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.
SPECS f/16, 13 second exposure, ISO 100, 14mm lens
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/8, 1/100 second exposure, ISO 100, 35mm 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 second exposure, ISO 100, 14mm 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/11, 5 second exposure, ISO 200, 22mm 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.