Tips for better photography
In my role as a property photographer, I often feel my heart sink to my shoes when I view the photographs that some agents choose to sell someone’s home.
Many of these agents tell me that they use professional photographers, usually in-house, but that gets me wondering…I’m not sure it means a trained photographer who is fully conversant with their camera.
I was recently looking through an agents online photographs and my mouth was literally dropping open at the poor quality of the images they were happy to use and to claim that their in house professional photographers had taken.
At first glance, especially to the layperson, they probably looked ok, not amazing, but ok. However on closer inspection they weren’t sharp throughout the image, there was ‘movement’ in the image (blurring where the speed at which the shutter releases is slow because of dim light), many were either under or over exposed, almost all weren’t straight, and the white balance was off in most cases. In other words, anyone claiming to be a professional photographer who submitted images such as these should be given their marching orders.
Take a closer look at the images you use – are you totally happy with the quality?
OK, you might say, but we have a fantastic DSLR camera, it does it all for you, all I need to do is set it to Automatic, or select the scene type and away it goes, all I need to do is point and shoot.
Unfortunately, no camera can assess the scene like a human eye. On Auto, or a scene setting, the camera will see sceneas a whole and set average settings accordingly. And, sometimes you will get lucky. You will point your camera at just the right point for focusing, therefore your finished image will be sharp throughout; it will be light enough not to need a tripod, so no movement is recorded, and you also manage to get your image nice and straight.
However, from my many, many trawls through Rightmove I have found that this happens in very few cases.
OK,so what can you do to improve? Well, here are my top tips to improve your photography:
1. Use a tripod. Essential bit of kit
2. Have a camera mouted flash – not the built in camera flash, and have it pointed up to the ceiling
3. Learn to use your F-stops – this determines how much of your shot is in focus. Ideally in interiors the whole thing should be in sharp focus unless you are trying to isolate a detail. The higher the F number, the more depth of field you will obtain. F9 is a good place to start.
4. Focus on a point between mid way and the furthest away
5. If your shot looks too dark, lighten by slowing down the shutter speed.
6. Check your ISO – low-ish outdoors depending on the day, higher for internals. The setting will really depend on your camera
7. Set your white balance to Auto, but if your shot is too yellow, adjust manually, and if you get proficient, always use manual – you will get perfect results once you know what you are doing.
These are some of the basics and should help you obtain better photographs, however, there is no substitute for technical knowledge, experience and that elusive ‘eye’ for a good shot. Use a professional photographer and you won’t look back.
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