Tips for Sharp Real Estate Interior Photographs
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Tips for Sharp Real Estate Interior Photographs


Hello, this is David Robinson, and here
I’m going to give you some tips for taking sharp and clear
photographs of real estate interiors. With real estate photos, getting
a good crisp image is very important, so I’ll be looking at areas that affect that. Choosing the right lens Good focussing and reducing camera shake. There are many different lenses available, each with strengths and
weaknesses for a variety of scenarios. For every lens there are two key
features that will help you decide it’s suited to interior real estate photography: Focal Length and Aperture. Normally, lenses carry technical information
which help us identify their features. Here, we can see that it says 16 millimetre, f/2.8. The first number, 16, is the focal length. And the second, 2.8, is the aperture. The focal length tells us whether the lens is wide angle medium … or telephoto. A low number, like 16, means it’s a wide angle lens. It’ll cover a wide field of view and so you should be able
to fit in a large part of the room. This is what our room looks like through a 16mm lens. However, some wide-angle lenses
do have the disadvantage that they sometimes distort the image. Lines that should be straight, are in fact, curved. Fortunately, you can fix that in software but fixing it it cuts off some
of the outer parts of the photos, so make sure to leave plenty of
room around what you want to capture when you’re using a wide-angle lens. There is a type of lens called a ’tilt shift’
or ‘perspective control lens’ which has extra controls to eliminate the
distortion when you take the photo itself. This makes the process of taking
the photo more complex but saves you processing time later. Now let’s look at the second number: the aperture. The aperture is the size of the hole that
controls how much light gets into the camera. This is generally adjustable and each lens has
a range of apertures that it will support. Apertures are described using f-stop
numbers that look like this: F 1.8 or F 4 On a lens, these same numbers are
instead often shown like this: 1 to 1.8 or 1 to 4. The lower the number, the wider the aperture. What is written on the lens is the
widest aperture that the lens will support. And lenses with smaller numbers
on them, are called ‘Fast Lenses’. For a wide-angle lens, something around f/2.8 or lower would be considered fast. Fast lenses tend to be good for interior shots because they let more light in. This lets you take photos of darker areas, without having to use long shutter speeds. One problem many lenses have is called
‘Chromatic Aberration’. This results in coloured fringes
around high contrast edges … and this is what it looks like it. It can be fixed in software but it’s
best to avoid it if possible. More expensive lenses tend to have
less problems with this, and if you’re using a zoom lens,
avoid using it at the end of its range. If your lens does have chromatic aberration,
it will often be around the edges of the scene. So, when you’re taking a picture, check if the
aberration is just around the edges of the photo. In that case, just take a wider angle shot than you need and later you can crop out the part with the aberration. Now that you have chosen the lens you want, I’m going to look at how to get the best focus with it. Some cameras and lenses will automatically
focus but that can’t always be trusted, especially in low-light and if you want the very best
results, it’s better to focus yourself. If your camera has a back screen,
make sure you activate it. It’s often better to use this than the
viewfinder when manually focusing. Set your lens to manual
focus mode, and you’re ready to start. To make sure you’ve got the best focus, pick something with sharp high contrast edges where the focus will be really obvious. In this room, there are a few suitable candidates. To get the best feel for whether you focused well or not, you want this edge to be nice and large on the screen. If you’ve got a prime lens, use your camera’s
built-in magnifier to show the area larger. For a zoom lens, zoom into the maximum
focal length on the area you want to use. now manually adjust the focus ring on
your lens whilst watching the screen, until the edge is as crisp as you can make it, now you can zoom back out to
the focal length that you want. Once you have focused your lens, there is still one
thing that can spoil the sharpness of your photo: camera shake. If the camera moves or shakes while taking the photo, the result may turn out blurred. This is particularly a problem with long exposures when you’re taking photos of
interiors that are fairly dark. One way that camera shake can happen is if you make the camera move
while you’re pressing the shutter button. Even if your camera is on a tripod, it might
still be possible for it to move a little. The tripod joints might be a bit loose or there might be some play somewhere else. One way you can eliminate this is
not to touch the camera at all. Most DSLR cameras have a socket
where you can plug a cable in to control them remotely. You can then buy a shutter release cable that will plug into the camera. It’s just a button on the end of a cable, but you can get more advanced
ones with more features. Different makes and models
have different sockets on them, so make sure you buy one
that works with your camera. Another source of camera shake is the
mirror inside the camera itself. DSLR cameras have a mirror which moves to either
let you see the image through the viewfinder. or let the lens see the image. It can’t do both. When you take a photo, the mirror automatically
moves from one position to the other and that can sometimes introduce a little shake. This is often a problem with telephoto lenses but if you find you still have a little blurriness
after using a remote release and solid tripod, you can try a function many
cameras have called ‘Mirror Lockup’. This tells the camera to put the mirror
in the position for taking the photo beforehand so that when you actually
take the photo, it doesn’t have to move. The disadvantage is you can’t then
see through the viewfinder but you can line up your shot using the back screen or, line it up with the viewfinder
and then set ‘Mirror Lockup’. So these are the tips we’ve looked at … Choose a wide angle lens. Faster lenses are usually better for interior photography. Leave enough space around your scene,
in case you need to remove any distortion. Manually focus your lens for best results. Use a remote shutter release. And finally, turn on mirror lockup.

8 Comments

  • TD Photographic Imaging - Commercial Photography and Video

    The statement of zooming in to focus with the lens and then zoom back out will not hold true to some lenses as the focus point will be different from different focal lengths.

  • johan bauwens

    The widest aperture doesn't matter as you will Always use f14 or 16, which is no problem regarding shutter speeds, as you use a tripod and the subject doesn't move

  • Buck Bowen

    Thank you for the tips. For those who don't want to buy a remote you can simply use the built in timer on your camera.

  • Charles Ludwig

    Nice video; but, shooting real estate for MLS using the suggested techniques takes too much time and thus would have the photographer working at a rate of about $5.00 an hour for a 50 image project. Instead, shoot wide-angle hand-held: ISO 320, F6.3, 1/80th second, and TTL +1.3 on-camera Flash (bounced on ceiling). Images will be sharp, and windows, as well as interior rooms will be properly exposed. With this technique a photographer can shoot 50 images in less than an hour and post in Lightroom in less than an hour, thus, producing at a rate of about $50.00 an hour on images going for fair market pricing of $2.00. In addition, this technique allows photographer to shoot 2, maybe 3 properties per day. Your technique, the photographer will be good for one project per day. That's $500 per week vs. $1500 per week going hand-held. I think I like hand-held best, and the real estate agent/client is not going to fault hand-held production sharpness, since MLS ends up being 800 px, long edge, which will look really sharp on typical computer screen.

  • OUTER SPACE

    Tips worth a watch, thank you for sharing them. Just to add on, the white balance plays an important role to keep your Colors accurate and To avoid shake you can always keep a shot on timer incase of no remote. 😊 And I think the apature should be between 7 to 10 for wider focus and sharp images hence the use of tripod.

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