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The Quicklapse Technique by Sanchez & Olaso

March 2nd, 2015

SonBrullHotelArt Sanchez, sent me a link to this video today which illustrates a new technique that Art and Miguel de Olaso have developed recently they call Quicklapse that allows them to obtain 8K video resolution. Art and Miguel want to share this new technique with the PFRE community because they believe it is particularly well adapted to shooting objects that don’t involve a lot of movement – like architecture.

Art and Miguel have written a detailed description of their technique on their Blog. The following is a summary of the technique:

The Quicklapse technique is a way to generate ultra high resolution real time video. By capturing continuous bursts of still images and applying interpolation algorithms in post-production to fill up the missing frames we are able to create unsurpassed video quality.

Advantages of Quicklapse:

  • High resolution and rich colour imagery: real time video with photographic quality.
  • Full frame 24x36mm sensor= good in low light conditions, optimal lens coverage specially with wide angles and tilt and shift lenses.

Disadvantages of Quicklapse:

  • Tedious and slow workflow derived by working with such an enormous images and raw formats not developed for video.
  • A limiting factor: fast moving objects can be a problem, such as trees or water splashes.

Why choosing Quicklapse over traditional high end video?

  • Higher resolution files for a much better stabilization and perspective correction, ideal for a 8K or 4K finish.
  • Excellent performance: dynamic range, low noise, raw flexibility and great color science
  • Lighter camera setup, offering more stability when using complex multi-axis motion control rigs.
  • Photographic post-production color correction workflow: it becomes easier to emulate the architectural photography look.

For complete details and history on Quicklapse see the complete article on the Sanchez&Olaso blog.

Announcing The Enfuse For Real Estate Photography Video Series

March 1st, 2015

EnfuseAnnouncementSimon Maxwell and I are pleased to announce the release of Simon’s new video series entitled Enfuse For Real Estate Photography. Click here or on the image to the right to watch Simon’s introduction to the video series.

We have created a new website (EnfuseForRealEstatePhotography.com) just for the purpose of delivering this streaming video series.  So there’s no downloading of large video files or DVDs to bother with. Just watch the videos (hosted by iPlayerHD.com) on any device you have, streamed directly from the website. The videos work nicely on SmartPhones, Tablets, Laptops, Desktops with large screens.

This video series consists of essentially a video version of Simon’s e-book. Here is a Table of Contents of the video series. The fact is many people learn better from a video tutorial presentation than from a book format and I think you’ll agree that Simon is very accomplished at presenting material in a tutorial format.

To subscribe to this series go to the promo page here on PFRE or directly to the subscribe page on enfuseforrealestatephotography.com.

 

Checkout Scott Kelby’s New Lightroom Show Podcast

February 26th, 2015

TheLightroomShowIn case you missed it, Scott Kelby and RC Concepcion started a new podcast called The Lightroom Show. This is a once a week podcast that covers all aspects of Lightroom.

If you’re not familiar with podcasts, they are great, just download a podcast App on your smartphone or tablet, use the app to subscribe to podcast via iTunes or other podcast aggregator then the podcast is automatically downloaded to your device each week. Then you can listen/watch to the podcast anytime you like. Some podcasts are video and some are just audio. The Lightroom show is video so you get more out of it when you can watch the video too, but it works just listening too.

Scott Kelby is the author of the number one best selling book on Lightroom (Lightroom Book for digital photographers) so very likely this is going to be some of the best information and tips on Lightroom you are going to find anywhere.

How Do Real Estate Photographers Deal With Rescheduling?

February 25th, 2015

SchedulingRoy asked the following question about real estate photography rescheduling:

A number of times in the past I have had to deal with Realtors that are having some work done on the home (staging, repair, remodeling, clean up, landscaping, etc…) and they want to schedule me for the shoot immediately (with no time to waste) after the work is done. More often than not, the scheduled work is running off schedule so they call me to reschedule. This shows no respect for my time while they want things done at the snap of a finger. How can I communicate to them to book me when the job is 100% done without sounding like a jerk? I thought of imposing a rescheduling fee but I think they would just give the job to someone else who is more willing to flop around with their volatile scheduling.

Your question is a tough one. Having been a listing agent with my wife for a 10 years I totally appreciate the listing agents situation. Home sellers always want the property on the market yesterday! And getting all the required work done is frequently a struggle and never happens as planned. Agents wanting a shoot done “at the snap of a finger” is frankly the nature of this business. Continue Reading »

How Do Real Estate Photographers Handle Window Blinds?

February 24th, 2015

WindowBlindsToday Kelly asked me:

How do most real estate photographers handle window blinds? Do they raise them all the way up to let in more light and show the view? Open them at an angle? Open them completely but not raise them?

