  The White Balance was set to Tungsten which worked well with the halogens and even accentuated the blue in the dusk sky.

One of the big advantages of being a Realtor that does his own photography is I often have several opportunities to take pictures of a property as I visit to service the listing.  This allows me to experiment and take my time as I don't typically have the same time restrictions as a pro photographer.  And having extra time is a good thing.  These type of shots have just as much to do with timing as they do with the camera and its settings.  In the end, a creative approach to a primary photo can help the listing easily stand out from the competition when Buyers or Agents are looking on-line.  I will also mention that there was nothing done to the picture (save a little lens distortion correction) nor were there any "tricks" done to make the home look different than what it normally does.  In other words, it is possible for someone to see this home in person as it looks here.  They just have to get there at the right time...

ILW

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Comments 34 New Comment

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Rainmaker
36,175
Julie Kippen
Love the idea of taking a picture at night. Very nice!
April 18, 2008 04:45 PM
Rainer
15,779
Mike Davis
Realtor, Selling Buying Homes Fort Gordon, Hephzibah, Augusta, Evans
Keller Williams Realty, Augusta Partners

I LEE, theses are some of the best shots that I have seen in your area, I am from Augusta Ga and never thought about useing work lites in the evening and now that it is getting dust quicker I will try experimenting at home first and then at the listings

Thanks

Mike

October 11, 2008 08:34 PM
Anonymous #32
Anonymous
Steve K Sarasota, FL

I really hope you still come back and read the comments because I have a great suggestion.  In the 2nd photo from the top - the one where you moved closer to the house, notice the large amount of reflection on the bushes/leaves. This is where a Polarizing Filter on the lens would be perfect because the filter's primary function is to remove reflection from non-metal surfaces; plus, the filter rotates allowing you to adjust the amount of reflection removed. In addition, the Pol filter deepens the blue in the sky which would also help to make it 'pop'. You can always add this effect in Photoshop but you cant take away the reflections.

The photo is very nice but I would have moved back a few feet to get the entire house in view. Also, the glaring reflection from the bushes is distracting and takes away from your main subject-the house. You have done a great job and with the market slowdown, you could probably make some extra money doing photography. And heck, if you are selling/closing houses due to your photos, you could even try teaching your own classes(learn Dreamweaver and make websites for realtors too).

 

Good Luck

October 23, 2008 06:33 PM
Rainmaker
174,711
Doris Freeman
Broker/Agent, Realtor, Madison-Gibson-Crockett
RE/MAX REALTY SOURCE

Great photos everyone.  Thanks

Have A Great Day

October 23, 2008 08:17 PM
Rainer
2,181
Doug Wolfe
Long and Foster Real Estate, Inc. Phoenix, MD

very nice.

December 27, 2008 04:07 PM
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Rainmaker
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Iran Watson

Marietta Real Estate Agent - Photographer
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