Category Archives: Educational

Update to HDR Software Post: Let’s Talk About Exterior Photos

After writing a post about why I don’t use HDR software for real estate photography (which you can check out here) some of the current agents asked me about exterior photos. In response to their question I have decided to write a post with examples to show the difference between the process that I do and what HDR software does. But before we get into the sample photos I would like to mention: I don’t think using HDR software for exterior photos in real estate photography is bad. Yet with that said there is a difference in the end result which you can see in the images below (by the way you can click on any image to make them bigger for better preview). With each sample photo I will explain why Shutter Avenue Photography doesn’t use software to do the job for us.

HDR Software Exterior Sacramento Real Estate Photography

In the image above you can see how HDR software made the image look flat, the colors are off or in other words it’s over saturated.  With the style of editing comparing to the software we get to control what needs to be corrected. For instance, we get to pick and choose where shadows needs to be lighter, not over all image like the software does. Also the images doesn’t have that oversaturated look to it.

HDR Software Exterior Sacramento Real Estate Photography

In this example it’s clear that the software had a hard time distinguishing the light and dark areas so it made a decision to give the final image in natural ground. Comparing to the image provided by us, the final image has more vibrance, light, and more natural look over HDR image. Which makes the home more attractive to potential buyers when looking at the home via internet.

HDR Software Exterior Sacramento Real Estate Photography

Example above shows how HDR software still has a hard time by getting rid of dark shadows, plus overall image is flat with oversaturated look. Also look at the sky, how the software can’t really control over exposed clouds. But with our style of editing we were able to remove most of the shadows and also the clouds have more detail. So in the final image produced by us, your eyes are lead to see the home not just overall image and surroundings.

HDR Software Exterior Sacramento Real Estate Photography

In this sample it’s a good point that HDR software can make a good decisions and give a decent final product. Yet if you look at the image which we produced for real estate agent you can see that the image has more natural look to it comparing to HDR software.

HDR Software Exterior Sacramento Real Estate Photography

Here is an example of when the whole home plus lots of shadows cover the front yard and this creates dark areas throughout most of the image. So the HDR software just takes multi-exposure images and produces the final image on the neutral ground, and everything just looks flat and saturated. With Shutter Avenue Photography style we get to control where shadows needs to be controlled by adding more light to certain areas so this would make the home stand out more comparing to HDR software.

HDR Software Exterior Sacramento Real Estate Photography

Sometimes people say “it doesn’t matter if the it’s cloudy weather because the image is still flat looking no matter what so HDR software does a good job” and I agree with them but knowing what do edit in the photo our quality of work still has more details and also has more sharpness to the whole image. Plus this is a good example not only for overcast weather but if adding different sky it also enhances the final image, as you can see on the right.

Last words: HDR software for exterior photos is not bad but after all the example you can see how we can create better exterior photos so that way it will attract a viewer looking at these images online. Also there are people who love the look of HDR and if that’s you and your buyer then keep using the software, we are not telling you to stop but just comparing the two.

Do you agree or disagree? Well leave a comment on our facebook page and with any other questions you might have for us.

Photos Provided By: Denver Architectural Photographer

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Shutter Avenue Photography offers Denver Architectural Photography and Denver architectural photography coverage in the Denver metro area, including but not limited to Denver, and all surrounding areas. Call for more information about Denver Architectural Photography in Denver and all of United State Of America.

Not looking for a Denver Architectural Photographer? Please be sure to consider us for your commercial photography and real estate photography needs in the Denver area and all of United State Of America.

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HDR vs Shutter Avenue Photography

Since I photograph lots of real estate one questions that pops up from time to time is “What about HDR?”. Now, the question does vary in different forms when it’s asked. For example, a new agent will ask me “Do you do HDR Photography?” or an agent with whom I have work before will ask “Why don’t you do HDR, isn’t much quicker?”. Those are both good question and in this post I will show you why HDR photography just doesn’t work for me and my studio.

Before I get into why with comparison examples I what to throw this out there since lots of people don’t really know what HDR is. The term HDR stands for High-Dynamic-Range, which in itself tells you that this image can have light/dark areas with more details comparing to a regular image. Now this is very brief history of HDR: it was first used in way back in late 1800’s with multiple photos combined in darkroom and ever since you can see this style of photography used by everyone who knew what they were doing. But HDR photography didn’t pick up popularity until digital photography boomed. After that, well every person who didn’t know who to set setting in camera or just for the fun of it used it and abuse it. Yet most people don’t know that HDR photography was used for landscape photography only. With that said I have no problem with HDR photography if it’s used correctly and when it needs to be use (such as in landscapes).

