THE MANSION JOURNAL
The initial call about photographing this property came from my wonderful client, The Garage Sale Luxury Auction House. This incredible company, founded by Alex Lambert, is a world leader in auctioning off multi-million dollar properties. The auctions are unique in that they are held at spectacular live auction events with no minimum reserve price.
My typical approach to almost any architectural photograph is to start with selecting the composition. I will move around a space with my camera, identify the best framing with an appropriate lens choice and then setup a tripod and lock that frame in place. From there I will capture a nice “base” exposure that relies only on the natural light available within the scene. Finally, I will then identify lighting “trouble spots” as well as creative lighting opportunities within the frame and work to either add or remove light as desired.
SPECS f/16, 13 second exposure, ISO 100, 14mm lens
I have never personally been a fan of the look of HDR (high dynamic range) images. However, occasionally I will shoot multiple exposures and/or lighting setups from the same angle and then manually composite some of the images together as layers in Photoshop. I find that this manual blending has a much more realistic appearance than an automated process of creating an HDR image through exposure bracketing.
SPECS f/8, 1/100 second exposure, ISO 100, 35mm lens
Another technique that I like to use on architectural photoshoots is one that was first experimented with in the late 1800s called “light painting.” This is the process of setting the camera on a long exposure (typically 30 seconds to 5 minutes) and then taking either a handheld strobe or a hot light and walking around a space lighting all of the elements of the scene individually. The only objects being exposed into the final photograph are simply those that have been illuminated. As long as I don’t illuminate myself, I am free to walk around the set lighting whatever I want and the camera will never “see” me. This technique can produce very interesting results but is often time-consuming and somewhat unpredictable.
SPECS f/8, 1 second exposure, ISO 100, 14mm lens
I am pleased to report that this 6500 square foot home was sold by The Garage Sale Luxury Auction House for a cool $4.7 million. Most importantly, the client was very happy with the photographic results.
SPECS f/11, 5 second exposure, ISO 200, 22mm lens