atticfire – A New Approach to Architectural Photography?

October 28th, 2007

Thanks to Dave Moore studios for pointing out the site.

Atticfire is an architectural photography team working out of Savanna, Georgia that claims to shoot 8 spaces a day (5 shots above the industry standard). Remember, this is not real estate photography this is architectural photography where 3 spaces a day is the standard because of attention to detail and extensive lighting equipment. Still, it is interesting to look at their 5 folios of examples on their site that shows “before” and “after” shots. They say the difference between the before and after images is “styling, propping, lighting and extensive digital post-production”.

I think it is interesting to look at these and try to figure out what they are doing different. My guess is that they are doing more of their lighting in the “travel light” Strobist mode similar to using multiple strobes and using some HDR processing in some cases. Their goal is to spend less time on site (similar to real estate photography requirements) even if it is at the expense of more post processing time.

Update: Thanks for Aaron for explaining the technique they are using: “These are composite images made from multiple exposures. One of the major advantages to this technique is that it saves massive amounts of set up time while on location. Instead of setting up dozens of individual lights, one can use just a couple (or one) and light a different part of the scene with each exposure and then blend all the exposures together.”

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15 Responses to “atticfire – A New Approach to Architectural Photography?”

  • Some of those scenes are very elaborate. Don’t expect that 1 person does this, all alone, and in 8 locations a day. that’s bs. Post is not extensive… They use tricks…

    Tonemapping is used here and there, rest is mostly local contrast, and “vibrance” saturation game… few layers in ps, clever masking, etc… Tons of lights tho…

    Some “shots” use the “invisible light” tech, which tells alot of how it’s being done… composites, etc… Those are like 20-30 minutes / image…

    I like composition…

    Lighting kit; I assume a couple of portable speedlights fired wireless. How many? like 5-6? Overall it’s not that difficult to have this look, the only problem this kind of image has is that it will not going to be ok in the RE line. Because the property will NEVER look that way in real.

    So, as one can accept the lie of a picture for a resort in Puerto Vallarta to be not exactly as in the brochure, for a property wont be ok anymore. And you cant blame the weather πŸ™‚ It’s an ethics thing after all.

    I wonder what are they charge…

  • very impressive, but too much masking for my taste: windows doesn’t participate to rooms lighting, and it’s unnatural.

  • Clarify 3 and 8 “spaces” per day. You mean simply “rooms” or entire shoots?

  • Athol, I believe by spaces they mean rooms or setups that result in a single image.

  • I assume they do 8 shots in 8 locations…

  • The above was mine… Sorry Larry…

    Some of the images are really nice. Even so, overprocessed… I like them. I wish I had these clients πŸ™‚ … Paris, Puerto Vallarta πŸ™‚

  • It’s impressive, but at the same time, I don’t think I like it. Or at least don’t like all of them. :-/

    Agree with Michael that it won’t work for RE shoots as it simply doesn’t look natural enough.

  • […] Lohrman covers atticfire – A New Approach to Architectural Photography? Not sure I like all of it, and it’s Architectural rather than Real Estate […]

  • Stunning work. These are the kind of images I like.

    To those who say they don’t look “natural” I would have to argue that 99% of the images presented here on the right side of this web page don’t look like that in real life! Anytime you use multiple strobes to light a room you will get results that are not even close to how a room looks in reality. (unless of course you replace the room’s light bulbs with strobes!).

    The old saying, “Light a room to make it look as if it hasn’t been lit” isn’t followed much in real estate these days. It seems by reading this blog that many agents prefer the even lighting all over the place look which isn’t realistic at all. I am not saying one is better than another – it’s what the clients want and those wants change with time. Just like fat ties and thin ties! Although you won’t catch me wearing a tie at all!

    This is beautiful work. No doubt about it. The only one I really dislike is the one that the whole skyline was replaced with water! Number 12 or 13 I think. That image is even less real than it is in real life.


  • Larry, thank you for the mention! I agree with many of you, both here on Flickr, who feel that some of the images are a little too over processed for Real Estate work. Some, however, I can see being useful on very high end properties, particularly the exteriors and the more subtle interiors.

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  • Although the images are striking, I would not be able to do these (ethically) kinds of images for real estate work. In many instances permanent objects have been “removed” completely or replaced with shrubbery. I already have ethics issues with some of the requests made of me. For commercial advertising this would be great, for real estate not too practical since few places would have any where near this level of lighting.

    Still, I’m impressed.

  • Aside from placing oceans where they were not and other permanent fixture adjustments… all I can say is WOW. All these images are compeling, the lighting is beautiful and they would easily help to sell any home they were attached too!

  • I like the look for architural photos but I think some of the exteriors could be used for RE.

    I can’t say I like the name atticfire though. As a former active volunteer firefighter, the only thing with a higher pucker factor is basementfire.

  • i find the fotos beautiful.yes it is artificial but artificial looks beautiful in some way..

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