But now let me show you why I don’t believe in HDR and how a beautiful home can be ruined if just using HDR style. In the images below I have used multiple exposures which requires for HDR to combine for the final image. Also I will explain why HDR doesn’t work for real estate. Feel free to click on the images to see them in much bigger size.

9750 Gilpin St-Final 5346 S Elmwood St - Final

The two images above is a good comparison between HDR and the style of photography which I use. You can clearly see how the software is trying to keep the details in the window but the rooms becomes dark. If we go the opposite way the room will be bright but the details in the window will be lost.  Also the corners of the rooms are very dark and around the window (sometimes we photographers call this the dirty corners). Comparing to the style which I use everything is much lighter and with more precise of how our eyes see the room.

2960 Inca St #513

Here’s an example of when much more light comes through the window which creates light glow around window trim. Also since the software is trying to create proper white balance in the room the details outside are now very blue. Comparing to the image on the left, even though there is still same amount of light coming through the window but the light glow is more contained with properly exposed white balance.

10079 Longview Dr-Final

Example above of a dining room and kitchen is a good way to show what happens when there is lots of light in dining room and almost none in the kitchen. Yet even though our eyes can adjust to this but neither camera or software can’t understand that. The HDR software created dark shadows not only on the counters of the kitchen but also on the chairs, which now makes the chairs look very dirty with deep shadows. The white balance is off because the software is trying to adjust to the dark floor and because the kitchen was very dark to start off it did the best it can. After I have photographed it, everything is bright and has welcoming look for potential buyer when they will be looking at the images online.

360 St Paul St

The image on the right is where the HDR software is trying to balance the colors for the final image. Since there were lots of yellow/brown colors in the room especially thanks to tungsten lighting the final image is all yellow. Even though we know that outside is not as blue as an image on the right but because the software is just trying to average everything out, the end result is very intense blue light through the windows.  Also if we look closer at the corners of the windows we will see that there is this white line and this is because the software doesn’t really know how to handle the transition from light to dark.

I can go on and on of why just HDR photography doesn’t work for real estate, how it can’t transition from bright light to dark which creates dark shadow glow, how in reality when just photographing multi exposure photos create less detailed photos and not as sharp as what I can do (even though you can add sharpness in software), or how white balance and the transition is most of the time off with HDR software. But I will end it there since now you can see why Shutter Avenue Photography is much better than HDR.

Last but important note to mention is that I do from time to time use HDR but only when I am photographing landscapes for my personal use. Because for the outside HDR does work sometimes.

I hope this give you a better understanding of why I don’t really use multi exposure software to create the final images and the style of photography which I have created over time is much better representation of the home. With that said, when photographing for interior designers and/or architecture I use completely different style of photography from real estate.

Photos Provided By: Denver Architectural Photographer

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Shutter Avenue Photography offers Denver Architectural Photography and Denver architectural photography coverage in the Denver metro area, including but not limited to Denver, and all surrounding areas. Call for more information about Denver Architectural Photography in Denver and all of United State Of America.

Not looking for a Denver Architectural Photographer? Please be sure to consider us for your commercial photography and real estate photography needs in the Denver area and all of United State Of America.

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Goodbye by Shutter Avenue Photography

Either this post will be short or long, I will try to keep it short yet why did I call this post Goodbye? Well keep on reading to the end =)

The past 10 days have been very interesting … It all started when I was just about to photograph a home for a real estate agent when something happened (the story is too long), the end result involves a bug and a camera crashing down to concrete floor. o_o Not fun when the job is not done. Anyways you can see the photo of the camera (Nikon D300) at the bottom of the page and its state of the lens.

All of this at the last minute made me go to Camren here in Denver to rent out a camera to finish the jobs for that day. The camera that I have rented was Nikon D7000 with Tamron 10-24mm lens.

