Need help with Architectural Photographing

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by dlhomesolutions, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. dlhomesolutions

    dlhomesolutions Mu-43 Veteran

    251
    Sep 30, 2013
    Peoria, IL
    Hi everyone,

    Could you please take a look at this Gallery and see what I am doing wrong.

    Camera - EM5 mk ii - Some with high res mode.

    These were taken with the 12-40 pro and the Samyang 7.5mm fisheye. It should be obvious which is which. These are all SOOC.

    I know the lighting was not idea, that was due to the time of day the client wanted the photos taken.

    The pics do not seem to look much better than my cell phone pics.

    Einstein Raws
     
  2. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Hi,

    1. Some of the pictures of the building do not look level, especially the ones starting around #...00025. This may be due to the wide perspective, I'm not certain.

    2. Most people are probably not used to a fisheye perspective, especially for commercial buildings. Consider shooting at more 'normal' lengths such as 17-25mm on your 12-40, and moving back further.
    If cars would be in the way, go back on a Sunday morning or whenever they're closed and the light is favorable.

    3. Lighting... Some pics look good one one side, but are too dark on another. If you can't improve the lighting, try Tone Mapping in LR, out even shooting HDR.
    Many pictures are backlit, which is always going to make the front of the building very dark. You could try adding flash and HDR, but it could be a lot of work.

    4. Composition...
    My experience photographing architecture is limited, but I usually find that if I'm not exactly centered and square, that I'm not happy with the result. That goes for corners too; try shooting the corners so that you're centered to the corner and both sides diverge at a similar angle (45 degrees each).
    You might also try standing on a step ladder or similar to avoid the receding roof. However, if you shoot square, you can adjust that perspective easily in post.

    BTW, I'm moving the thread to a different topic...
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
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  3. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    I agree with Barry. It seems like back lighting is the biggest issue. If this is sunrise, try shooting at Sunset or vice versa. If you are shooting the building, then you want the sun behind you. You could also try HDR if you can't shoot at a different time of day.

    Also, a little PP could probably bring up the shaded areas quite a bit. What do you have for PP?
     
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  4. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    What I believe you are doing wrong is

    1) Not understanding/articulating what your client wants - I am guessing he wants his building to look impressive/important/welcoming...that said I looked a little closer at what the building offers... now confused to what your brief was... promotion for the existing facility or real estate company wishing to sell the building? What is the 'story' you are trying to convey?

    2) Not getting close enough to the subject... forget about the fisheye.. thats for interiors if you have to use it, again it all depends on the intention of the project....again its about the 'story'

    3) Shooting when the light is in the wrong place.. I know you said the client asked for this time of day... but maybe he/she had a vision of their building lit up against a dramatic sunset...back to understanding the clients wishes

    4) Apparently having little sense of basic composition, of how to balance the relationship of the subject to the surroundings

    5) Oh and shoot on a weekend when there are no cars in the carpark :)...oops just saw Barry mentioned this

    sorry to be harsh but you did ask what you were doing wrong

    cheers

    K
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
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  5. dlhomesolutions

    dlhomesolutions Mu-43 Veteran

    251
    Sep 30, 2013
    Peoria, IL

    Oddly enough the client specifically asked for the parking lot to be full of cars, they specifically said it should be shot at this time of day as well.

    It's almost like they wanted the pictures to be horrible. It's just a simple shoot for insurance purposes. If it were high paying or for real estate I would have insisted on more creative control over the project.

    My specific concern is about image quality. I have successfully shot weddings, portraits and events and have had 100% client satisfaction and have been paid well for my services. This particular shoot though has me considering the limitations of the sensor perhaps? I don't know if it's a full frame issue or not. Even in my high res shots the image quality seems lackluster. I haven't shot outdoors much in winter though. Perhaps the grey skies and dead grass just make everything look drab.
     
  6. dlhomesolutions

    dlhomesolutions Mu-43 Veteran

    251
    Sep 30, 2013
    Peoria, IL

    I have lightroom and photoshop CC
     
  7. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    What Kevin said - plus... shoot raw, not SOOC JPEGs and learn how to use Lightroom or such like. Half the secret sauce of a good shot is the PP.
     
