Realty Reality

Now that my title skills are approaching genius level, I have taken to coming up with titles first and then making the content match it. That may seem like something that a sane person should not do, and you would be correct but here we go anyway.

Years ago I imagined myself as an accomplished real estate photographer who would dash in and out of homes with my camera flailing around my neck with a ‘devil-may-care’ attitude. Certainly these photographers travel in lofty circles while in the suburbia at one moment and the next at the penthouse of the rich and famous. I studied the photos on websites to see if I could reverse engineer what they had done. The biggest lesson I learned was that the photos all had amazing lighting usually created with multiple flashes all triggered at the same time. Lately I have noticed a different effect that can be traced to a software solution.

For your perusal, I offer up the following five images taken consecutively and with different exposures.

The first image is ‘correctly exposed’ if you let the camera do all the thinking. The others are underexposed to reveal the world outside the window. If you are selling a house and there happens to be something nice outside the window, it is best to show it off. When I stood at this window, my eyes made all the glorious computations necessary for me to see the inside and outside at the same time without blowing out any information. Notice the first image has nothing in the window whereas the last 2 or 3 contain that information but the inside of the room is left in the dark.

Using special software, I blend all the images together and manipulate the various controls available. I especially alter the tone to make the images warmer. This is partly due to the camera which records the image faithfully and my own personal preference. I’m guessing that others like houses looking warm too.

Below I demonstrate the result.




















Check out some real estate websites that are showing million-dollar-plus homes and see how these houses are faithfully displayed as your own eye would see it. It sells homes.

Colour Collusion

Sometimes I produce a title that is so amazing and comes so quickly it astounds even me. I was thinking this week that I should hire someone to write titles for me when I’m not feeling the creativity flowing but after this blog post I think I have my mojo back again.

Too much yellow here you say?? You may recall the blog post “Rodeo Ropin’ ” where I pulled back the yellow in the Wrangler sign as I felt it was taking attention away from central focus of the image. Here there seems to be a lot of yellow – pollen and petals (I’m on fire!!) team up against the dark bits of bees and seeds and the green slice of background which is there thankfully to help balance it out.

Bee Taking a Break

It could be just me but I feel like bees always have a stern countenance and are sending me signals as I encroach into their personal space. That is what makes us wary of them.

Time for a vote again.

Does this photo have too much yellow in it?

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Fire, fire, fire

This may sound like a call to arms but it’s more about repeating the same word three times for effect and because I am not bright enough to make a catchy title. It’s also about the subject of the blog post today: fire. As in real fire. The kind that can burn you.

This photo was taken handheld near Gull Lake, Alberta during a campfire moment as you may see. In the background the dark, deciduous forest seems to say (read more)

Takakkaw Falls – Out of the Ordinary

I may have read a book or two about photography and I wish it would all stick in my brain. The only thing that really ‘took’ however was a photographer buddy telling me about his schtick. He said that he was known for low angle shots and for sure he was a pretty agile dude so it wasn’t a stretch for me to imagine that. With that in mind and on our way back home driving through British Columbia, we decided to stop at Takakkaw Falls. I had never been there as a kid, it was just a sign that we whizzed past. Before you take a close look at my photo do a Google search for Takakkaw Falls and see what turns up. I did and you will only see Continue reading Takakkaw Falls – Out of the Ordinary

Flower Focus

When the depth of field is very short, the focus becomes critical. Are the eyes of the person sharp, is the right thing in focus? This post has to do with the main theme or focus of the image itself. I include this photo today because for me, it lacks focus. Not that I dislike it because I really enjoy the interplay of colours, the sharpness of the very center, and the narrow depth of field. If my memory serves me correctly, Continue reading Flower Focus

RCMP Motorcycle

Sometimes, in fact many times, simplicity can be the photographers greatest ally. I was drawn to this RCMP motorcycle one hot Canada Day because of some elements that really caught my eye. The colours aren’t specific to these Harley Davidson machines as you will find them on all the police vehicles but I liked the shape of the gas tank and how the stripes went off into the distance. I used a large aperture (small number!) to minimize the depth of field and placed the bison head logo right in the middle of it. The seat adds some shape to the left side of the frame creating a sense of the pocket where the rider sits. In honesty, the one thing that bothers me about this photo is Continue reading RCMP Motorcycle

Super Voracious

I have known for a few years that ladybugs (lady birds, lady beetles) are great to have around during the summer as they have a great appetite for aphids which are fairly irritating in large numbers. What I didn’t know was that a certain species was introduced to Canada from Asia in the 70’s to control aphids and other crop eating insects. In my mind this makes it one of the few success stories for this sort of tampering with nature. It’s possible that there are many other success stories but I suppose we only hear about the ones that become invasive and a nuisance.

If you can trust birds at all, Continue reading Super Voracious

Rodeo Ropin’

If only I had shot this photo in Rimbey or Redwater I could have a nice stream of alliteration for the post title but I took this at the Strathmore Rodeo. There was only one day in my life that I went to the rodeo with the ‘big gun’ (large camera with long lens) and I sure came away with some images that I really like. In the post “Great Places” I had found a comfy spot to shoot from and what was interesting was that there wasn’t just one place to be, one had to move around for each event. The barrel racing location wasn’t necessarily as good for calf roping, for example. It was certainly fun to watch the other photographers jockey around the fence poking their long lenses through the rusty bars trying to create something.

I found out that day that I should probably start some Continue reading Rodeo Ropin’


Perspective in photography usually means changing your position to gain a new image which perhaps shows the view that someone or something else might have. It may also show a distorted image where it looks like the observer is inside a bubble like when a real estate photographer wants to make a room look larger and the distortion looks unreal and manipulative.

I’m thinking about a different definition of perspective with this blog post and it has to do with (read more)

The Best Camera (apparently) is the one with you.

I took this photo on December 27, 2008 well before I decided to take photography more seriously. The reason I point that out is that this photo is taken with a Nikon D80 which was categorized in its day as a ‘pro-sumer’ or advanced amateur quality. Regardless of how it was perceived, it could take pretty good photos when the light was in your favor. It had the DX sensor which was a step below the full frame FX which I now use in two different bodies.

I submitted it to the Strathmore Times shortly after taking it and they (read more)