Nikon D700 Camera Review

Nikon D7000 short review: The camera itself is not bad, and I did like it. The D7000 if you are interested and looking for a camera to buy is good. It has 16MP which is a good jump from 12MP sensor in the category of these cameras but still not as good as Canon in the same range which has 18MP.  The camera also has full HD movie recording which if you do video it’s really good. It also has dual card reader which comes in handy when you don’t want to think about losing by accident photos or shooting a wedding and you need storage. One other feature what is a 50/50 is the focusing points, it only has 39 comparing to other cameras which has 51 points of focus. Handles noise (ISO) well, the layout of the buttons are well places meaning the functions for quick selections, the white balance is good since I shoot JPG’s 95% of the time, but I noticed that exposure metering is a little bit off especially when it comes to over exposure. Also it’s a bit small for my taste. It just didn’t feel like a professional camera, and for the price range that it sells there are better cameras out there. Also the weight of the camera is a little bit heavier than for example D5100.

Tamron 10-24mm review: On the other hand the lens Tamron 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 DI II was just TERRIBLE. If you are planing to buy this lens just write out a check to me and give me your money or better yet spend just a bit more and buy Sigma 12-24mm. What was Tamron thinking when they made this lens? As soon as I started to photograph with it I wanted to get a hammer and break it on the spot. It was frustrating just using it. The motor in the lens is VERY slow, so autofocus is horrible, and at times I would recompose the focus point and the lens just didn’t do anything at all. But I know from the past using other lens that it will be out of focus so I had to manually move the ring so that the focus would just work. Also the lens barrel effect is of the charts, it distorts everything with bowing all the walls to the limit (and this happened from 10-24mm range). Yet this is just tip of the iceberg of how bad this lens is. After all the jobs that day, I came back to the office to process the photos (which by that time I was already 2 hours behind on everything) thanks to traffic and trying to rent out a camera in downtown. At first I thought my computer was going bad. BUT NO it was the lens and the quality of the photos it produces. I couldn’t believe it but where I selected the focus area it was in focus yet everything around it was blurry. Ok so I understand if you are shooting at the 3.5 F-Stop but this is at F9 everything should be in focus and yet it’s not. I hate, hate, hate that lens. I don’t even what to talk about this lens. I’m done.

The end result, is that on the same day (Friday July 31st) I ordered new camera which I will do another post about it. If you have seen my facebook page you will see a picture of UPS and the title in the photos is “I am very excited!!!!”, why was I so excited? Because I got my new and I mean new system.

That’s why the blog post is titled “Goodbye”, because I said goodbye to Nikon for ever (I think) and moved on to Fujifilm. Yes you have read it correctly, I will be selling all my Nikon gear (or what’s left of it). But now I have a Fuji X-T1 with XF 10-24mm F4 R IOS lens. I know I had it for a very short period of time but I LOVE IT. Why? well that will be in the next post since I want to play around with it little bit more before I write a review on it. All I want to say and finish this blog post with a statement of “I feel like I lived under a rock before I got X-T1”.

My New Fuji X-T1 with 10-24mm lens.

FujiFilm X-T1

Here are the photos of what happened to my Nikon system:

Nikon D300 no more

The lens is done and the mirror will not go down in the camera (also there is something loose in the camera).

Nikon D300Sigma 10-20mm

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Upcoming trends for 2015 | Denver Wedding Photographer

So its very hard to predict what will be in trend five years from now and even what will be next year especially here in Denver. Now I am not putting Denver down but as a Denver wedding photographer and understanding fashion photography to some degree, Denver is not really popular with fashion. If you would like fashion you would need to go to Milan, Paris, London, or even to New York for latest trends, but I will still give out my best advice not only to Denver but to everyone who is looking for what to expect.

Denver Wedding Photographer

For most part of what I see designers are doing is off the shoulder necklines more of cap-sleeves look. This is a good thing, because some brides don’t really want strapless or shoulder wedding dress and this could be a nice medium for them.

Wedding Photography for Denver

Also and I have mentioned this in previous post but the trend is still going strong, I’m talking about color. From the fashion show in NY for upcoming Spring 2015 collections lots of designers are introducing color mostly blues, grays and even light green. For me personally I would love to see brides to pick up on this and not being shy of going away from white.

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This one has been around but is picking up more and more it is modern minimalism. I do have to say I personally like the styles that I have seen for this because it’s very sleek, modern and nothing to fancy but the look is gorgeous.

Stop Looking and Book Now for Best Denver Wedding Photographer

And finally but not least collars are now being introduced again. This help brides to show of the neck line and also to create an illusion of longer neckline.

