Tag Archives: Video

New Course on Lynda.com

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The latest installment in a series of real estate photography courses I’m making with Lynda.com went live just a few days ago — this one has some pretty cool stuff in it!

This one is called “The Basics” and it’s coverage of an entire shoot, start to finish. I traveled down to Ojai California and we spent an entire week filming to get this 3+ hour video. In it, I take you through excruciating detail on the pre-shoot walkthrough, shooting the small easy rooms, shooting the more complex living room/family room, shooting the kitchen, and then the rear and front exteriors. There’s even a post-production video or two, showing what I did to re-touch some of the images.

Maybe the best part is the living room section, in which I made the same shot 3 times in a row — but with a stopwatch running each time. In the first go-through, I make a 60-second photo – this is the ultimate “Run-n-Gun” shot. Next, I pull everything back and re-shoot it, but with a more generous 5 minutes. And finally, I shoot the room but with a luxurious 15-minute clock running. I think it’s a pretty good example of just what the difference is between “Fast” and “Good”, and just what it is we do differently when we have more time. It’s worth noting that in my usual work, it’s not unusual to spend 2 hours on a single photo, and many photographers measure photo production in days, not minutes!

There are a couple more courses currently in the editing phase with Lynda, and we’re discussing future ones, so stay tuned.

Real Estate Photography Lighting with Lynda.com!

Lynda_ScreenShotA few months ago the Content & Production people at Lynda.com contacted me about producing videos for Real Estate photography. I’m pleased to announce today that we’ve sketched out a roadmap for a series of videos that will cover not only technique, but also touch on business and “back end” processes that are so important for making this stuff pay off — literally.

In October, I traveled down to Santa Barbara California and we filmed our first course, which was kind of a test run. We chose a very simple room and I used it to demonstrate what I called the “Basic Bedroom” lighting technique. If you’ve read my book or watched my comprehensive video series, you know this one – it’s the ultimate quick-n-dirty lighting technique for small rooms, and it’s nearly idiot-proof. I can shoot a bedroom using this technique pretty much with my eyes closed. The photo won’t be quite “magazine” quality, but it’ll be plenty “good enough” for a fast real estate environment. Future courses will be intended to show techniques for going beyond the “good enough” level and into “excellent”.

You can see the “trailer” for this video here, and if you’re a Lynda.com subscriber, the entire 42-minute course has been live for a few weeks.

Like I said, this was supposed to be the simplest of simple shots. Well….mother nature apparently wanted to take me down a notch, because what started out as an easy “beginner” shot turned into kind of a wild ride as the sun played tricks and the shoot dragged on longer than expected. In the end I got a photo although neither the process or the finished shot look much like what I had originally envisioned!

Such is the nature of location photography, though, and overall we felt confident enough to plan for more videos. We’re shooting again in April, and we’ve got several more courses in pre-planning so these will likely continue to trickle out through 2017. The next course, (working title: “Fundamentals”) will go into more detail on a more complex shot, and I’ll even demo what I would do differently if I had, for example, 5 minutes to make the photo, or 10 minutes, or 15 minutes (an extravagantly long time in the wild-and-wooly world of real estate photography — in my architectural work we normally expect to spend upwards of an hour on even a “simple” photograph, and two or three hours is not exceptional).

So, is this a replacement for the Lighting For Real Estate Photography video series, or for The Essentials of Lighting Interiors eBook?

No. To be sure, there’s overlap, but there’s no way we’re going to be able to cover the breadth of situations and techniques that are in LFRE and Lighting Essentials. Instead, in the Lynda.com videos, I’ll be going into greater detail on the shots we do show, and trying to address the WHY of what’s going on in addition to the WHAT and HOW. But if you want to see absolutely everything I know, albeit fairly quickly….get the full video series, and/or read the book. These videos on Lynda.com will be a very good companion to either of those products.

Watch this space for more info – and follow me on Facebook if you want to see what’s happening in my world day-to-day!

In Front of the Scenes Episode 1

Behind the Scenes Video

A few weeks ago, my longtime Photo Assistant Alan Vance brought some video equipment along and filmed me during an interior design shoot with Bleu Leman Design (Diane Leifer). He cut together this video showing the messy, weird, painstaking path we tread on our way to a finished shot.

