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photography and lighting

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sandynn

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I have looked at thousands of picutures of bed and breakfasts. I studied swirts advice on his site which by the way if wonderful. Now I am asking about lighting. It seems to me that lighting is very important. The killer pictures are very well done as far as the lighting. What is the secret here. I am thinking about taking a photography class. I have a friend that had pictures taken and they are outstanding. Mine were done by a professional but I want them better. I am sure they camera is a key too. Any advice here?
 

seashanty

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i have heard all that advice as well ... i notice that every light is on in rooms in those pictures. and professionals bring in MORE lighting.
yours were done by a professional and you still want them 'better' ... could it be better STAGING that you need? since i can't see your pictures, i am just guessing. i would collect pictures that you love ... like your friend's place ... and try to determine what it is.
the only caution i have is that some places don't look 'real' to me ... i stay at place where i can feel at home in the rooms
 

EmptyNest

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LIghting yes..but not just turing on the lights in the room..that sometimes makes it worse...PROFESSIONAL LIGHTING is the KEY...THINK professional photo shoot...stand lighting, reflective whatever you call them...etc etc.
 

swirt

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Lighting is crucial, and not only do the real architectural photography pros (as opposed to wedding and portrait photographers) bring in extra light and spend lots of time staging, but they also have better cameras that allow more control over the effect of lighting on the camera. Letting the camera choose its own lighting settings will give you OK photos, but rarely result in "Great" photos.
 

Morticia

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Lighting IS very important! I keep saying that when it's quiet this winter I'm lugging hub's big 'project' lights around the house with me. Personally, I like the non-flash photos best. I like the 'natural' light but I always end up with fuzzy pics if the flash doesn't go off. (Yes, I need a tripod for those pix.)
 

swirt

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Lighting IS very important! I keep saying that when it's quiet this winter I'm lugging hub's big 'project' lights around the house with me. Personally, I like the non-flash photos best. I like the 'natural' light but I always end up with fuzzy pics if the flash doesn't go off. (Yes, I need a tripod for those pix.).
Yes get a tri-pod. They aren't that expensive, and they not only make it so you can take photos without the flash, but it means you can get repeatability on a shot...so you take the shot, and decide the book or towel is in the wrong spot, you cna go move it and take another shot without inadvertandly standing in a different location and changing the entire effect of the photo.
 

stephanie

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I agree with the above posters. You need a tripod and adding lights behind the camera is helpful.
I've assisted architectural photographers before, and lighting is always their TOP concern. But a pro camera can do a lot of things point-and-shoots can't, including wide-angle lenses and lighting control. Can you do a business trade with a new photographer trying to build a portfolio?
If you can't hire a professional, you can try to do it yourself, either by experimenting with the natural lighting you have or adding lights. Never use the attached flash. This is what I've picked up, though I'm sure there's a lot on the www that goes into more detail.
For exterior shots, time of day is key. Study the sun's path and go for when it's as straight on to the front of the building as possible. If your building's best side faces north, try for a lower-contrast day or a longer shutter speed near dusk. A blue sky and flowering gardens are very helpful.
If you look at a bunch of pro interior shots in decorating magazines, you'll notice the warm and welcoming photos are well-lit throughout the room. I like seeing all the room lights on and daylight shining in for hospitality shots, but your lamps and bright windows can force the camera to a faster shutter speed, making the dark corners even darker.
Once your camera's set up on a tripod, take a couple of test shots and look at them on a larger screen. Notice any dark areas in the photo (especially if your room has contrasting finishes, like a dark bedspread against a white wall). Then try to point additional bright lights (outside of the frame) into those spots. Think of it like billiards--if you can't get a light to shine directly into that pocket, bounce it off the wall behind you, or the ceiling, and it'll also soften the light. Also try to match the type of light bulb warm/cool, so you don't get a blueish spotlight in the photo.
I've seen professionals spend over an hour trying to get 1 photo just right. Patience is essential.
Good luck, and we look forward to seeing what you come up with!
 

