Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Never too Early Christmas Shopping

Photographs make great gifts.
20% OFF My High Quality Photo Prints till Nov 1, 2012.
Use coupon 870650 for discount.
Choose prints from gallery: http://www.tese.com/photography/galleries.php

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Property Developers/Builders Visual Progress Web Site

A Sample of Property Developers/Builders Visual Progress Web Site.
Can be used for distant new homeowners to see the progress of construction. Or, a reference tool for Property Developers and Custom Home Builders.
See it here: http://www.tese.com/newhouse

for more information email: mail@a1virtualtours.com


Sunday, January 31, 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tips on Using a Point and Shoot Camera for Real Estate Photography. Tip #2

One of the services A1 Virtual Tours offers is called MyPic Tours. This is where our clients choose to take photos of properties, upload them to us, and we then create the tours for them using their photos.
Many times real estate agents, brokers and home owners use a point and shoot camera for this purpose. And, many times their photos are poor quality.
These articles deals with some tips how to shoot good Real Estate Photos using a point and shoot camera.

Example: Photographing a house for sale. Composition for Interior photos Tip #2
Provide a Focal Point
Without a center of attention, the viewer's eyes wander through and out of the
image, without stopping. Let's say there is a beautiful staircase or a custom built fireplace with a magnificent mantle in a room. Each can be considered a main element or focal point in a room.
You should position this main element using the rule of thirds.
The rule of thirds is one of the most basic composition guidelines in photography. The rule of thirds explains what part of an image the human eye is most strongly drawn towards first. An imaginary tic-tac-toe board is drawn across an image to break it into nine equal squares. The four points where these lines intersect are strongest focal points. The lines themselves are the second strongest focal points.

Try to place the main element at one of the four points where the rule of thirds lines intersect, or at least along one of the horizontal or vertical lines. Do not place the focal point dead center in the image.

Keep the camera straight and level.
Tilting it makes side walls appear slanted. Don't tilt the camera up or down; it gives objects odd, unnatural shapes. Keep vertical elements like corners of a room, door openings, windows or columns verticle and parallel with each other. Tilting the camera up will skew these lines. Shoot at chest-level so you show less ceiling.


shot tilting up. result; entrance is narrow at top



shot with no tilt. camera about chest height

You don't always have to shoot the entire room;
A vase, chair or object in the foreground gives more depth to the shot.

Move furniture so it doesn't hide architectural features like a fireplace.

Shoot two walls only, with a bit of floor and ceiling.
Shooting three walls creates a shoebox effect.
 

If an interior is empty, stand back as far as you can to show how large the space is but add a chair for example to show scale.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Tips on Using a Point and Shoot Camera for Real Estate Photography.

One of the services A1 Virtual Tours offers is called MyPic Tours. This is where our clients choose to take photos of properties, upload them to us, and we then create the tours for them using their photos.
Many times real estate agents, brokers and home owners use a point and shoot camera for this purpose. And, many times their photos are poor quality.
These articles deals with some tips how to shoot good Real Estate Photos using a point and shoot camera.

Example: Photographing a house for sale. Proper Exposure Tip #1
Getting proper exposure for inside a room and outside a room's window in one shot.
The main idea is to control the amount of light inside and outside the house with your camera and flash.

Problem: A Point and Shoot camera set to Auto Exposure will try to set the proper exposure by automatically adjusting the aperture and shutter speed. This is not a perfect method for all situations.
Most of the time, in Auto Exposure, shooting an interior room with windows will yield a decent exposure inside the house and an over exposed view outside the windows. The outside view is washed out, very light, or white.

As you may know there are two ways to control the amount of light using the camera.
a. Aperture Setting ( the amount of light the lens allows into the camera by changing the size of the lens aperture).
b. Exposure Time ( the amount of light entered into the camera by changing the shutter speed or time the lens is opened.

