Photographing real estate

A friend asked if I can do some photos of an apartment so it can be listed for sale. I said yes -- how hard can it be? Like all things first-time, this too took longer than expected and had its share of challenges.

Some of the challenges and takeaways:
  1. Dusk. I expected that standard dusk photography was to get the nice deep blue sky and pretty all-lights-on long exposure for outside shots. What I realized was that the same trick applies to get a nice window outlook. Don't bother with HDR.
  2. Lens distortion. All lenses bend straight lines, especially wide ones. Short focal lengths are needed to get wide shots when photographing the inside of any typical room. The distortion can be fixed with software (lens distort filter). I remember reading a review of a classic wide architecture lens that also deals with this problem in analog, if you are lucky enough to acquire one. And then there are expected perspective distortions, showing as converging lines. This is traditionally dealt with by a tilt shift lens (or adapter), but nowadays in software. Taking care with when lining up the shot to minimize these distortions is worth the time.
  3. Small aperture, long exposure, natural light -- goes without saying. 
Here are my finished results.

Copyright 2012 Bob Newman