swirt

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I agree with the above posters. You need a tripod and adding lights behind the camera is helpful.
I've assisted architectural photographers before, and lighting is always their TOP concern. But a pro camera can do a lot of things point-and-shoots can't, including wide-angle lenses and lighting control. Can you do a business trade with a new photographer trying to build a portfolio?
If you can't hire a professional, you can try to do it yourself, either by experimenting with the natural lighting you have or adding lights. Never use the attached flash. This is what I've picked up, though I'm sure there's a lot on the www that goes into more detail.
For exterior shots, time of day is key. Study the sun's path and go for when it's as straight on to the front of the building as possible. If your building's best side faces north, try for a lower-contrast day or a longer shutter speed near dusk. A blue sky and flowering gardens are very helpful.
If you look at a bunch of pro interior shots in decorating magazines, you'll notice the warm and welcoming photos are well-lit throughout the room. I like seeing all the room lights on and daylight shining in for hospitality shots, but your lamps and bright windows can force the camera to a faster shutter speed, making the dark corners even darker.
Once your camera's set up on a tripod, take a couple of test shots and look at them on a larger screen. Notice any dark areas in the photo (especially if your room has contrasting finishes, like a dark bedspread against a white wall). Then try to point additional bright lights (outside of the frame) into those spots. Think of it like billiards--if you can't get a light to shine directly into that pocket, bounce it off the wall behind you, or the ceiling, and it'll also soften the light. Also try to match the type of light bulb warm/cool, so you don't get a blueish spotlight in the photo.
I've seen professionals spend over an hour trying to get 1 photo just right. Patience is essential.
Good luck, and we look forward to seeing what you come up with!.
Great info Stephanie, thanks

 

stephanie

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I agree with the above posters. You need a tripod and adding lights behind the camera is helpful.
I've assisted architectural photographers before, and lighting is always their TOP concern. But a pro camera can do a lot of things point-and-shoots can't, including wide-angle lenses and lighting control. Can you do a business trade with a new photographer trying to build a portfolio?
If you can't hire a professional, you can try to do it yourself, either by experimenting with the natural lighting you have or adding lights. Never use the attached flash. This is what I've picked up, though I'm sure there's a lot on the www that goes into more detail.
For exterior shots, time of day is key. Study the sun's path and go for when it's as straight on to the front of the building as possible. If your building's best side faces north, try for a lower-contrast day or a longer shutter speed near dusk. A blue sky and flowering gardens are very helpful.
If you look at a bunch of pro interior shots in decorating magazines, you'll notice the warm and welcoming photos are well-lit throughout the room. I like seeing all the room lights on and daylight shining in for hospitality shots, but your lamps and bright windows can force the camera to a faster shutter speed, making the dark corners even darker.
Once your camera's set up on a tripod, take a couple of test shots and look at them on a larger screen. Notice any dark areas in the photo (especially if your room has contrasting finishes, like a dark bedspread against a white wall). Then try to point additional bright lights (outside of the frame) into those spots. Think of it like billiards--if you can't get a light to shine directly into that pocket, bounce it off the wall behind you, or the ceiling, and it'll also soften the light. Also try to match the type of light bulb warm/cool, so you don't get a blueish spotlight in the photo.
I've seen professionals spend over an hour trying to get 1 photo just right. Patience is essential.
Good luck, and we look forward to seeing what you come up with!.
Great info Stephanie, thanks

.
Thanks!
Like I said, this is just stuff I observed when I assisted pros, and I like to experiment with my dinky little camera when I can. I'd love to take a class and upgrade our equipment, hopefully once we can call it a business expense.

 

EmptyNest

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Sorry it still looks distorted:-( And still dark..though an improvement.:)
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Sorry it still looks distorted:-( And still dark..though an improvement.:).
catlady said:
Sorry it still looks distorted:-( And still dark..though an improvement.:)
I was demonstrating the ability to brighten up shadows. That is what I said, not to look at distortion or color or any of that. Brighten up a photo without paying big bucks for a prof photog to come in with prof lighting.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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AND a program with a FILL FLASH feature can be very helpful. I took this photo today without the flash and used my pc softward Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo x2 to adjust the barrel distortion, correction and fill flash - shadows and highlights.
http://i34.tinypic.com/25aombq.jpg or http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=25aombq&s=4 cut n paste into browser
OOPS I grabbed two diff pics, but taken within seconds of each other, so you get the picture - so the speak, ignore any distortion comparisons please. I am only demonstrating lighting which is what this thread is about.
PS Obv the right choice is to hire a prof photog for all your pics. But some of us #1 can't afford it, #2 enjoy messing around with this stuff. Same goes for a website - it is PART OF US at this point. This is part of this small business ownership I actually enjoy and learn from.
 

EmptyNest

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Sorry it still looks distorted:-( And still dark..though an improvement.:).
catlady said:
Sorry it still looks distorted:-( And still dark..though an improvement.:)
I was demonstrating the ability to brighten up shadows. That is what I said, not to look at distortion or color or any of that. Brighten up a photo without paying big bucks for a prof photog to come in with prof lighting.
.
Yep...I get so many photos from my clients that are soooo dark..I can't even imagine why they would want to use them..and Paint Shop Pro..comes to the rescue almost every time :)
 

EmptyNest

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Want to see some BEAUTIFUL WORK? GO here and click on RECENT WORK under Portfolios to see a friends' newly opened B &B.
 
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