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  8. dlhomesolutions

    dlhomesolutions Mu-43 Veteran

    251
    Sep 30, 2013
    Peoria, IL

    All pics were taken in raw or raw high res mode
     
  9. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Ah, OK - but your first post said SOOC ?

    In that case, go back and:

    - push the shadows
    - pull the highlights
    - crush the blacks

    That will make a big difference.
     
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  10. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    It's a boring building blocked by a carpark full of cars, with too much backlighting. Did they want that time or did they want sunset? The ideal time for photographing subjects at sunset may be slightly different to what human eyes perceive.

    Secondly, you may need to back fill light on the building, I know real estate photographers who go crazy with speedlights and light paint their way around the building using multiple exposures just to get a well lit building during sunset.
     
  11. dlhomesolutions

    dlhomesolutions Mu-43 Veteran

    251
    Sep 30, 2013
    Peoria, IL
    SOOC stands for straight out of camera. Meaning I did not process in post.
     
  12. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Well, I guess it's how we define SOOC. I always thought it meant images that the camera created with its own JPEG engine. If you shoot raw, then by definition something else (e.g. Lightroom) is doing the tone curve, sharpening, NR, WB etc so I wouldn't use the term "SOOC". However, I've never seen a formal definition and I could be completely wrong (wouldn't be the first time ;)).
     
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  13. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Hmm something bothering me - what do YOU think is wrong with these exactly? In a HDR scene like this, why should a SOOC LDR image look better than a cell phone (other than if you're pixel peeping, or focal length differences)? The way that web gallery is presented means we can't actually look closely, it renders up resized JPEGS using what I'm guess is Adobe Default settings. What aperture and shutter speed where you using? How did you focus with the fisheye? I'm assuming you were on a tripod? The WB appears too cool for a sunset shot.

    If you're going to use a fisheye you will need to level it precisely in PP and at least do a partial defish into something with straight verticals (e.g. Panini). Most of the fisheye images do not present the building as the main focal point because the camera is too far away. This means you end up seeing mostly dead space (grass, blue sky), try and de-emphasise these areas with judicious cropping and PP, while lifting the building. I picked what I felt was the most compelling composition from the fisheye and tried to do what I just described in PP - very limited due to starting with a low resolution JPEG...

    324efba5d6a5d4060cfa1e0559751457epe.
     
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  14. John Strung

    John Strung Mu-43 Regular

    49
    Dec 20, 2016
    John Strung
    Very nice PP, WJiang!
     
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  15. Are you saying that you shot these in raw and turned them into JPEGs without any processing?

     
  16. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    It's some Adobe LR web thingamee that renders up previews of the RAWs. The intention may have been to share the RAWs but I don't know how to get at them...
     
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  17. dlhomesolutions

    dlhomesolutions Mu-43 Veteran

    251
    Sep 30, 2013
    Peoria, IL

    That's great work!

    I do pretty well with my pp. Like I said I have many clients for portraits, weddings, classic cars, and interior real estate. I have had zero complaints.

    My issue with this, which I did not want to start a debate , was actual raw image quality. Like am I getting enough detail from the images with m43 or do I need a larger sensor? I was not super impressed on this one with the high res images either, but I have many other high res images that I have taken that came out ok. I am considering the em 1.2 but I wanted to weigh my full frame options against it cost wise as well.

    I have no desire to switch from m43, but this shoot made me wonder if the weakness was in the sensor.

    I had a friend with a Sony a7rii send me some raw 40 mp files from his camera of a similar building. His pics had more detail because of the high mp but image quality really was similar.

    I think what it boils down to is lighting, composition and post processing, not a weakness in the camera.


    I think most of these were at f/6.3 or so, except the fisheye those were f/4 and f/8.

    Does this help you get a better idea of my concern?
     
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  18. dlhomesolutions

    dlhomesolutions Mu-43 Veteran

    251
    Sep 30, 2013
    Peoria, IL
    These are web previews of the raw files.
     
  19. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    I think that really is the confusion here... we couldn't see what you were seeing because we can only see the small previews of the RAWs :)
     
  20. But were there any adjustments made?