Jan 20

Quick Real Estate Photography Enhancement with Photoshop!

Posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2009 in Photography, Tutorials

We will learn how to take the dark gloomy non attractive interior photo and turn it into a light and bright inviting home with a few simple steps in photoshop. Below is the before (left) and after (right).

Before After

Open up your image in photoshop and Let’s get learning!

1. Let’s make the dark areas lighter and the super bright areas a little darker.

  • Goto Image > Adjustments > Shadow/Highlight…

-Shadows: Takes all of the dark areas and makes them lighter.
-Highlights: Takes all the light (blown out) areas and makes them darker.

Play with the sliders until your photo is looking like you would like it (Don’t over do it). Generally Shadows +30ish and Highlights +5-10. Then click OK.

2. Let photoshop do some work with auto adjustments:

  • Goto Image > Adjustments > Auto Levels
  • Goto Image > Adjustments > Auto Contrast
  • Goto Image > Adjustments > Auto  Color

3. Let’s brighten up the picture.

  • Goto Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast…

Generally raise the brightness +30 and to give the image some dynamics slightly up the contrast +10. Again play with these numbers to best fit your photo. Press OK.

4. Let’s make the colors really POP!

  • Goto Image > Adjusments > Hue/Saturation…

The only slider you need to worry about is the saturation (middle) one. Raise the levels to best fit your photo, generally +20-30. Click OK.

5. Let’s sharpen this puppy up!

  • Goto Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen Edges

This will make the image a little more crisp without overdoing it!

Vuala, now you have a more inviting light and bright photograph!

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Jan 13

Photography Tips and Tricks

Posted on Tuesday, January 13, 2009 in Photography

SHARPNESS :: Getting your pictures sharp!

  • Get a cable release to push the button for you.
  • The sharpest aperture is 2 steps down from the smallest setting (if your lowest is f2.8 then f5.6 or f8 would be the sharpest)
  • Raising ISO creates more light but also adds grain, keep it under 200 if possible.

San Diego Bay

WEDDINGS :: How to shoot weddings?

  • Going against the last input Increase the ISO inside churches to compensate for the low light. Also use a large F stop f1.4 or f2.8 if possible (Noise Ninja from PictureCode.com is a noise reduction plug-in for Photoshop)
  • Use a diffuse cover over the flash or bounce the flash off the ceiling or wall to prevent harsh hard lights.
  • Use a flash outdoors to fill in the harsh shadows caused by the sun.
  • Shoot the bride and groom first after the ceremony (so everybody is not waiting at the reception)
  • Use a large F stop > f11 when shooting groups to get everybody in focus.
  • The bride is the Quarter Back. MANY shots of her, she sells.
  • When shooting full body shots lower the tripod to the waist and aim the camera at the waist NOT the head.
  • With 7/8 shots (full body from the calf up) move the tripod to the chest aiming at the chest.
  • Head shots move the tripod to the eyes or slightly above and aim at the eyes.
  • Don’t crop at joints (knees, elbows) it makes the picture awkward.
  • Shoot on simple backgrounds and use 2-3 different backgrounds to be less repetitious and boring.
  • Shoot details (shoes, airline tickets, flowers, invites…) be creative. (it’s the new in thing)
  • Find a window without direct sunlight and stand 6-8 feet away for great natural light.
  • When shooting couple shots move their heads close together (uncomfortably close) to show love in the shot.

LANDSCAPE :: When and how to shoot landscapes.

  • There is a 99% chance you will only get the ‘wow’ effect in the first and last 30mins(magic hour) of sun light.
  • Small aperture < f2.8 = blurry background (short depth of field)
  • Large aperture > f11 = clear background (more things in focus)
  • Have a distinct foreground, middle ground and background (create depth).
  • Don’t put the horizon in the middle of the shot. Focus on the sky or ground.
  • Add a person or car to add size to the landscape
  • If there is flair coming in the camera block it with something (hat, notepad…)
  • Gradient Neutral density filters makes the ground and sky look better less blownout.
  • When shooting wildlife (birds, tigers grrr) get closer than you think! Afterward most people look at the photos and say “I swear I was closer”

Pennsylvania Digital Photography

SPORTS :: Capture action forever.

  • Shoot at least a 1/640 shutter speed.
  • Set white balance to indoors.
  • Use a zoom lens and teleconverter x1.5 or x1.4 stay away from the x2.
  • Slightly raise the ISO between 400-800 (minimal grain) for faster shutter speed.
  • Anticipate the next action or play.
  • Don’t just shoot the winners, losers make great shots too.
  • Shot in burst mode (if applicable).
  • Use a tripod (if applicable).
  • Open the aperture of > 2.8 if possible to let in more light.
  • With objects in motion give them somewhere to go in the shot. Don’t crop things that enlighten their movement.

PEOPLE :: Make people look their best!

  • 85-100mm zoom is the sweet spot for shooting people.
  • Set the aperture to f11 to keep all of their face in focus.
  • For outside shots use simple backgrounds and break the f11 rule and go to f2.8.
  • Outside backgrounds should be darker than the subject.
  • Focus on the eyes.
  • Set the tripod to eye height.
  • For closeup shots set the subjects eyes 1/3 the way up.
  • Shoot outdoor shots in the shade to avoid harsh light.
  • Find a window without direct sunlight and stand 6-8 feet away for great natural light (turn flash off).
  • To get those sunset pictures first expose the camera for the sun then shoot your subject with the flash on to compensate for the light difference.
  • Use reflectors outside (avoid direct sunlight if possible).

TIPS :: General photography tips.

  • Cold weather eats at your batteries.
  • When traveling shoot old people or kids. NEVER shot crowds (unless it’s the running of the bulls).

Bottom line is have fun and be creative. Do things outside the box that you don’t feel comfotorble with and take a lot of snaps then see what you come up with!

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