Now I know this is just four points but in reality there a much more that has been happening in trends for 2015, but with that said not all will make it to next year because well, they are way out there and I am sure that every day bride will not want it. Another pointer to make is about places like David’s Bridal, yes they have lots of dresses but they don’t set the standard at all. All they do is sell what is most sellable and profit to them, so if you are a bride look for shops that will actually listen to you and create a dress that you want not what the shop tells you.

 

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Shutter Avenue Photography offers Denver wedding photography and Denver portrait photography coverage in the Denver metro area, including but not limited to Denver, Sacramento, San Francisco Bay Area and all surrounding areas. Call for more information.

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History of Garter and Bouquet Toss | Denver Wedding Photographer

After the last blog that I have written about “White Dress” one of my good friends who is getting married asked me about garter toss. Now I first was curious why and the answer was pretty much the same as I usually hear from other brides or grooms of “WHY”. Well that made me think and do my research of why do grooms toss the garter and brides toss bouquet. If you are not interested in history then feel free to read something else but if you wanted to know more about garter toss and bouquet toss (and why we are doing what we are doing) then keep on reading.

Denver Wedding Photographer

History of Garter Toss

I wanted to start with with history of garter toss because in reality it updates the bouquet toss. Which was a surprise for me. The garter toss as far we know is dated back to middle ages, let’s say 1400’s but can be argued by historians. Yet the tradition of the garter didn’t really start with garter it was more … in some interesting words it was more aggressively than what we have today. So for most part when the bride and groom was married and after the party (if there was a party) the groom would take the bride to bridal chambers and have sex with her. But the the groomsmen, bridesmaids and even sometimes guest would come in the chambers and oversee that it happened (I mean intercose). While this all was happening it was considered a good luck to have taken peice of brides dress as goodluck which at the same time the bride would throw the stockings at the guest in the bedroom (especially at the guys) and who ever gets the stockings closes to the nose would be the next to get married. I don’t think this was popular for too long and it wasn’t because which bride would like to have guest in the same bedroom to watch or listen in, and also to have her dress torn apart because the dress would represent good luck and fertility. So the garter became popular later on but still we are not there yet. While the garter replaced the guest in the bedroom the custom was that the man at the party would need to take of the garter for luck, and I can imagine where this would go since there would be lots of drunk man at the party. A note to mention that guest would get drunk even before the wedding ceremony and you can just imagine the as soon as the couple would say “I Do” lots of drunken guys would hit on your wife just to steal the garter. Well after that it became a custom for the groom to do the job, and now to this day the garter toss is done by the groom to man who are not yet married (which would mean that whoever gets the garter would be married next). Now how its done with hands or teeth well thats up to the groom to decide.

Also I would like to mention that garter would represent virginity of the bride, which would say that once the groom has taken off the garter she would no longer be a virgin and belong to the groom.

History of Bouquet Toss

The bouquet toss (stick with me) originated from garter toss. What a surprise. But it did originated from England for sure, comparing to garter well nobody knows but point at France. Bouquet toss started with instead of rip my bridal dress apart and leave me with nothing to wear to garter toss to bouquet toss. Since the over the time the wedding dresses became more and more expansive the bride was not happy to have her dress torn apart, and garter toss replaced that. But that leaves one aspect of the toss in the air. Since now the man catch the garter what about the ladies. At old times everyone would steal a part of the dress (men and woman) but garter was only to keep the guys tamied. So the answer to that question was the bouquet toss. But why bouquet? Well flowers would in some sense represent fertility (and it was cheap commodity to throw at guests). So in the end the bouquet toss would help out all single ladies at the wedding and garter for the guys.

Before I finish I would like to tell you interesting fact about garter and bouquet toss. Garter toss is the least popular nowadays and still going down the hill but by a survey taken over 50 years from 1960’s to 2010 it states that the bouquet toss is still actives but has only gone up to one percent in past 50 years, from 23% to 24% of all weddings in United States.

 

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Enjoy this post by Denver and Sacramento wedding photographer provided by Shutter Avenue Photography offering Denver and Sacramento wedding photography in Denver and Sacramento metro area.

Shutter Avenue Photography is not your regular Denver and Sacramento wedding photographer. Every wedding that Shutter Avenue Photography photographs is treated with care and creativity not found with any other Denver or Sacramento wedding photography studio. Shutter Avenue Photography captures your wedding day in a unique photography style in the Sacramento area.

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