Congratulations to Stephen Reed of Garland, TX for winning the voting done in the PFRE Photographer of the month flickr group. Stephen's image won the vote by a wide margin. The second place went to Cal Michener and the third place was tied between Michael Suzor, Eric Lucero and Mike Leyland.
Click on the image to see a large view-->
Here is Stephen's description of the shoot of this home and his background and business:
The image is really very straightforward. The initial job request was to shoot an exterior (front) of the home at sunset/dusk. This was my first time working with this realtor and when I met her at the home, she gave me a quick tour and introduced me to the owners. My initial thought when entering the house was "Man, I wish I could shoot the interiors on this - it's gorgeous." Unfortunately, she was in a time crunch and had those taken earlier by someone else.
As we walked through the house she casually asked if I thought the pool would be worth shooting too. We took a quick look and I knew it would make a cool photo. "Sure, no problem." I was trying not to do cartwheels at this point. I headed out front and got the exterior nailed down, then rushed through the house and out to the pool. I shot from both ends but thought this view had better lines. Not much to it. Shot with a Nikon D700, 14-24mm lens set at 16mm, 1 sec at f/5 at 200 ISO. No flash. Post production started in Lightroom. Used the recovery slider to calm the sky down and did a slight color correction, lens correction and some sharpening. I then took it to Photoshop to correct the verticals - it was shot from a low angle to maximize the reflection - and needed a bit of straightening. That's about it. Kind of a track meet, trying to get both the front and back shot at dusk, but it seemed to work out. Fortunately Lynette liked the exteriors so much she brought me back a week or so later to reshoot the interiors. It was an absolutely great house to photograph.
I work out of the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. I am the advertising photographer at The Dallas Morning News and I've been a newspaper shooter for about 26 years. I started off shooting news/editorial at The Alexandria Daily Town Talk in Louisiana, but switched over to advertising when I moved back to Dallas 12 years ago. My freelance work is almost all real estate based now. The hardest part is trying to schedule real estate shoots around my Morning News responsibilities, but the realtors I shoot for have been incredibly understanding (as is my boss at the paper.) Most of the homes I shoot are pretty big (over 5,000 sq ft) but I can usually get one shot after I get off work at the paper. To me, real estate photography is kind of like shooting sports. Very fast paced, you have to think on your feet. Solve the lighting puzzle in one room and move to the next. And at the end of a shoot, I'm just whipped.
Thanks Stephen for the details. This is a memorable image, great job!