Interior and exterior architectural photos.
You want your marketing photos now but the weather doesn’t co-operate or you are still under construction what do you do?
Hire me. I provided 50 architectural photos for Ashton Woods homes in Atlanta when it rained for 2 days and then frost covered everything for the next 2 mornings. I got all the shots during the 4 production days scheduled. Then I spent a few days retouching. Aside from what I normally do, which is to remove the sales office and trap fence, I had to remove puddles, wet streets and cover bare trees and dead grass. The Photoshop terms are compositing, layering and masking.
For the images shown here I had to recreate the garage door which was mostly covered with bushes and bare tree branches. (There were no completed models of this elevation in the new community.) Once the landscaping was removed I had to redraw the rest of the door. Then the door was copied twice to cover the other garage entrances. I removed much of the landscaping and signs and added 2 driveways. I melted the frost off the roof by cloning good roof tiles. I removed the bare tree branches on the left and added leaves to a few trees in the background. I brought the dead grass back to life and added some new sod.
Retouching architectural photos is just one of the many photography services that I offer. I retouch portraits and product photos as well.
See more samples in the “Retouching” Gallery here.
We don’t live in a perfect world, so hire Trotto.
Before and after photos show the importance of advanced retouching skills, especially in bad weather.
It was the last day in Orlando and the sky kept getting darker. My client didn’t want the clouds, the signs, the trap fences, the construction or the sales offices. No problem. Can you add garage doors and driveways? Yup.
No lights were used in these photos. Most architectural interiors have a contrast range that is too wide for the CMOS sensors to capture in a single exposure. Extensive lighting equipment has been used for years. The new technique, called HDR (High Dynamic Range), uses digital technology and software to create the images, not lighting equipment. Now we bracket the exposures, taking as many as 11 photos to cover the brightness range of the interior scene. These photos are composited into one image that holds detail in all areas. However the image is flat and lacks saturation. This image is brought into Photoshop and enhanced using 7 – 10 adjustment layers to achieve the results you see here, a natural looking photograph. This technique is less intrusive on the property since there are no lights to set up and no cords for your customers/employees to trip over. It is the most cost effective way to standardize your brand across multiple markets. These are 2 of the 28 HDR images recently completed for Ashton Woods Homes in Austin, Texas.
Photoshop CS5 Extended is a powerful tool for photography and video. Some of the new features are huge time savers for retouchers. Other features greatly expand the creative capabilities for the working pro. I am thrilled to have another way to create photographic images properly formatted for a video or a DVD menu, and to create 3D graphics with animation to be exported to Final Cut Pro.
The Content -Aware feature allows us to delete an object from a photo and recreate the background in one move. This used to take much longer to re-draw the background manually.
Puppet Warp is a powerful tool and lots of fun to use as you can see in the basketball photo of my son, Justin (below). I can now bend an object with or without distortion, (i.e. I can reposition arms and legs).
Adobe Raw has improved controls to eliminate color and luminance noise in photos shot at high ISOs like indoor basketball and dusk architectural shots.
3D and Animation: I am most excited about creating 3D effects from text or objects. I can then animate the different layers in a PSD and even add camera moves. The files can be exported to Final Cut Pro. The cloud photo (above) is a still image pulled from the animation.
HDR Pro I have not used yet in CS 5 but I will try it soon. My 3 architectural shoots were done with Photomatix Pro for merging the bracketed exposures and tonemapping. I would then bring the flat image into Photoshop for curves adjustments and overall enhancing.
HDR photography is another miracle of digital imaging. HDR stands for high dynamic range. The digital sensors in cameras are limited to a narrow dynamic range (light to dark values). They cannot register the full luminance range that our eyes are capable of.
In architectural photography we have traditionally used lights to bring up the brightness of the dark areas. This required cases of equipment, cables and power packs and one-to-four hours to light most interiors. Those days are gone.
We now bracket the exposures, sometimes using as many as 11 photos to record the entire dynamic range of a scene from the dark mahogany wood furniture inside to the sunlit cool decking of the pool outside. We may use one light to bring out the texture in stone, brick or other materials. The software miraculously assembles the different exposures to render one image with all the detail. This image must then be brought into Photoshop and enhanced to produce the final, natural looking photo.
What does this mean to clients? We spend less time at the location and disrupt fewer people. We are not dragging cases of lighting equipment through the homes and office buildings. The time saved on location is spent on the computer to edit, assemble and enhance the many images it takes to create each final photograph.
What else does it mean to the clients. They love the natural look and feel of the interiors. This procedure also works on exterior dusk photos.
My production partner and teacher for HDR, Frank Salle, has many examples on his web site www.franksalle.com.