Yellow to Green Grass in a heartbeat
It is winter time and once the lawns are no longer watered, they tend to yellow out, which really can detract from an otherwise great photo. Here is an example of ‘greened up’ grass, before and after. I typically will give attention to the grass and green it up if necessary.
I try to avoid saturating colors in shots of homes and commercial buildings as presenting a realistic photo is much better and acceptable than a photo that looks artistic or has the ‘overcooked’ look from being processed in software. However, when taking shots of surrounding features like golf courses, mountains and lakes, I think then it is OK to enhance the photo to capture attention. Today’s photo shoot in Broken Top illustrates my point. You be the judge. It was a cloudy day and starting snowing soon after this shot, so to be able to rescue an otherwise great scene, I think is perfectly acceptable.
In this shot, I enhanced the colors and greened up the yellow grass effectively providing a ‘summer’ shot.
I am compelled to post a photo from a recent shoot of a $1M+ home that is literally in the backyard of Smith Rocks. This home is offered for sale by Barb Meyers of Windermere Realty. Once again, without the views through the glass, a great photo becomes just a so-so photo. When listing high value properties, it should be extremely important for an agent to hire a professional photographer who has the skill set to bring clear window views as well as the correct white balance (colors) to the interiors.
With all the controversy regarding the commercial use of drones, potential fines and unwanted attention, I made the decision not to add a drone to my ‘camera bag’. I realize that others are using their drone to shoot expansive properties but it just doesn’t seem right to knowingly do what has not been allowed and hope not to get caught.
Instead, I have invested in a photography pole (not a cheap painter’s pole) and new mirrorless camera in order to take photos from nearly 20’ high, which incidentally often will mimic shots taken from a drone. I was so happy to have done that, when my first photo shoot after getting setup included the mountain range to the east, only visible when looking over the roof line.
If the front photo requires elevated photography, that will always be included in the photo shoot.
I am often asked to “do my magic” which is fun to hear and even more satisfying to ‘pull the rabbit out of the hat’ especially on a home that is a little worn. The two photos above show what the photo looks like straight out of my camera and what happens after the ‘magic’ is applied in software according to what looks good to me.
There is no substitute for professional level equipment as typically the camera and lens can achieve much better results and do things that you cannot do with consumer level equipment. As an example, shooting the front of a building or home requires including both ends of the building. For most lenses, that means standing out in the street so that you can capture the ends as well as the roofline of the home. Tilting your camera up to capture the roofline will work, but by the time the verticals are straightened, the cropping that is necessary chops off the ends of the home.
I shoot with a $2500 Tilt/Shift lens which enables me to capture the entire home without standing in the street, usually on the front lawn. It is simply magical. 50% of my results starts out in the field when I make the choice where to stand, what or what not to include in the photo, and getting the white balance and exposure correct.
The other 50% of my efforts happens in processing the photos on the computer. Shooting RAW means that the camera does nothing to the photo but take the picture, no processing, noise reduction or color adjustments. That is all done in software and has taken me many years to continually tweak and improve how I process photos. I continually strive to reach perfection for every photo, not one is every rushed through the process. After all, my quality of product is my reputation and if you do not have that, your business is slowly dying instead of growing. Thankfully, my business has been growing for 7 years now even after leaving Portland and starting over in Central Oregon.