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What Can I do To Improve The Quality Of My Interior Images?

Published: 12/04/2016
By: larry

CompositionForInteriorsThis is a follow on post from yesterday. It turns out that Annette in Pennsylvania already has some of the best real estate shooting gear you can get (Canon 6D with Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II). So her real question was , "what can I do to improve the quality of interior images?"

My answer to her was, "spending time and energy on composition and lighting would do the most improve the quality of your images." Annette picked up on the composition part of my suggestion and was anxious to improve her composition. Here are some suggestions for improving your composition:

  1. Scott Hargis has some coverage of composition in his Video Series. The video above is a teaser for his video series.
  2. Also, Scott is also working on a real estate photography class at see my post on this subject for more details.
  3. There are discussions about composition in the PFRE Flickr forum and the PFRE still contest forum. Both of these forums are a good place to learn lighting and composition.
  4. Scott Hargis's Interior photography class that Scott is developing on will undoubtedly have some content on composition. See details on this class here.
  5. There are PFRE coaches that will help you one on one with lighting and composition.

What other suggestions do you have for people wanting to learn lighting and composition?


4 comments on “What Can I do To Improve The Quality Of My Interior Images?”

  1. Also, besides learning the photography end of things, you'll need to be proficient in using some kind of editing software. I use Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC.

  2. Specifically to address Annette's question. First I looked over her images and I do think she is quite good already in general terms on lighting, white balance, dynamic range and overall realistic representation. Of course anyone can improve their technique and quality but when your images are already of high quality you must consider return on investment in time. Improving composition would probably be the biggest return on that investment.

    Here is something that I started to do and I have never heard anyone address before. Think out of the box and quit using the format that "comes with the camera." Yes you heard me right. There are many different ratios you can and should use other than 4-6 and 4-3 or whatever.

    Recently many MLS feeds have been setting there slide displays based on strips of images all set for the same height and responsively setting the width. What that means is when you line up all the images in a row some can be tall and some can be wide AND THERE ARE NO BLACK SPACES on top or on the sides. Thank you very much. You are now free to compose 1-1 or 9-16 or whatever within reason that makes the best composition.

    Specifically for the best example if your shot of a large room is 4 wide 3 high you wind up with a lot of ceiling or floor. In those examples your eyes don't see the whole room they travel from floor to ceiling instead of across the room as you might want. You can now recompose and get rid of that floor and ceiling while still representing the space.

    Some images of features are best at 1-1 ratios. This is great for those "look through the archway" or the corner of the fireplace detail.

    I looked at Annette's images and found many where just changing the ratio and recomposing help a technically good image turn into a Pleasing Image that was technical good. To me that is the best return you could ask for. My rule is pleasing image first and then technical quality. You are selling images that must please first.

    They say think outside the box. I say if you can't do that at least change the box and it might look better inside.

  3. I would suggest spending time on the Flickr PFRE forum will be the key to improving. Put your work in the photo pool and get it critiqued as often as you can. If people give you advice then firstly check their credentials to see if their advice is worth taking on board, eg. what does their portfolio look like? Are they qualified to be giving you advice? Find some photographers whose work you love and follow them. Take time to find out their methods by asking questions. Most members on the Flickr PFRE are very giving with their time and their "secrets". Commit yourself to always be improving, not just for the next 3 or 6 months etc.

  4. I definitely agree with using lighting to improve the quality of a shot, especially inside where it can be manipulated more easily. Using lighting to highlight specific details in a room can work wonders. Thanks for sharing.

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