Thursday, October 18, 2012

Photo Of The Week

My favorite photo this week comes from a home in Burgundy Ridge. This house was so adorable and staged magazine perfect. A real estate photographer's dream!

The home's breakfast area
Breakfast Area

This home was such a pleasure to photograph with it's bright colors and white furnishings.  Having the home staged and ready to photograph when we arrive is such an important part of creating real estate photos or a  virtual tour that really market the home well.  We had the privilege of creating a virtual tour for this home while we were there.  Take a look at it below.  

If you are interested in seeing this home in person, you can find all the listing agent's contact info on this virtual tour version or here, on the flyer.

Got questions about virtual tours or photos for your listing?  Click here to contact us.  We would love to hear from you!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Video for Property Marketing

We have just completed a brand new video from one of the virtual tours we shot this week.  This lovely home is located in Stonebridge subdivision.  Stonebridge is an absolutely beautiful golf community in north Bossier City.

Why use video on property listings?

Reason 1:  YouTube's huge popularity provides a great additional source of exposure for property listings.  Everyone loves video!  It offers quick, easy to digest information without wading through lengthy text.  And virtual tours make awesome videos!

Reason 2:  The video link can be embedded in your own website, like above, providing an easy and familiar way for viewers to interact with your website and listings. And to make it even easier, we send the link to your video right along with the virtual tour links.

Reason 3:  But wait!  There's more!  The virtual tour is accessible right from the video page, which allows viewers to access all the information, maps, contact links and other great stuff that the virtual tour has to offer.

Reason 4:  Tours combined with video creates a well rounded marketing package that gives viewers the opportunity to interact with the property in the way that best suits them.  Which is a pretty awesome thing.

Please take a moment to check out the video above.  And, please, let us know if you have any questions about video for your listing or would like to place an order.

Got questions?  Click here!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Eeeekkkk! My Picture is Orange!

We have all seen them.  We have probably all taken them at one time or another.  Those pictures of the inside of a home that come out all orange, or those of the outside of the home that turn out all blue.  Now, I realize that it's fall and Halloween is just around the corner and orange is a big color for the season, but it is just plain scary when your photos turn out that color.  So, how to fix this little horror?

Kitchen photo with incandescent bulbs
This kitchen has mostly incandescent bulbs
White balance.  What is this 'white balance' you ask?  Without getting all technical about it, the simplest explanation is that light (sunlight, cloudy day light, incandescent and florescent light, those blasted squiggly bulbs) has different temperatures and different temps photograph different colors.  This is why interior photos have a tendency to turn out orange.  Incandescent lights are a very cool temperature and therefore photograph orange.

Think of a fire in your fireplace.  The hottest part of the flame is closest to the wood and is usually blue in color, but as the flame moves outward, away from the log, it turns to shades of yellow and finally orange at the tip where it is coolest.  Light color is much the same way.  The sun is an extremely hot light source and photographs blue while incandescent bulbs in your house are very cool and photograph orange.  Florescent light is sneaky because its color often depends on the type of gas in the bulb, but most commonly is either green or pink.

So, back to our original question, how to fix it?  Your camera has a setting called White Balance; this is where you want to go.  This setting tells your camera that it needs to adjust the color to compensate for an unusual situation.  Check your owners manual to determine exactly where to find it in your menu, but it should be relatively easy to get to.  In most newer cameras the auto setting is adequate, but there are occasions that it just doesn't get it, like when your photos turn orange or blue.  In this case, there are several options for choosing a white balance based on your conditions.  If you are inside and the room has incandescent bulbs, choose the incandescent setting, if the room has florescent bulbs, choose the florescent setting, etc.  Many cell phones even have some options now.  There will also be settings for outdoors on a sunny day or an overcast day, or for in the shade on a sunny day, as well as some other choices including an option for a custom setting.  Now, if you are serious about photography, then learning to take a custom white balance is important.  But for this post, lets just stick with the preset options.

