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David Eichler's Shoot Of 700 Benvenue Ave in Los Altos

Published: 10/08/2011
By: larry

David Eichler showed me the post on his blog about a recent shoot that he did for Ken DeLeon of Keller Williams in Palo Alto, California, who is on track to be the number one real estate agent in the US this year, in terms of dollar volume. Here is the property web site for this listing.

David describes his technique as follows:

My technique for most real estate photography is mostly multiple speedlight flashes for interiors, supplemented by a couple of 400ws monolights for some larger or higher-end homes. On average, I probably do one HDR- or exposure-fusion-processed shot per job or every other job. I often shoot multiple exposures for contrast control purposes, but I mostly combine these with layers and masking in Photoshop. The one HDR process I did on this particular job was for the living room shot with the TV and fire, and that was only to supplement the lighting I did with 4 or 5 flashes (only used my speedlights for this job) to help hold the very bright highlights from direct sunlight filtering through. For the exterior twilight shots, I used no HDR or exposure fusion; however, I did use multiple exposures for at least one shot to control contrast, and I used some kind of Photoshop layering for all the twilight shots, for selective tonal and color adjustments.

I like David's stills! I particularly like his exterior twilight shots. I'm just naturally attracted to good twilight shots I guess.

I think Ken overall has done a good job marketing this home. The only thing that I would take issue with is the use of a QuickTime player for the video on the property site and a couple of bright flashes in the video of this home (David didn't do the video). There are just too many potential viewers (on Windows machines) of the site that won't have the QuickTime player and are never going to do what it takes to get the QuickTime Player. So only Mac users will likely see this video. Even on a Mac it takes an unreasonably long time to load.

7 comments on “David Eichler's Shoot Of 700 Benvenue Ave in Los Altos”

  1. Love the stills, good job David. Larry you are right, it took a long time to load. It's unfortunate quicktime doesn't have a loading indicator. I almost refreshed the page because I thought surely something was wrong, it can't be taking THIS long to load.. Then it finally played. That's even on 25Mbps/25Mbps service. Can't imagine what it would be like on normal DSL or lower cable speeds.

    Thanks for sharing. Love seeing agents that take their marketing seriously and go through the effort of having professional photos/video/website done for the property.

  2. Don't take this the wrong way but that seems like way too much work for the quality of photos. It's probably just me but even lighted rooms aren't interesting. Some amount of contrast is needed and I really don't see that in these photos. This is kind of a boring house, white walls, not the best furniture, etc.. I'm sorry but for me I jsut don't get the composition of some of the photos and the even lighting is plain boring.... Well, I'm sure I'm just crazy but that's how it looks to me.

    The positive side is the outside photos are nice.

  3. I think the photos are great. A lot of people don't realize the amount of light you need to balance to the outside particularly when you "see the world". That all of it is soft and even is even greater testimony of the care that David took in his photos. Having access to all that lighting sets him apart from the run and gunners that slap a piece of tuperware on a camera mounted speedlight, set the camera on auto, shoot and call it a day. I'm shooting with much the same lighting package and know the feeling of having the perfect frame and run out of lights and shutter and have to say "Oh crap,HDR".
    That being said I'm in agreement with the others about the video. This is why I don't offer video at this time. For me to get the same quality of video as I can get with stills would run me about $1500 in rentals and another body. I've said before that people are experts when watching video and expect a certain level of production value and that costs. I figure a budget of about $3000 to do video to the same quality as the stills.

  4. I did my best to make it through the video, couldn't do it. It loaded very quickly for me, though. This sort of production is very typical of what you get from video guys who have absolutely NO IDEA about architecture and design. They haven't the faintest idea what to do with it!

  5. But aren't buyers looking for the information contained in the video? I think so. That's the difference between the way photographers approach marketing and the way buyers look at marketing. If I were a buyer, that video would be very helpful. (although some was a bit washed out on the exteriors). Buyers aren't looking for architecture and design. They want to see the house!

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