I think It’s impossible to make any blanket statement about what to do with blinds. Rather, be creative, and use blinds to help create your image and control the ambient light. Pay close attention to window blinds because they can have a big impact on the amount and quality of the light.

Here are a couple of examples that illustrate great use of window blinds:

  1. Use window blinds to control the light in the room. Just today I noticed this example in the PFRE flickr group where the photographer used the blinds to “balance the light in the room.”
  2. Here’s another example in the PFRE flickr pool where the light is very bright and the photographer was shooting into the window and was forced to close the blinds or the window would become too distracting.

There may be times when the best thing to do is to raise the blinds to see the view, if the view is important, but be careful with this option, because many older types of blinds, look unusual and unnatural when they all the way up. There are some types of blinds with modern design that look better than others when completely up.

Does anyone else have advice for Kelly?

February Video Contest Will Be Combined With March Video Contest

February 24th, 2015

VideoContestSince we only have four video contest entries so far in February, I’m going to extend the period for video contest entries until March 23.

So continue to submit your Videographer of the Month entries and the video jury will pick a February/March winner at the end of March.

All the video contest entries are available for viewing in the PFRE Video Contest flickr pool.

Unbelievably Bad Real Estate Photos

February 23rd, 2015

Over the years I’ve made a collection of bad real estate photos. The interesting thing about the post that lists these estate listing is the sixth most popular post. Right up there with wide-angle lenses and pricing a shoot! I guess the reason these are so popular is that people dedicated to making property look good find it hilarious to see what people do that don’t care about making property look good!

Recently Dave in Perth, AU sent me this article in the DailyMail.co.uk to add to the list. One of the  listing photos has a huge pig sleeping in it. What can I say? I’ve added the link to the DailyMail article as item #10 on the list.

  1. Bad MLS Photos
  2. Terrible Listing Photos AOL.com
  3. What not to do when selling
  4. Hooked on homes
  5. Bad real estate photos
  6. Lessons bad MLS photos teach
  7. So Cal MLS Hall of Shame
  8. Lovely Listing
  9. Terrible real estate agent Photographs
  10. How NOT to sell your house: Hilarious collection of world’s worst estate agent photos

Have a good laugh!

Congratulations Jason Roehner – February PFRE Photographer Of The Month

February 22nd, 2015

2015FebJasonRoehnerThis month Jason Roehner’s image to the right dazzled the PFRE jury and won by a landslide. Click on the photo to the right to see the large version of this image. This is Jason’s third time that he has won the PFRE photographer of the month.

Below are the results of the voting. Note that the photo numbers below are links to the respective photos in the contest flickr pool:

  1. 81 pts, #37, Jason Roehner, Tempe, AZ
  2. 20 pts, #14, Seth Parker, Huntsville, AL
  3. 17 pts, #30, Robert Morning, Los Angeles, CA
  4. 15 pts, #11, Richard Hookway, Hampshire, UK
  5. 8 pts, #33, Tony Colangelo, Victoria, BC
  6. 6 pts, #36, Brian Doherty, Boston, MA
  7. 5 pts, #1, Barry MacKenzie, London, ON
  8. 4 pts, #17, Tad Davis, Raleigh, NC
  9. 3 pts, #22, Sebastian Erras, Amberg, Germany
  10. 3 pts, #24, Anders Carlson, Kailua Kona, HI
  11. 2 pts, #19, Hamish Beeston, Bristol, UK
  12. 2 pts, #32, Robert Holowka, Toronto, ON
  13. 2 pts, #39, Ryan Hunt, Levin, NZ
  14. 2 pts, #40, Trace Tague, Tucson, AZ

Continue Reading »

25 Years Of Photoshop – Thanks Adobe and Thomas and John Knoll!

February 20th, 2015

The Photographers Ephemeris Updated to 3.0

February 19th, 2015

TPE30For those of you that don’t use TPE (The Photographers Ephemeris, $8.99 by Crookneck Consulting) or a similar application or website to plan your exterior shoots, Simon Maxwell’s video tutorial from a couple of years ago explains how and why you’d want a application like this for exterior architectural or real estate shots. For planning twilight shoots an app like this is essential to being at the site at the right time so you can setup and be ready to shot at the right time.

TPE has release a new version 3.0 for IOS. It’s also available on Android and the web version is free.

The other mobile app that is similar to TPE is LightTrac ($4.99 by Rivolu).

 

How Do You Compete With The Run-And-Gun and Drive-by Shooters?

