Videos

Tips for Sharp Real Estate Interior Photographs

Transcript

00:01
Hello, this is David Robinson, and here I’m going to give you some tips
00:05
for taking sharp and clear photographs of real estate interiors.
00:10
With real estate photos, getting a good crisp image is very important,
00:15
so I’ll be looking at areas that affect that.
00:18
Choosing the right lens
00:20
Good focussing
00:21
and reducing camera shake.
00:25
There are many different lenses available,
00:27
each with strengths and weaknesses for a variety of scenarios.
00:32
For every lens there are two key features that will help you decide
00:36
it’s suited to interior real estate photography:
00:39
Focal Length and Aperture.
00:43
Normally, lenses carry technical information which help us identify their features.
00:49
Here, we can see that it says 16 millimetre, f/2.8.
00:55
The first number, 16, is the focal length.
00:59
And the second, 2.8, is the aperture.
01:04
The focal length tells us whether the lens is wide angle
01:08
medium …
01:10
or telephoto.
01:12
A low number, like 16, means it’s a wide angle lens.
01:17
It’ll cover a wide field of view
01:20
and so you should be able to fit in a large part of the room.
01:23
This is what our room looks like through a 16mm lens.
01:28
However, some wide-angle lenses do have the disadvantage
01:32
that they sometimes distort the image.
01:35
Lines that should be straight, are in fact, curved.
01:39
Fortunately, you can fix that in software
01:42
but fixing it it cuts off some of the outer parts of the photos,
01:46
so make sure to leave plenty of room around what you want to capture
01:49
when you’re using a wide-angle lens.
01:54
There is a type of lens called a ’tilt shift’ or ‘perspective control lens’
01:59
which has extra controls to eliminate the distortion when you take the photo itself.
02:04
This makes the process of taking the photo more complex
02:07
but saves you processing time later.
02:10
Now let’s look at the second number: the aperture.
02:14
The aperture is the size of the hole that controls how much light gets into the camera.
02:19
This is generally adjustable and each lens has a range of apertures that it will support.
02:25
Apertures are described using f-stop numbers that look like this:
02:30
F 1.8 or F 4
02:34
On a lens, these same numbers are instead often shown like this:
02:38
1 to 1.8 or 1 to 4.
02:44
The lower the number, the wider the aperture.
02:57
What is written on the lens is the widest aperture that the lens will support.
03:02
And lenses with smaller numbers on them, are called ‘Fast Lenses’.
03:07
For a wide-angle lens, something around f/2.8 or lower
03:11
would be considered fast.
03:14
Fast lenses tend to be good for interior shots
03:17
because they let more light in.
03:19
This lets you take photos of darker areas,
03:22
without having to use long shutter speeds.
03:32
One problem many lenses have is called ‘Chromatic Aberration’.
03:37
This results in coloured fringes around high contrast edges …
03:40
and this is what it looks like it.
03:42
It can be fixed in software but it’s best to avoid it if possible.
03:47
More expensive lenses tend to have less problems with this,
03:51
and if you’re using a zoom lens, avoid using it at the end of its range.
03:55
If your lens does have chromatic aberration, it will often be around the edges of the scene.
04:01
So, when you’re taking a picture, check if the aberration is just around the edges of the photo.
04:07
In that case, just take a wider angle shot than you need
04:11
and later you can crop out the part with the aberration.
04:16
Now that you have chosen the lens you want,
04:18
I’m going to look at how to get the best focus with it.
04:21
Some cameras and lenses will automatically focus but that can’t always be trusted,
04:27
especially in low-light
04:29
and if you want the very best results, it’s better to focus yourself.
04:33
If your camera has a back screen, make sure you activate it.
04:37
It’s often better to use this than the viewfinder when manually focusing.
04:42
Set your lens to manual focus mode, and you’re ready to start.
04:47
To make sure you’ve got the best focus,
04:49
pick something with sharp high contrast edges
04:52
where the focus will be really obvious.
04:55
In this room, there are a few suitable candidates.
04:58
To get the best feel for whether you focused well or not,
05:01
you want this edge to be nice and large on the screen.
05:06
If you’ve got a prime lens, use your camera’s built-in magnifier to show the area larger.
05:15
For a zoom lens, zoom into the maximum focal length on the area you want to use.
05:20
now manually adjust the focus ring on your lens whilst watching the screen,
05:25
until the edge is as crisp as you can make it,
05:28
now you can zoom back out to the focal length that you want.
05:32
Once you have focused your lens, there is still one thing that can spoil the sharpness of your photo:
05:38
camera shake.
05:40
If the camera moves or shakes while taking the photo,
05:43
the result may turn out blurred.
05:46
This is particularly a problem with long exposures
05:49
when you’re taking photos of interiors that are fairly dark.
05:53
One way that camera shake can happen
05:55
is if you make the camera move while you’re pressing the shutter button.
05:59
Even if your camera is on a tripod, it might still be possible for it to move a little.
06:04
The tripod joints might be a bit loose
06:07
or there might be some play somewhere else.
06:10
One way you can eliminate this is not to touch the camera at all.
06:14
Most DSLR cameras have a socket where you can plug a cable in
06:18
to control them remotely.
06:20
You can then buy a shutter release cable
06:22
that will plug into the camera.
06:24
It’s just a button on the end of a cable,
06:27
but you can get more advanced ones with more features.
06:30
Different makes and models have different sockets on them,
06:33
so make sure you buy one that works with your camera.
06:37
Another source of camera shake is the mirror inside the camera itself.
06:41
DSLR cameras have a mirror which moves to either let you see the image through the viewfinder.
06:47
or let the lens see the image.
06:49
It can’t do both.
06:51
When you take a photo, the mirror automatically moves from one position to the other
06:56
and that can sometimes introduce a little shake.
06:59
This is often a problem with telephoto lenses
07:02
but if you find you still have a little blurriness after using a remote release and solid tripod,
07:08
you can try a function many cameras have called ‘Mirror Lockup’.
07:12
This tells the camera to put the mirror in the position for taking the photo
07:16
beforehand so that when you actually take the photo, it doesn’t have to move.
07:22
The disadvantage is you can’t then see through the viewfinder
07:25
but you can line up your shot using the back screen
07:28
or, line it up with the viewfinder and then set ‘Mirror Lockup’.
07:36
So these are the tips we’ve looked at …
07:38
Choose a wide angle lens.
07:40
Faster lenses are usually better for interior photography.
07:45
Leave enough space around your scene, in case you need to remove any distortion.
07:50
Manually focus your lens for best results.
07:53
Use a remote shutter release.
07:56
And finally,
07:58
turn on mirror lockup.

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