Enjoy! And thanks Diane Leifer for agreeing to appear in this — and to Alan Vance for shooting and editing!

New Equipment Video

When I started shooting interiors, in 2006, I was doing it with a Canon 20D, a couple of Nikon SB-24s, and a homemade, fifty-foot sync cable. Those were the days!

UPDATE: www.the-digital-picture.com, a photography blog, has itemized the equipment I show, with link:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/News/News-Post.aspx?News=15016

Thanks, guys! We now return to the original blog post….

These days, the equipment roster has gotten a little bigger. You asked for it, here it is: the new, up-to-date equipment video. I tried to make it quick, but it’s 7 cases of stuff and then some, so get some popcorn and plan to settle in for about 17 minutes.

This is everything I use to create my photos. This gear comes with me on every job, from the little ones to the big ones (I never know what I’m going to need, so it all comes, every time.) We fly with it, drive with it, carry it up flights of stairs. Some jobs, all we use is a single strobe, or a small hotlight. Others, we empty every case and wish we had more.

This video was shot in my studio on a 5dMiii, and a Fuji X-100s. Took me a couple of tries, but I got through it with only one major gaffe and a couple of stutters. Enjoy!

 

Open Studio Madness

Wow – big turnout on Saturday night for the official opening of the new studio! And many thanks to many people for helping make it a reality — including but certainly not limited to: Nicole St. Lawrence, Mike Kelley, Wayne Capili, Scott Basile, and of course Alan Vance.

Here’s a video Mike shot — don’t  miss the awesome double rainbow near the end!

And a few photos from the night, courtesy Patti Chandler!

 

Lighting For Real Estate Photography Turns 26!!!

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Click to preview the opening video from the series!

 

 I allowed an anniversary to go by un-remarked earlier this year, but it’s better late than never: it was 26 months ago last Friday that we launched the groundbreaking Lighting For Real Estate Photography video series — which has become the benchmark for learning to light interiors for photographers all over the world.

I’m extremely proud of this series — filmmaker Malia Campbell and I worked for many months to produce something that would be truly practical and useful for working photographers. We didn’t want it to be just a “hey-look-how-awesome-I-am” piece but rather something that would have a solid, practical, and immediate effect on someone’s else’s work.

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This living room photo from high up in the Oakland, California hills has become the de facto “signature shot” of the entire series.

And the feedback we’ve gotten over the past two years tells me we accomplished this. I get emails almost every day like these:

“Hi Scott,
Just wanted to share with you a $7m home I photographed this past week.
Were it not for you, and your video course, I would have struggled to shoot this.
I’ve gone from Zero to Hero in the span of a few short months …thought you’d enjoy knowing the huge difference that you’ve made with this photographer.  Thank you.”

To everyone who has emailed me, Thank You. And thank you to everyone who just quietly bought the series, too. We went way out on a limb with this, with no guarantee of success, but I can say unequivocally, I’m very glad to have done it, if only to know that I’ve made some small impact to move photography forward a bit.

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Going over the storyboard and cutting fluff.

Make no mistake —  emails like the one above are incredibly gratifying. Compared with the top dollar that many instructional videos command, we’re a bargain at $175. Especially so when you consider the value of your own time — we worked VERY hard to make sure that there is no “fluff” in our series. You won’t hear me droning on and on, repeating myself (which I’m prone to doing; Malia was one harsh editor and forced me to stay on-topic). We carefully sketched out every episode to make sure that it was packed with solid, practical information and not a lot of blah blah blah. The most recent episodes (le Monde Réel) are free-form conversations between myself and other working photographers and are full of the inevitable “Uh’s” and “Umm’s” that come with everyday speech. But the rest of the episodes are tight — every second of footage has a purpose!

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This was one gnarly kitchen! Sunlight, black granite counters, lots of glass….my favorite episode is the one where we shoot this!

I think these videos are still as useful and solid as they were when we launched; even more so with the additional episodes that were added in later. They make a great companion to my book, which is in it’s second edition and which I’m equally proud of. One question I get asked a lot is whether it’s worthwhile to get both — e.g., is one different/better than the other?

I’ve never really known how to answer this; of course I think they’re both good and while there’s overlap, they present the material differently and go off in different directions at various points. The best resource I’ve seen was this discussion thread on Flickr, which I found illuminating.