Solution: If your camera allows, take off Auto Exposure and use Manual Exposure (a feature found in higher end point and shoot cameras).
The goal is trying to balance the amount of light inside and outside the house.
When shooting a room where you want to see a good exposure thru the windows as well as the interior, wait till the light outside is low level or in the late afternoon and turn all the lights on inside the room to help match the level outside.
Use the flash to add to the light level inside if needed.
Set the initial shutter speed at 1/60 sec and aperture at f11. Take a test shot with the flash on. View the image. If you need more light inside the room, open up the aperture to f8 or f5.6. Doing this will allow the overall exposure to increase thus lighten the photo inside the room but also outside the window. If you are satisfied with the inside exposure but the outside is over exposed, then shorten the shutter speed to 1/125 or 1/250 of a second. This will cut down the ambient light (daylight as well as inside fluorescent, lamp bulbs, etc..). but will not effect the amount of light from the camera flash which is lighting up the inside of the room. Take the shot. View the image. Adjust your lens speed and aperture till you have balanced the outside and inside exposures. Remember for this type of photo, choose a time of day where light outside is low level because this will give you more room for exposure adjustment.

What about a Point and Shoot camera that does not have the Manual Exposure option?
Solution: Auto Exposure will try to set the proper exposure by automatically adjusting the aperture and shutter speed. This will usually create a washed out or over exposed view outside the window and decent exposure inside the room. For cameras that do not have a manual exposure option, there is not much you can do with the camera functions or modes in this case. However, if you can set the camera on a tripod, take 2 photos of the room (one proper exposure outside the window and the second for proper exposure inside the room), then using Photoshop (a graphics editing program), you can merge the two photos into one thus achieving the desired effect. I am assuming you have some basic knowledge of the tools in Photoshop.

Steps using Photoshop:
There are several methods to achieve the desired result. This is just one way.
1. Using Auto Mode We need to Trick the Camera. Set up the tripod and camera where you want to take the photo. Remove the camera from the tripod. Turn on all the lights in the room.
2. Go to the window and point the camera looking out. Make sure to fill the frame with the outside scene. Press the trigger on the camera halfway down and hold it halfway down in that position (we just made the camera take an exposure reading of the outside).

Walk back to the tripod.
3. Attach the camera to the tripod while still holding the trigger halfway down. Once the camera is mounted on the tripod, press the trigger all the way down to take the shot (we just took a shot of the room underexposed (dark) but outside the windows will have correct exposure).

4. With Camera in same position on the tripod, take another shot of room as you would normally (we just took a shot of the room with correct exposure but outside the windows will be overexposed (too light, washed out).

5. Open the two photos of the room in Photoshop. Select Under Exposed room photo (UEx).
6. Drag Correct Exposed room photo (CEx) into UEx which will create a layer above the under exposed photo. Close the Correct Exposed room Photoshop document.
7. You should now have one document opened with two layers. The background layer (UEx) and layer1 above it (CEx). Create a mask in layer1.
8. Click once on the mask in layer 1 to select it. Use the lasso tool (apply feather of 3 pixels to tool) to trace the outline of the windows.
9. Delete what is inside those traced selections. This will now reveal the windows (CEx) from the background layer below.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A`Question Open to All Real Estate Brokers, Agencies and Home Owners

In your opinion, What are the most important features and services you expect from a virtual tour?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

How to get the virtual tour into the hands of home buyers?

How to get the virtual tour into the hands of home buyers?
Answer: Get the link in as many hands as possible.
Online
Make sure the virtual tour is linked to your personal and brokerage websites. You will also want to get the tour on your local MLS and any other local website frequented by consumers and real estate agents. If you have any questions with linking, call our office: (910) 269-8533 or email: mail@a1virtualtours.
Print
Whenever your listing appears in print, the tour link should appear as well. Links should be found in flyers, newspaper ads, magazine ads, etc. Many people look for homes in newspapers or magazines. By simply placing the link in your printed materials, you not only direct people to your tour, but also to all of your other tours and to your personal website.
Signs
Make sure you have a sign in front of the property that directs passersby to the virtual tour. When driving by a property, a potential home buyer only gets to see what the outside of the house looks like. This gives them a chance to tour the inside as well.
Email
Email the link to all of your contacts. Request that they forward the link on to anyone they know that may be looking for a home. They can send it quickly using A1 Virtual Tours 'Mail to a Friend' button located on the tour.

Usually great results occur, when you actively promote your virtual tours in all of your marketing.