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Shooting Real Estate and Architecture - Equipment

Miguel Lecuona (miguellecuona)

Keywords: real_estate, architecture, miguellecuona, equipment

This is the first part of the series 5 Tips for Shooting Real Estate and Architecture

There are so many great photographers at Nikonians, it’s a bit daunting to think I might have anything new or interesting to offer this community regarding our shared passion. But we know that new photographers are coming into the market all the time, and experienced shooters may want to try their hand at different subjects. So with that, I am pleased to offer an occasional column here at Nikonians relating to what I am seeing through the lens, and discussing it with anyone who is interested. 

Are you a generalist or a specialist?  I love to shoot across many subjects.  Living in a small Texas Hill Country town, I earn my living across a great variety of projects.  I spend lots of time in the growing Texas wine industry, which creates a 4-seasons shooting calendar touching on Landscape, Event, Product, and Video.  Interacting with so many people has generated requests for weddings, engagements, and portraits.  Recent trips to Cuba and France remind me how rewarding travel photography is.  

Today, I will touch on shooting property in a thriving real estate market.  There’s plenty of property to shoot - custom homes, historic homes, commercial buildings, interiors, custom landscapes, vineyards, and ranches with ample wildlife. 

Sunrise over the estate vineyard at Hawk’s Shadow. Nikon D500; Nikkor 10-20mm F/4.5-5.6; ISO 500, 1/1600, F/6.3; Post processed in MacPhun Intensify CK
Click for an enlargement


I hope in the comments section you will offer some of your own advice to photographers in our community who are interested in mastering Property.  

With that, I offer a few tips for Real Estate and Architecture. 


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Small spelling error, RSS should be RRS. Otherwise excellent!

Miguel Lecuona (miguellecuona) on October 6, 2018

Awarded for his generous contributions to Nikonians Articles

Larry, thank you for the kind words. I hear you on the difficulty of breaking into the market. If they are all taking their own photos, they have too much time on their hands, and you have an opportunity to blow them away. Perhaps the next article on Composition will help in that regard. It should publish any day now. Maybe I can think about breaking in to this line of work in a future article, I have some ideas for that, too!

Larry CdeBaca (elcee) on October 3, 2018

Fellow Ribbon awarded for his sharing knowledge contributions to the community in addition to his words of encouragement for further advancement Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level of skill in several areas.

Nice series, can't wait to see more, Miguel! Your help is all well and good but it's hard to break into this industry. All the realtors I have asked tell me they take their own photos.

Miguel Lecuona (miguellecuona) on September 21, 2018

Awarded for his generous contributions to Nikonians Articles

Rick -- thank you for your comments and input. I have never shot the D4... as I have come up the Nikon curve from D70 now to D850, I had a belief that the flagship Nikons D3-4-5 were simply beyond what I could use to the fullest extent given the investment and my client base. I imagine once you use one, anything else must feel in some ways like a step down, regardless. MLS is a bit antiquated in their capabilities, they don't always maintain image fidelity, don't handle certain crop sizes - 16x9, pano-- these are presented with distortion and stretched imagery that is really frustrating for all involved, they need to get in to the current decade! Facebook can detect panos and spherical shots and automatically knows how to present them. So I shoot these crop factors anyway and try to support clients to move beyond MLS and present creative options that fully exploit all visual media. Especially for hi-value properties. I will host multi-media on my own Vimeo channel if that's what it takes to present the full property. I'm gonna talk more about the 14-24mm and also the 19mm T-S in the next column. I look forward to hearing more about your work when we get to lighting as that is particularly challenging for home interiors, and I am sure you have some things to offer on that topic!

Miguel Lecuona (miguellecuona) on September 21, 2018

Awarded for his generous contributions to Nikonians Articles

Thank you all for the kind words - Kent, David, Cheryl, Russell and Rick. Much appreciated and keep it coming! Russell in today's commercial market, we need to lead just to maintain our good clients and to earn new ones. I'm 56 years old so there's some level of experience I can offer overall, but from younger clients who have never known anything but digital and have grown up in the youtube world, multi-media is often a baseline expectation. I do try to price it in as an extra value and generally speaking am successful at that. But sometimes they are quite skilled on post-integration, and just want the files to do it themselves. So it can be case-by-case as to whether it's worth your time to pursue multi-media or not. Thankfully Nikon continues to evolve and provide advanced solutions that we can present of high quality and simplicity.

Rick Spehn (PSAGuy) on September 20, 2018

As an owner of a D850 and two D4's, I always default to the D4's because of one simple characteristic......smaller files. We think alike on use of the 14-24 for property photos....I love mine and it sure does the job. Although I shoot very few empty lots and acreage, I do shoot many custom home type properties. I have found that shooting with the D850 produces files not accepted or needed by the USA's MLS (multiple listing service). So I am always reducing them for upload anyway, and they take longer to process on my 2011 iMac. So the D4 gets the nod. So far my D850 has seen only use for landscapes....nothing more. I love the camera but mine is 7 months old and virtually brand new. I need to shoot it more !! Thanks for the article tho. Love the mods on the Land Rover !!! Very nice.

Russell Whittemore (rosewood_ltd) on September 20, 2018

Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017 Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level of skill in several areas. Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art a

A welcome, informative article, Miguel. I like how you have really distilled your kit down to the essentials. I think in the commercial setting, your suggestions regarding time lapse imaging are really excellent - it's a great way to leverage your technology and to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Cheryl Tadin (ctadin) on September 20, 2018

Thanks Miguel, I also am looking forward to your next section.

David Summers (dm1dave) on September 20, 2018

Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art a

Thank you for sharing Miguel. Looking forward to next sections.

Kent Lewis (nkcllewis) on September 19, 2018

Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017

Thank you Miguel! Kent in VA