Real Estate Flash Lighting Recommendation

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by kineard, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. kineard

    kineard TPF Noob!

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    The quality of my pictures are not that good. I have tried HDR and I get better results from modifying RAW files.
    Not that my results are that good even with the RAW files.

    My pictures are to dark if unmodified.
    When modified they are grainy.
    Obviously I like to see through the windows even if I can't get there at the right time of day.

    I currently use a Canon XTI with a Canon 10-22 on a decent Manfrotto tripod. I do not use a flash.

    I am looking at the Canon 580ex II but at over $400 I question if my results will be any better.

    I think I may get a better DOF if I increase my F stop but to what. I shoot at f/5.6 and an ISO of 100 and the light is metered.

    If I buy a flash I feel like one will not be enough because some of the units I take pictures of have fairly large and high areas. I want something that will lay-down an even layer of light for 16mm (the effective FOV for the 10-22)

    I am not looking for architectural quality photos but I am looking for good quality.

    I would like a recommendation on a light kit for an un-reasonable price of less than $500.
    I have tried every HDR program on the market so that is not an option, my results are OK but it takes far to long in processing time.
    Camera setting recommendations are very welcome.
    I talk to much so I will stop but below you can see some of my pictures

    This is my website portfolio.
    http://www.ktoris.com/photography/portfolio.php

    Thanks for any comments.
     
  2. mdtusz

    mdtusz TPF Noob!

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    Bump your iso. 100 is pretty low for indoor stuff, even with a tripod. That, or raise your f-stop and increase the shutter speed. If you're on a tripod, turn off VR or IS depending what you have and then just nail the exposure and white balance. That should make them come out looking clear and accurate to real light and colour. If you don't think they have the pop you want, then you can adjust your levels to get where you want. If it's just for real estate purposes though, you will want to keep it as real as you can. Maybe just boost the saturation a tiny bit and make sure everything is sharp and vibrant.
     
  3. kineard

    kineard TPF Noob!

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    I was under the impression increasing the iso would cause a grainy picture.
    I never thought about the IS, I don't even know if it is on. Hmm I will look.
    I am going to test the F stop, I am going turn it up to like F/11 and see if that helps. To me it always seemed like the F Stop and the White Balance did the same thing.
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I looked at your shots,and the main problem is when the Florida sunshine is outside,and it's dark inside. You want to balance the inside light with the outside light, so the exposure is typically ISO 200 at f/11 to f/16 at 1/200 second for an outside-bright-beach expopsure, with the camera INDOORS.

    I will explain the Sunny Sixteen Rule: Set lens to f/16, Shutter Speed to the ISO in use. Assuming your camera can shoot flash pictures at 1/200 second, you need to set that speed as the shutter speed then select the right f/stop to make the windows/outside views look good and that will be in the ranfge of f/11 to f/16 on bright days. THEN>>>>>you need to use some flash indoors, to illuminate the much-darker interior areas. Two, or three Vivitar 285HV flashes at $89 eaxch from Adorama or B&H Photo, plus one 20 foot PC cord and two Wein or flashzebra.com slave trippers, will allow you to position the speedlight flashes around the rooms, bouncing the light off of walls or ceilings that are outside camera view, to bring up the indoor areas so that they look good.

    This would be done using daylight or flash white balance, depending on the time of day. Realty shooters often tuck small speedlights on-set, behind a plant, or inside a lamp shade,etc. to give accent lights and make things look,well, better. You do NOT need high-tech,dedicated flashes for this kind of work,and the 285HV is a solid,reliable,tough flash that has all the adjustments needed, plus a good zoom head.
     
  5. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    How confident are you in shooting in manual mode? The Canon 10-22 does not have IS, ISO can be cranked up to a point without having to really worry about noise and If you expose properly, or even over expose a RAW file by a 1/3 of a stop or two and then bring the exposure down in post, then it will help kill noise. Under exposing and increasing the exposure will have the effect of adding apparent noise.

    Several small speed lights with wireless triggers along with picking a better time of day to shoot, will help level out exposures. Even with small speed lights it can be difficult to balance interior lighting levels and bright midday sun.
     
  6. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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  7. kineard

    kineard TPF Noob!

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    My confidence is not a problem but competency on the other hand could be an issue.
    I shoot in manual mode most of the time, not something I am scared of.
    You are absolutely correct in that the 10-22 does not have IS.
    Yea I have been taking a lot of exposures from -2 up to +2 and on the rooms that I do not need to see through window between 0 and 1 seems to give the best results. If I have a window shot I have to be no higher than -1 unless I get there at the right time of day which can not always happen. Hence the grainy pictures and the need for flash. Now all I need to do is figure out what flashes to buy.
    This is what I was hoping to hear. Use two or three smaller flashes wirelessly and magically your results will be better. To bad it will not make my eye for photography any better. Maybe I can pickup some photographers eye pixie-dust.
    Thanks
     
  8. kineard

    kineard TPF Noob!

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    Good to know I am on the right track.

    Now this was a helpful response. Somebody give this man a doughnut.

    More good stuff.
    What's the PC cord for?
    Thanks
     
  9. kineard

    kineard TPF Noob!

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    I was not impressed by these photos. That is why I am so scared to spend to much money on flashes. It was probably more of the composition and post processing I did not like rather than the flash tutorial its self.
    Thanks anyways.
     
  10. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It's making your task much more difficult to balance interiors with sunny exteriors without the use of flash. Even a single hotshoe mounted flash to bounce the light would be a significant improvement.
     
  11. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Really? They're pretty good examples of how to do what you're describing that you're having problems with, especially the last one. Some times it's just not possible to balance as effectively as you want and there has to be some compromise.
     
  12. kineard

    kineard TPF Noob!

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    I thought they wore all dark. Like I said I need some of the pixie dust for my photographer eye.
     

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