How Would You Improve This Photo?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by RyanWard, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. RyanWard

    RyanWard TPF Noob!

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    I shot this while it was raining so there was a lot of white light coming in through the wall of windows behind the fireplace and I'm probably not very good at getting these photos just right AND it doesn't help that I edit them on a laptop, but after looking at the photo, what would you do to improve it? I have Lightroom so I can do a good bit of editing to the RAW files to change things up.

    Shot with a D60 at ISO 100 18mm f/3.5 1/10 sec shutter, RAW. Quantarray flash (not sure the model, attached to the camera. 1/16thExposure was increased .5 stop and I added some warmth to it and it is in the camera neutral mode with just a little fill light added. We haven't seen the sun in a couple of weeks and I had to get the photos (I realize this isn't as good as a pretty blue sky out the window.

    All opinions (good and bad) will be greatly appreciated for my learning process.

    [​IMG]

    Thank you,
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think before advice can be provided on improvement, you will have to tell us what the purpose of the image is; real-estate, advertising (if so, what), or just because.
     
  3. RyanWard

    RyanWard TPF Noob!

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    It's for a home that I have listed for sale...and it's the first house I have shot with the camera. There are about 25 photos that will be posted online and on the best 5 or so will go on the flyer.
     
  4. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    For starters, the fireplace should absolutely be on. Full power. THen you need to shoot the room on Tungsten, that will take out the orange cast the makes the room look like a peach, but the fireplace will still add warmth to the room since it's warmer than tungsten. Then your gross, overcast sky will have a nice blue hue to it. Then you need to gel all your flashes CTO to match, otherwise the flashes will show up blue. The angle is nice, but I think you should come out from behind the fireplace a little more to include a bit more of the back part of the room. Maybe just enough to include the door to the outside, it'll make the room seem bigger. With the fireplace being so dominant and cutting of your view of the rest of the room, it seems kind of cramped. But I do like the angle.
     
  5. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't know how much work you want to do, but if it is for real-estate listing, I would try and correct the barrell distortion and also a different crop. The distortion is something only another photog would notice but particularly around the fireplace it could be straightened. I think particularly when you are shooting buildings, architecture, etc, you should go that extra step and correct for the perspective. Over the past year, I've been shooting fairly large buildings for my company as it was being constructed for a time lapse project for them. Correcting this makes a big difference IMO. Then a different crop would improve this by either including the mirror on the right side of the frame of cropping it out.

    Just my .02
     
  6. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    luckily the windows are easy geometry to trace, and slap a transparent layer on top of in PS...although, this is probably not the road to go down...
     
  7. basic jammer

    basic jammer TPF Noob!

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    it is awfully open spaced. a corner of coffee table with a cup and jug of tea and an open book maybe (in addition to what you have) would add that home feeling and comfort.

    nice angle. the mirror is disturbing. Johnboy is rite.
     
  8. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree with previous comments.

    Also just generally watch angles and perspectives. This room is tilted slightly to the left in the shot, and doing some perspective correction via product like PTLens (or built into photoshop) will allow you to make all the lines on the walls appear more straight.

    Generally also watch for too much ceiling or floor in any shot, as they tend to be kinda weird big blank spaces that look perfectly normal in life but look really odd in pictures. Try to fill as much of the frame as possible with objects of interest. (btw, I don't think you have overly much in this particular shot, but enough that it reminded me of the issue to comment on it to help you with future shots)

    BTW, the "bright window, dark room" thing is a curse in real estate shots. Sometimes it's a good idea to get multiple exposures and either do an HDR, or at least use one with the bluer outside as an partial opacity overlay on the overexposed windows to tone them down a bit.
     
  9. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Interesting shot. Some tilt distortion (probably shooting from a low point of view) which should be corrected. Little indents in the carpet on the right. Since they are not tears or probably permanent, use the healing tool or clone stamp to get rid of them. Women look at the carpet, men at the ceiling. Coffered ceilings are quite interesting- I always try to show the ceiling fan if the room has one. Close the blinds if there's not a distinctive view and you're not using HDR to bring it out- closed blinds give you more control over the light. Typically shoot views and decks separately. I try to isolate each feature room and show it without leading into the next. I try to show the best of the home and eliminate redundant or repetitive photos in as few photos as possible (3-9). Each photo presents a yes/no decision to a potential buyer. Once a 'no' is decided, a later consideration of the property is the best that can happen. I try to leave the potential buyer thinking about the things they like rather than a single thought with the word "but", in it. In my experience the photos do not sell the home. They entice a prospective buyer to make contact, come and view the home in person so the broker/agent/owner can work their own special magic (high pressure, chloroform, bribery, crying). Less is more.
     
  10. Ls3D

    Ls3D TPF Noob!

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    With mixed color temps, outdoor 5600K, and much warmer indoor lights, then your daylight balanced flash,.. well it is a tough shot in terms of accurate colors. It looks a bit too warm on my display. BTW - It went crazy hot saturated when I snooped it in photoshop.

    Compositionally I would shoot across the front face of the fireplace. Maybe exposure bracket to recover, even tint the sky if you are edit savvy.

    You might shoot standard picture style and desaturate as neutral can present a more advanced edit in terms of color balance IME.

    -Shea
     
  11. RyanWard

    RyanWard TPF Noob!

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    Wow! Thank you all very much. That is a whole lot. I'm very much enojing this - and the learning curve is steep, which I like.;)

    There really is a lot more to think about than just pushing a button.

    I didn't even think about the fireplace, but, you can barely see it when it's on - will make sure I don't miss thse opportunities in the future.

    I tilted it to the right and played with the barrel distortion some in PSE 7 - that's tricky.

    Cloned the spot on the carpet and cropped out the mirror.

    Took away some warmth in Lightroom - not sure how to do all of any of this in one program yet, but, I'm learning.

    Anyway, I'm hoping editing begins to get faster as I learn to be more profcient with the programs. I've edited the photo to what you see below.

    Am I making progress here?

    [​IMG]
     
  12. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Pretty nice. I did like the color depth in the first. But that's entirely up to personal tastes. I try to work with the owners because it is about what they want in some respects (they want to sell is what they really want), but try to keep up production and timeliness.

    Here's a couple I've done recently;
    Wrightwood, California Homes For Sale
    Wrightwood, California Homes For Sale

    Good luck.
     

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