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One of the more fun photos we did — playing with fire…

If you’ve seen both and have an opinion….do me a favor and chime in in the comments section! I’d love to hear your thoughts, and so would a lot of others!

 

Flipbook: 2013

A little later this year than last….but it’s ready! This edition of my annual flipbook contains images from 5 countries and more cities than I can remember.

Hope you like it!

Atlanta Lighting Workshops

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The photo above is one of two houses we have available to us in Alpharetta, a northern suburb of Atlanta, for what promises to be a terrific long weekend of interiors photo and video workshops.

With multiple workshops happening across Friday, Saturday & Sunday there will be a lot of people, a lot ideas, and no doubt more than a few beers quaffed — all in pursuit of better images (still, and motion).

Malia Campbell leads a filmmaking for real estate class that will be doing field work inside and outside on Friday, February 1st. Working with dSLR cameras, sliders, jibs, pico dollies and I don’t even know what else, Malia produces a video “portrait” of a house that’s elegant, pleasing to watch (no motion-sickness-inducing “walkthroughs”) and extremely popular with real estate agents.

Saturday, that group will be camped out somewhere in one of the houses with laptops, learning how to edit the footage together in Adobe Premeire: adding a soundtrack, effects, and creating a seamless, logical, relaxing video.

As for me, I’ll be teaching an “Advanced” lighting workshop (read: non-real estate) on Friday where we’ll be using strobes, hotlights, gels, cards, flags and pretty much every other thing to craft images that fully convey the feeling of a space. This workshop (one day) is geared towards a style of photography that’s slow and deliberate and highly detail-oriented – with no compromises.

Saturday and Sunday are my “regular” real estate photography workshops – speedlights, umbrellas, and enough technique to keep your head spinning for a few days.

More info? Go HERE.

San Francisco Workshop Recap

PFRE_SF_03Berkeley workshop, to be perfectly accurate, as we changed venues at the last minute to take advantage of a terrific bit of new construction by one of my favorite and longest-term clients, Dogtown Development. Designed by award-winning architect Matt Baran (also my client), this place was outstanding, with plenty of lines and angles, and just challenging enough to keep everyone on their toes.

We built the shot above towards the end of the first day, and liked it so much that we decided to step in and make a group photo out of it! More write-up, and LOTS of photos, click here!

Wood, Windows & Weflections – A New LFRE Video is Live!

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In the latest addition to the “Le Monde Réel” section of my 28-part video series “Lighting For Real Estate Photography”, we talk with Brandon, who shot a kitchen that I’d wager 95% of real estate photographers deal with on a regular basis.

We talk through the issues, how Brandon lit his (pretty darned good) photo, and then discuss different strategies that could have been employed in that situation. Good times, for lighting nerds.

If you’re already a subscriber to LFRE, then head back over and hit the “Le Monde Réel” link – you’ll find the new video at the bottom of the page. If you’re not a subscriber….get over there and register! Lots of good stuff waiting for you….

Wood, Windows & Weflections – A New LFRE Video is Live!

1395322_617764091613942_1555111238_n

In the latest addition to the “Le Monde Réel” section of my 28-part video series “Lighting For Real Estate Photography”, we talk with Brandon, who shot a kitchen that I’d wager 95% of real estate photographers deal with on a regular basis.

We talk through the issues, how Brandon lit his (pretty darned good) photo, and then discuss different strategies that could have been employed in that situation. Good times, for lighting nerds.

If you’re already a subscriber to LFRE, then head back over and hit the “Le Monde Réel” link – you’ll find the new video at the bottom of the page. If you’re not a subscriber….get over there and register! Lots of good stuff waiting for you….

What Does It Take To Make It?

Last March, when I was in Dubai with GPP, I had the chance to hang out a bit with Lee Morris and Patrick Hall, the duo behind the popular blog Fstoppers.com.

Lee and Patrick were attending as guests of GPP, and of course shooting a ton of video. They shot interviews with 8 of the 13 instructors and cut them together into the 15-minute collage above. You’ll have to hold out for the 9-minute mark to see me, but frankly it won’t be difficult — this is actually really good stuff to listen to. You’re getting career advice from the best: Heisler, Burnett, McNally, Hurley, Keatley, Arias & Hobby.