February 18th, 2015

WillWorkForFoodDerek recently asked this question:

I saw an ad on craigslist for this site (intentionally omited) that hires freelance contractors to photograph properties for pennies (10 exterior photos for $15, 3  exterior photos for $9). I see that their target audience is banks and others who have REO properties, but was curious if this happens in other areas of real estate? If so, are Realtors using this as a base to gauge competitive prices?

Yes, to varying degrees this kind low-ball pricing goes on throughout the real estate photography business. It’s a fact of life! These kinds of operations are in very market. Just yesterday, I saw a national company offering 30 HDR photos for $69. And this is the price the company collects from the Realtor client. The photographer typically gets around $30 and there’s someone doing the post-processing that gets a few dollars too. If the participants did the arithmetic they’d realize only the national company is making money because they doing this pricing on a massive scale. Continue Reading »

What Is Your Standard Real Estate Photography Service Radius?

February 17th, 2015

Michael wants to know:

How far typically do real estate photographers cover? 25 miles, 50 miles?

Typically real estate photographers have a standard service area, which may be a line on the map or just a radius in miles. Beyond this service area, they charge mileage or an extra fee. Include both transportation and time costs in thinking about this service radius. That is, there is travel time component which is a charge for your time and a transportation component where you recover your transportation expenses.

My standard service area is a 35 mile radius. I’ve never had a client ask me to go beyond that service area. If they did I would add a charge of $20 and wouldn’t accept any shoots beyond 50 miles one way.  I think the important factor with your service area is you don’t want the drive times to impact your ability to do multiple shoots in the same day.

Please take the time to take the poll to the right.

What’s The Best App To Use With Canon DSLRs That Have WiFi?

February 16th, 2015

DSLRControllerNot too long ago Bill asked the following question:

Just started playing with my Canon 70D Wi-Fi set up. I need an Android app to connect my phone to it. Checking PFRE posts, I don’t see much regarding what apps might be preferred over Canon’s EOS remote app. Is anyone using something better than Canon’s?

Yes, after some research, I found evidence that the DSLR Controller App by Chainfire is a more popular App for controlling Canon DSLRs with WiFi connectivity than the Canon EOS App. For a long time, Chainfire was only available on Android but now is also available on IOS (the video above was done before DSLR Controller became available for IOS). According to the video the Canon EOS App is limited to transferring small JPGs and does not have features like time-lapse.

Apparently DSLR Controller works with older models of EOS cameras released since Q3 of 2008 with USB cables.

While the DSLR Controller app many give good functionality for DSLRs like the Canon 70D and 6D, I can’t help but mentioning that in general for real estate photography and a wide range of DSLRs, feedback from the PFRE community is clear – CamRanger is the best all-around remote control product. CamRanger now has support for IOS, Android, Macs and Windows. You have to be careful because there seem to be a large number of products out there that are not high quality. Sure CamRanger is more expensive, but there is a lot of cheap stuff out there that doesn’t work well.

PFRE Still Contest Is Closed and PFRE Video Contest Is Open

February 15th, 2015

FebContestThe February PFRE Photographer of the month contest is now closed and the PFRE video contest for February is now open.

The February still photos are now available for jury voting and discussion by everyone in the still contest flickr group. The theme this month is Living room or Family room. As usual, this is a great opportunity to study and comment on the entries. Don’t worry about influencing the jurors, they have their own opinions! There are some stunning images, see if you can pick the winner.

The video contest is now open. If you are submitting an entry please read the contest rules before you submit your entry. The video contest will be open through Feb 22 for submitting entries.

Finally – Proposed New Rules for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

February 15th, 2015

200px-US-FederalAviationAdmin-Seal.svgToday, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration today proposed a framework of regulations (PDF), “that would allow routine use of certain small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in today’s aviation system, while maintaining flexibility to accommodate future technological innovations.” Here is the press release.

I don’t know what’s going on at the FAA but it seems like someone has told them, “you WILL meet your September 2015 deadline!” Perhaps, not coincidently, the Whitehouse also released a presidential memorandum to the heads of federal agencies: Promoting Economic Competitiveness While Safeguarding Privacy, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties in Domestic Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

The summary of the major provisions (PDF), looks remarkably reasonable and concise. The public will be able to comment on this proposed regulation for 60 days from the date of publication (Feb 15) in the Federal Register, which can be found at www.regulations.gov.

It’s only been about an hour and a half since these proposed regulations were released and Amazon has already protested that these regulations don’t accommodate UAS operation where the operator can’t see the UAS. Also, Brendan Schulman has been pointing out other issues that need to be resolved, but this is a great first step! This is more progress than the FAA has made on this subject in several years and they seem now to be on track to make something happen.

Update 2/15 1:40PM Pacific: Starting to get some other reactions to the proposed rules: Continue Reading »