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.

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)

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


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)

Another Side by Side Comparison

I like messing around with photos in Adobe Lightroom as a rule, actually. In this case I took it one step further and took this image into a program called Photomatix. Some people are offended by this as the photographer is seen to be ‘tampering’ with the original image. I am more interested in evoking emotions as opposed to adhering to some sort of code of conduct. Certainly a photographer should never (read more)