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Photography Question 
Matthew M. Sciortino
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/6/2007
 

Residential Architecture


I work for a residential architect in upstate NY and was approached by one of the builders to take pictures of some of his projects for him. The problem is that I've never taken any pictures like this before. I stick to nature photography. My question is how much to charge for photos if he likes them (I said I'd shoot some, and if he likes them, we'll go from there). Any feedback will help. Thanks a lot!


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12/5/2007 1:17:08 PM

 
Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  What does the architect expect? Pro shots? If so, you'll need a shift lens.


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12/5/2007 4:16:49 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Matt,

Architectural photography can be difficult. Sometimes it can be as difficult as action photography. A lot depends on the intended use. Pete's correct in asking what is expected. I work for a builder in my day job and look at the photos that are printed in the listing magazines and wonder what they were thinking when they took the picture. If the builder expects the same shots as a pro would shoot, say for Professional Builder magazine or the NAHB magazines, you're in for a major undertaking. I'll guarantee you the builder you are talking to has no idea what it costs to produce these types of shots.
You need to find out what his/her intended use is, how many are going to published, etc., before you can figure out how to charge.


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12/5/2007 4:35:16 PM

 
Matthew M. Sciortino
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/6/2007
  I don't think any of the shots will be for submitting to a publisher. He just realized that he has no pictures of any of his jobs so he has nothing to show prospective clients, short of taking them to the actual site. Basically, from my understanding, these shots will be portfolio pieces for the builder.


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12/6/2007 6:37:34 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Matt,
I can't help you with the pricing, but you will need to be careful when shooting these homes. I am sure you'll use a tripod. The camera needs to be level and pointed straight at the building you intend to photograph. If the lens is pointing the slightest bit up or down you stand a good chance of getting distortion. A zoom lens positioned a little further back may also help reduce the distortion, if your working space will allow for it.
As far as the charge for this goes, it more than likely should be on an hourly rate including your driving time to and from the sites you are to photograph.


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12/6/2007 10:38:04 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Hi Matt,
I think that architectural photography is the most technically demanding work that you can do. The goal is to use strobes to raise the shadow values giving you an image that shows all aspects of a room. I usually use 2 to 5 strobes for this. I use Norman 200B strobes to do this much of the time. You can do this with the HDR feature in Photoshop. I donít think this works as well as using strobes does, but you may not have strobes. Richard Lynch (another instructor here at BetterPhoto) and I have an article in Photo Techniques magazine in January. It describes some of the differences between using strobes and fixing the job in Photoshop.
You can see another article about shooting interiors at my Web site, www.siskinphoto.com. The direct link is www.siskinphoto.com/magazine2c.html.


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12/7/2007 6:42:22 PM

 
Gary Pope
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/17/2006
  I am an Architect, and have accompanied professional Architectural Photographers on site. It is a major job to do professional quality work.
However, if it is just to share with clients in brochures or on a webpage, excellent results can be done with a regular camera. First use the widest angle lens you have (28mm equivalent or wider is best), use a tripod and bracket, and RAW is best. Perspective control is possible in Photoshop for correcting keystoning (vertical) and for adjusting the "swing" (horizontal) perspective. Combining different exposures will allow you to expand the dynamic range. Pay attention to lighting, and juxtaposition of elements.


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12/11/2007 11:29:37 AM

 
Matthew M. Sciortino
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/6/2007
 
 
 
Well I finally did the architectural shoot for the builder I was talking about - hopefully more to come. Here are a couple of the shots. You can see more in my gallery.


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8/12/2008 6:39:33 AM

 
Matthew M. Sciortino
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/6/2007
 
 
 
Well I finally did the architectural shoot for the builder I was talking about - hopefully more to come. Some of the shots I took can be seen in my gallery. I'll take any criticism you may have. Thanks


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8/12/2008 6:40:34 AM

 
Matthew M. Sciortino
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/6/2007
  Well I finally did the architectural shoot for the builder I was talking about - hopefully more to come. Some of the shots I took can be seen in my gallery. I'll take any criticism you may have. Thanks


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8/12/2008 6:40:42 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Hi Matthew,
I think the light on your images worked out reasonably well. I think you need a wider angle lens, cutting off the bottoms of chair, columns and tables doesnít work for me.
Thanks, John Siskin


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8/12/2008 10:40:07 AM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  I agree with John. The lighting is great, but you need to go wider on angle. For indoor shots, I've never used a shift lens. The shift lens is designed to shoot in areas where perspective distortion is a major problem. The best use of the shift lens in architecture is for shooting skyscrapers. When shooting skyscrapers, the lens will cause the buildings to look like they are bending, or bowing in. An adjustment or two on a shift lens will give you a frame with buildings standing straight and tall. In the type of photography you are doing, a wider angle lens may distort the corners of the rooms slightly, but I don't feel that the loss of perspective will be as detrimental as losing a stairwell.

Have fun and keep shooting,
Mark H.


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8/14/2008 10:44:20 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
 
 
  Hand Made Superwide Camera
Hand Made Superwide Camera
This camera uses a Nikkor 28mm Perspective Contol Lens and shoots onto 120 film. Covers about 110ļ!
© John H. Siskin
john-siskin.com
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
 
 
Hi Mark,
I own the 28mm PC from Nikon, but I donít find it useful. First it is not nearly as wide as I would like. Photoshop gives adequate perspective control, after the shot. So in camera control is not as important as it was with film. I use an 18mm on a full frame digital camera, and I often wish it was a little wider. I most often use the PC for a super-wide camera I built.
Thanks, John Siskin


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8/14/2008 11:01:32 AM

 
Matthew M. Sciortino
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/6/2007
  Thanks John & Mark. I agree that a wide angle lens would be a good choice. I can't afford it right now but its on my wish list.


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8/14/2008 11:01:56 AM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  Glad to be of help Matt. John, this is my point exactly. Except for very tall buildings (I used to live in Chicago), My shift lens has lived it's life in the closet. It's fun to play with once in a while, but I don't use it often enough to have even earned my money back from it.I use a 19-35mm on my old Minolta for most of my indoor work. It works very well. the perspective tradeoff is a small price to pay when the captured detail is viewed.


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8/14/2008 11:16:24 AM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  Btw Matt, once you've decided on the lens you want, Try ebay. I've gotten many great lenses there for next to nothing.


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8/14/2008 11:18:44 AM

 
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