I’m fascinated by property photography. This private house reminds me of some outstanding works of Suzuki Architects or Stephen Kavanagh Architects. The cubical volumes and the symmetric shapes of this residence is ideal to try to experiment with perspective, geometrical viewpoint and highly graphical context.
The body of the house is developed around the big swimming pool. East and West wings together with the entrance on the South side frame it. The North side opens to a magnificent view of the valley below and the far mountain range.
The client’s need was to record the whole body of the property with the most definite possible approach. The evident problem with this property photography assignment arises from the total whiteness of walls and ceilings . If we do not correctly expose they merge easily in an indefinite continuum.
We started quite early in the morning and we managed to finish to photograph the main structure by early afternoon. The weather was overcast which in a way has been a great help. A strong sun light wouldn’t have helped since the high reflective power of the white walls. Also, I don’t like to have strong sun light intruding in the rooms when I shoot. The contrast is too strong, unpleasant and difficult to balance in post-production.
Property Photography Exteriors
As a personal rule when doing property photography, I always shoot exterior first in the early morning. This is because the color of the light is warm and soft. On this occasion, since the sky was overcast, it didn’t matter much. This led to complicated work on the post production to replace the gray and flat sky with a more vivid and energetic soft-blue sky. Nowadays there is software on the market that claims to be able to replace the background, including the sky, in a matter of a click. It might work sometimes. However, when it comes to perfectly balancing the color temperature, the tone and the intensity of a sky, nothing beats a well performed handmade replacement. This is what we did.
Property Photography Interiors
We did not have any problems with the interiors. Virtually no styling was necessary as the rooms were virtually empty. The big issue with any property photography is to balance the interior of a room with the exterior view. My rule is that the outdoor should be at least 1 f/stop brighter than the interior of the room, which is how we perceive reality. Sometimes it might be visually more appealing to have both interior and exterior with the same exposure value. This is in order to create the same view as having a big natural painting hanging on the wall.
Sunset shooting was just a breeze. The sky was simply perfect, with a few clouds to add excitement. We waited until that magic minute after sunset and just before dusk. At this time the intensity of natural light match perfectly the artificial light inside the houses and buildings and inside the swimming pools and gardens. During analog times the photographer had to be experienced enough to know which film type to use and wait patiently for the precise moment to shoot. Nowadays we shoot digital and we can do so much in post processing. The final result is always that fascinating soft and dreamy mood so much sought after.
To wrap up a great day of property photography the owner took us out for dinner to celebrate such a successful photo shooting.