Dealing with "mixed light"

Ok, so I'm going to do my best not to get excessively nerdy here, but I thought that this was a topic worth mentioning, so bear with me. Many times we walk into a situation like the photo below (completely unedited raw file)

Mixed Light

Nice entry way, but it is plagued by a photographer's worst nightmare... MIXED LIGHT. Let's put our science hats on and talk about why this is problematic. Some super smart person figured out that different light sources put off different color temperatures. For example, the "soft white" incandescent in the family room gives off a distinctly warm yellow glow, which measures at roughly 2700 Kelvin:

Incadescent Light

The daylight coming in from the windows/ front door measures at about 5000 Kelvin.

 Daylight

Daylight

The fluorescent bulb in the bathroom measures at 4300 Kelvin and has a distinctly green tint.

Fluorescent light

And finally, the halogen in the hallway measures roughly 3200 Kelvin.

 Halogen Light

Halogen Light

Looks a little yucky in pictures right? Notice the green looking walls (paint color is actually taupe), the blue, green, and yellow trim... So what do we do about it? In real life, we don't expect homeowners to be researching the color temperature of the bulbs they're buying, and there isn't a way to compensate for it "in-camera", so it is up to us in post production, to fix it. Conveniently, most folks have white trim in their homes which act as a benchmark for accurate color. If white looks white, we have done a good job. Unfortunately, getting there isn't as easy as it looks.

Below is an example if we were to color correct the whole picture for Incandescent lighting.

 Whole shot adjusted for incandescent light

Whole shot adjusted for incandescent light

Incandescent Edited-1.jpg

Notice how the living room looks great. White trim looks white. However everything else in the image looks kinda poopy. The taupe walls look like a mix of blue and green. This doesn't give potential buyers the right impression of the space. So next, we could try sucking all of the blue and green out of the image, theoretically leaving the pretty living room looking good, and the blue and green walls returning to a normal color. Check out the next image below:

 Incandescent color balance with blue and green removed from image.

Incandescent color balance with blue and green removed from image.

The blue and green are gone, but now the walls look grey and lifeless. You will notice that the kitchen in the top right hand corner of the image must have had soft white incandescent bulbs as well because the white cabinets look white. 

Next, let's try doing it the right (yet hard) way. Using a series of brush techniques we will attempt to balance the color throughout the 4 different areas. Here is what the finished product looks like:

Room adjusted with color temperature brushes. 

 Original Image

Original Image

As you can see, it's by no means a perfect image, but it does give potential buyers a more accurate view of what the space looks like. The doors and trim look white, the walls look taupe. 

Talk to you all soon :) 

Trends

This entry is pretty open ended... Even though we try to stay on top of technology and trends, we don't always have the edge on what is coming in the real estate market. We largely look to our community of agents to let us know what they are needing to stay competitive. Like we've said a hundred times, it's tough for us to be successful if we don't make the agents we're shooting for sell more homes. So it's our goal to adopt whatever trend/ technique/ technology is going to give you the edge when selling your property. 

Next week we will be receiving our Glidecam X-10 vest which will drastically improve our video walkthrough stability and about 3 months ago we purchased a Sony A7S II so that we can shoot even higher resolution and in low light conditions. 

What kind of trends are you seeing? Not just on the equipment side, but the style side as well. We would love to hear what we can be doing to help us both be more successful.

Hi!

Hey all! I wanted to take a minute to tell you a bit more about Justin and I, in a slightly more informal way. We are full time photographers and have been for the past 8 years.

 Justin and Cory

Justin and Cory

 Heather and I

Heather and I

I started my business Life in Letters Gallery when I was 20 and moved to a storefront when I was 21. It was my first foray into business, and quite a learning experience. I learned what it was to work directly with the public, hire employees, and turn a profit. Needless to say it wasn't a perfect path towards success, but it gave me tons of tools and experience that I use today. I have a wife, a 4 year old daughter and a son due in May of 2017. My wife is also self employed with her own Pilates and Wellness studio, so needless to say our lives are pretty busy :) 

 Justin

Justin

 

Justin has been shooting for over a decade, hailing from the classrooms of the Ohio Institute of Photography and Technology, and is a movie trivia expert. He shoots a variety of subjects including portraits, weddings, commercials, and of course, real estate. He's my right hand man, shooting most of the homes while I keep the gig organized. 

If we're being completely forthright, LOTS of people take nice photos. Lot's of people can fix computers. Lots of people can sell real estate, but at the end of the day, we choose to work with certain people because they are pleasant, experts, funny, "inset adjective here". There is an x-factor that makes them more desirable than the competitor. We hope that it's our cordiality that makes us worth it. You don't have to worry about a disgruntled teenager showing up to your homeowners house, and you can trust that if you have a problem, we are going to do our darnedest to fix it. We're firm believers in knowing who we are working with, so get in touch with us. Even if it's just for a chat. The better we know you, the better we can serve you. 

Cheers,

Cory