Enjoy!

Lighting For Real Estate Photography Updated Again

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Latest installment of “Le Monde Réel” went live this week — check it out at LightingForRealEstatePhotography.com!

Honestly, this was the one that I came very close to dropping from the series, because it just looked too damn hard. There’s no way that this shot doesn’t challenge even the most advanced lighting technician, but Sinead and I worked through it and came up with enough ideas to at least get something done. Lots of good stuff inside….if you’re a subscriber, let me know what you think of this one!

Le Monde Réel Marches On

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We’ve just gone live with the fourth new episode in the “Le Monde Réel” section of lightingforrealestatephotography.com.

We launched this section a few weeks ago, and new episodes are emerging from the editing process every week or ten days. Still two more to come! In them I conduct a live video chat with working photographers to discuss real-world “problem” photos they’ve sent me. We talk through the issues, propose solutions, I draw diagrams all over their lovely photos, and it’s a good time.

If you’re already a subscriber, head on over to LFRE.com and check ’em out – they’re pretty cool!

Lighting For Real Estate Photography Updated

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As I mentioned recently, there are 6 new episodes currently being added to the Lighting For Real Estate Video series, under the heading “Le Monde Réel”. We went live with “Rick” a couple of weeks ago, which covers a gnarly color cast situation, and more recently we released “Simon” – which deals with a bizarre reflection issue, and “Kristen” which addresses log homes and wood paneling.

Coming up next week is “Pat”, which centers on flash technique and photographer-induced shadows.

If you’re a subscriber, log into the site and look under the “Video” tab to find the “Le Monde Réel” link. That’ll take you to a new page with all three videos ready to play. And check back periodically — there are 3 more episodes in the editing phase as we speak, which will be released as they’re ready, about one every week to ten days.

Enjoy!

Le Monde Réel

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I’ve been working on a new set of videos to add on to the Lighting For Real Estate Photography series, and I’m happy to announce that we’re about to release the first one!

Last fall, I asked for submissions of “problem” images — photos that people found particularly challenging to compose and light. We got some great stuff, and out of those came the six new episodes we’re calling “Le Monde Reèl” (The Real World).

We’ll be releasing them one at a time, as they come out of the editing process. Look for the first one this Friday – April 5th! The rest will follow, about one every week or 10 days.

These are free-form discussions with the photographers themselves, in which we dissect the image, identify the challenges, and propose solutions to each specific problem. I think it’ll be a nice addition to the 22 episodes already up.

If you’re already a subscriber, you’ll be getting an email each time a new episode goes live. But I know half of you signed up with bogus emails, so I’ll be posting something here, too.  😉

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Flipbook: 2012

So I’m four weeks late. Sue me. But better late than never, here it is, the 2012 SHP Flipbook, featuring a cameo appearance by the Les Poulet Bunnies! It’s HD, so by all means play it large.

You can see the 2011 Flipbook here.

Enjoy!

I Talk Interiors With Frank Doorhof

My experience in Dubai last November was definitely enlivened by the presence of Frank Doorhof, the Dutch fashion photographer who was one  of my co-instructors at GPP FotoWeekend.

Frank is well-known from his many appearances at photography functions around the world as well as his Kelby Training and other online tutorials. He grabbed me one morning before my class started and we chatted for a few minutes. The video below is 75 minutes long and is a full-on documentary of Frank’s GPP experience — well worth watching but if you just want to see me gasping for words for 10 minutes or so, skip ahead to about the 14-minute mark.

Further on in the video are segments with Tony Corbell, Brook Shaden, and David Nightingale, all very much worth watching!

FStoppers Reviews Lighting For Real Estate Photography Video Series

 

Cool.

Mike Kelley (himself an accomplished interiors guy) reviewed my video series, Lighting For Real Estate Photography over at the always-fun blog FStoppers. Looks like we got a solid thumbs-up! Although Mike neglected to comment on my incredible on-camera poise and presence, and general good looks. I guess maybe he was just overwhelmed.

I hit FStoppers every day or so, for the great BTS vids they feature. And Mike (along with some of the other writers) keeps enough architectural/interiors material flowing through to make sure my attention doesn’t wander.

Read the review, HERE.

Find out details on the twenty-one now twenty-two part video series, HERE.