Another Look At Attic Fire

August 1st, 2010

I recently got an email from Atticfire that reminded me that I haven’t mentioned them for over a year. I first discovered the Atticfire site and did a post on it back in Oct of 2007. Since that time participants in the PFRE discussion group managed to reverse engineer how the Atticfire team creates the dramatic effect in their images.

Back in 2007 I pestered Eric Prine (an Atticfire principle) to tell me what they were doing to get this dramatic look (he of course declined).

I find it interesting that many real estate photographers find the dramatic Atticfire style “over the top” while some find it dazzling and want to use it on it on their photos.

How does one create dramatic images like this? The consensus of the PFRE discussion group is that Atticfire uses Photoshop layering and “image harvesting”. This technique is presented in Vincent Versace’s book Welcome to Oz: A Cinematic Approach to Digital Still Photography with Photoshop
Once you read through Vincent’s book you immediately say to yourself, “oh, ya I see what they are doing”.

As many have pointed in the past, this is NOT a technique appropiate for an average real estate shoot where you’ve committed to deliver 10 to 20 photos in 12 to 24 hours! The level of post processing required to produce these images takes waaay more time than most real estate agents are willing to pay for!  This stuff is high-end home home art, not real estate photography!

I think the big message for real estate and interior photographers is that this whether you like it or not, this dramatic Atticfire style is very popular with high-end home owners and celebrities. If you don’t believe me check out this Feb 2008 article in the NYtimes article that features Atticfire right along with Julius Shulman. Ya, I know, the Atticfire style is a long ways from Julius Shulman’s style.

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6 Responses to “Another Look At Attic Fire”

  • Eric Prine is a badass…gotta get that Versache book, but looking at a few of the before and after exterior pics at dusk…simply flippin’ the lights goes a long way.

    We wait until the sun is down for a few minutos to shoot, then do our magic with Camera Raw, CS5 HDR, AutoPanoGiga, Totally Rad PS actions and Canon 5D Mark II

  • Although the Attic Fire, look is cool, they do alter their pictures in many examples such as placing new views in windows, taking away door hinges and others…not exactly ethical for property photography.

  • Nice article Larry, Good to see some excellent work.I have a company that uses harvesting, Image Reality we are the retouching engine behind Imageination.I have written manuals and have Dvds that explain harvesting, shooting and retouching I use these to train , but it does. take time, usually 2 to 3 months with a retouching back ground.Some years back I wrote quite a few articles for Design Graphics and also co authored a book on Photoshop tips.Do you think there would be a market for this type of thing.
    Thanks again Larry.
    It’s great to see good retouchers at work.
    These guys are obviously talented, have a background in the industry Photography
    and Retouching.They obviously care about what they produce, this is something difficult to teach, I would say this is the key, the reason they can charge more than most.

  • Dear Miguel Garcia,

    The second link you provided I feel defines what video based marketing is at its finest, as it has an authentically undeniable feel to it that is both unobtrusive, artistic, motivating and permeates with the background music… this is what you call/ a true videographer/specialist does… You’re portfolio is absolutely astounding. Love your work! Keep it up!

  • @Daniel & @Miguel – Yea, I agree Miguel’s work is awesome!

  • Well thanx Daniel!!
    and Larry 🙂

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