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Congratulations Matt Van Emmerik--July 2019 PFRE Photographer of the Month!

Published: 23/07/2019
By: Brandon

Congratulations to Matt Van Emmerik from Kelowna, BC--July 2019 Photographer of the Month! The theme this month was Master Ensuite and we had 43 entries from around the world. As always, a big thank you goes out to everyone who participated and to the jury who continue to volunteer their valuable time and thoughtful insights.

  1. Matt Van Emmerik - #38
  2. Brian Covington -#42
  3. Dana Thompson - #26
  4. Andre Mckenzie - #2
  5. Tacey Jungmann - #32

Please feel free to view and comment on any of this month's entries here.

Thank you! It's an honor to win POTM! Thanks to the judges as I know how much time you invest into studying these images and commenting on them.

This image was originally shot for high-end real estate in a $6million waterfront home with a higher than normal budget. It was captured on my Canon 5D Mark IV with a 16-35mm F2.8 II lens at 24mm plus Godox and Canon lighting (AD200 AD360 TT685C Speedlight, Canon 600EX-RT Speedlight). It was a composite shot built from 4-6 exposure frames (flash and ambient). The judges' comments are correct in saying it looked like one of those difficult layouts to capture.

There was a flash set in the bedroom camera right (AD200 ceiling bounce mistake) as well as in the bathroom camera right (Speedlight) bouncing on a white closet door to brighten up the white cabinets a smidge (barely used this portion) plus my light on a stick for some fill. Then the flashes were moved camera left for a more natural light direction and a large shoot through umbrella (AD360) was used in the bedroom by the window for a soft but hard punch of natural-looking light as the bedroom was actually quite dark and tricky to light with beams shooting across the ceiling. I honestly didn’t do a great job with the bedroom as you can tell; when looking at the mirror, there are two shadow directions but I was good with it as you’d never know if there was a window or a skylight camera right, so it works.

I actually thought after submitting this photo that it would get shredded by the judges. There are a couple of things I missed when retouching this image and after looking it over a million times, didn’t see it until I clicked submit and saw it on the contest page the next day. The bedroom lighting was one; and I accidentally desaturated the window in the shower with the Soffit and tree reflection. Thankfully, it’s not a distraction or even that noticeable but I wanted to point that out because these sorts of things can easily happen no matter how much time we spend working on and studying an image.

I’ve noticed a lot of natural light entries have been winning lately, which is great to see it’s going back in time to a film-look again and away from the over-lit, picture frame darken mode window-pull shots that were becoming so popular in real estate.

Anyways, thanks again for the honor; and to the judges. Cheers.

15 comments on “Congratulations Matt Van Emmerik--July 2019 PFRE Photographer of the Month!”

  1. Congrats on the win, Matt! Loved your image. I really enjoyed your backstory and I agree with you that's it's awesome to see a bunch of natural/ambient-looking shots doing so well in the contest lately.

  2. Congratulations, Matt! That is a beautiful but deceptively difficult bathroom to capture and you did great job. Incorporating the column actually balances the floor to ceiling shower to my eye and I don't know that I would have seen that as I would have been too busy thinking, "How am I going to avoid that massive column?" I am curious...was it structural or was there shelving or storage on the other side?

  3. Hi Brian, thank you! Your image was a beautiful capture and similar colour palette too! I ended up capturing multiple angles of this ensuite to capture it all. For this image I got back as far as I could and zoomed in to 24mm which was the sweet spot. I didn't give the column much thought to be honest I just went with what was pleasing to my eye. You're right in that it does balance out the shower but this was not a deliberate or well thought out approach to the composition as much as I'd like to say I struggled for an hour for these reasons 😉 The column itself isn't a major structural element other than for the double sided vanity itself nor is it storage (sadly). I'm posting a link to another angle which shows it better and will make more sense of it's purpose. Cheers

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