Staircase with dominate natural light
This was lit with mostly natural light from the opposing windows
Here's the catch.  When you move from inside to outside, or the other way around, make sure you change your white balance back or your photo will turn out really scary!  Also, be aware of whether or not you flash is firing and how much.  Flash adds blue.

So, there you have it.  The fix is simple, just adjust the white balance setting in your camera and wow your friends with your deep photographic knowledge.  Then send them your copy of the picture, cause theirs turned out orange.

If you have questions, or want to know more about custom white balance, leave me a comment or send me a message and I will get back to you.  Hey, if there is enough interest, maybe I will even do a blog!

Check out the previous blog in this series on Digital Zoom.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Real Estate Photo of the Week

My favorite photo this week comes from a shoot of a townhome in Provenance subdivision in south Shreveport. This lovely upstairs master was very pretty in pink and overlooks the lake.

Master Bedroom
The door opens on the balcony overlooking the lake
If you have not been to Provenance, you have GOT to check it out!  It is so quaint and has the most wonderful atmosphere and shops.  You can also check out more of the photos from this shoot here.

Find out about photos for your property

Visit our virtual tour Gallery

Tips on preparing your home for photographing

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Photography Tricks and Treats

Fall is here.  The weather is finally cooling off and Halloween is just around the corner.  So in honor of the season we have decided to do a series of photography "Tricks" and Treats.  Yes, I know it is terribly cliche, but you get the point.  And it's Halloween, we have to be just a little bit cheesy.

So, to kick off our little series...

Trick #1 - Digital Zoom is Spooky

Don't use digital zoom.  Ever.  In fact, if your camera offers the option, turn it off.  Digital zoom is bad.  

You are probably wondering why I am so against digital zoom.  What did it ever do to me?  And what is it anyway?  Here's the skinny.  

First off, if you have a DSLR camera, you do not have digital zoom.  This little beastie only exists in point and shoot cameras and cell phones.  How do you know which type you have?  The easiest way to tell is this;  if you can remove and change out the lens, then you have a DSLR.  If not, you have a point and shoot.  Point and shoot lenses are fixed to the camera.  They may zoom in and out, but they do not come off.

DSLR Camera
DSLR Camera

Point and Shoot Camera
Point and Shoot Camera

There are two types of zoom for a point and shoot camera, optical and digital.  Optical zoom is where the elements in the camera lens move and work together to magnify the image.  Like a telescope or binoculars.  This type of zoom can produce a clear, crisp, sharp image.

Then, there is digital zoom.  This does not involve any moving parts or magnification, instead, the camera takes the image and blows it up to a larger size.  Thereby creating the effect of zooming in on a portion of the picture.  Like a cell phone camera.  Where optical zoom is clear and crisp; digital zoom results in fuzzy, blurry and often noisy images.  Blurry photos = badness.

So, how do you know which type of zoom you are using?  Most cameras will designate it with a little line or some type of indication on the bar that shows up on your screen to show how much you have zoomed.  Another way to tell is if your lens has quit moving, you have quit optically zooming and gone over to the digital side.  Don't go over to the digital side.  Use optical zoom and keep your photos crisp and clear.

That's it.  Digital zoom in a nutshell.  Or... pumpkin shell.  Yeah, yeah, I know.

Anyway, if you have questions or an idea for a future post let us know in the comments below or by contacting us.  We would like to hear your ideas!

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New Home Video

We have been busy creating new videos for our YouTube channel.  We just recently completed a new one for a client marketing a home in west Shreveport.  YouTube is just one more place that provides great online marketing exposure.

As it turns out, virtual tours make great videos.  Let us turn your virtual tour into a video to share on your site.  Whether on your own YouTube channel or on your website or FaceBook page, video is a wildly popular way to communicate online and get your message out.  Stop by our YouTube channel and take a look at some of the videos we have created from our tours.

Want to order a tour or video?  Click here!