I have spent many years, one way or another, dealing with property – from Commercial Property to Facilities Management. I am delighted now to also be photographing properties. For me interiors are particularly rewarding and at times, challenging. Composition is one aspect but this can be for nought if I have not managed the lighting. Balancing artificial light with natural light is tricky because they create different colour castes – they have different colour temperatures.
I often work for a local estate and lettings agency, PLM in Bolton. This allows me the opportunity to work with a variety of properties from modest to less modest! I have developed a “feel” for whether a property will photograph-well. This is often not just based upon the volume of space I have to work within but more about the characteristics of the space itself. Naturally if the vendor has put some effort into providing a tidy and uncluttered environment, it can be easier for me to see the wood for the trees. The most challenging shots are in new or unfurnished properties. These require potential buyers to use their own imaginations, something many of us simply can’t easily manage. As a real-estate photographer I work with my clients, Marilena and Alison, to attempt to create a “story” wherever possible.
One of my more recent clients, Gordon Moon Suites, has been refurbishing town-centre, above-retail, accommodation. I was invited to capture the sense of space and create stylish-images that supported “life-style” living in fully-inclusive, managed flats. Customers can rent these apartments for a weekend or longer and be located in the town-centre. As well as creating images that showed-off the space, it was important that I developed images that were practically informative i.e. they showed the scope and whereabouts of the flat’s facilities.
I find that in shooting interiors in general, taking the images from just above waist-height (about 1m high) works most effectively in providing a pleasing image. As I am using a Nikon 16-35mm f4 lens at the 16mm end of things, it is vital to keep the lens horizontal. Due to the characteristics of ultra-wide lenses any deviation from the horizontal, pointing up or down will cause the increased convergence of verticals. Often an unwanted look. A good tripod can help to ensure your shooting from the horizontal. Much of lens correction is now carried out in Lightroom or other editing suites.
Got to dash as, I am just off to take some more images with PLM……next time exteriors
Andrew Bovill Photography….lots has happened since the last post
It has been number of years since my last post. Over this time I have produced more images, developed a broader client-base and have tweaked my website. Improved exposure…to the market. All-good.
Whilst expensive equipment does not make a good photographer, a certain additional confidence is gained by knowing one’s kit is flexible, fit-for-purpose and more importantly, reliable. With this in mind, I have made some investment in photographic kit.
For instance, I have stepped into the world of Profoto lighting. With the system I have chosen, I now have some amazing and very portable, lighting solutions. No more trundling cumbersome “coffins” of slow-to-set-up, mains powered, lighting units with unrelenting soft-box modifiers. It’s now all about speed, agility and simplicity. This allows me to spend more time talking to my subjects and cajoling them into portrait Nirvana….or that’s the plan.
I have also added a Nikon D810 full-frame camera to my repertoire, allowing me more shooting-power. In addition to this, a superb Nikon 85mm f1.4 portrait lens and a Nikon 24-120mm f4 “Street-sweeper”, wide-tele zoom lens. The latter is a great little lens for weddings and “lifestyle” work. It allows me, seamlessly, to dash from group-shots to discreet reportage portraits, without changing lens.
With both Nikon and Canon investing in new mirror-less, full-frame cameras why did I not jump on this new, light-weight innovation? I considered the move but upon reflection decided that size and weight improvements offered no benefit to my style of photography. The new system is impressive. For Landscape photographers such as my pal Mike Prince Landscapes, humping heavy equipment up-hill and down-dale in the Lakes is a bind. He loves his super-light Nikon Z7 system!
Now that I am new and improved, I am looking forward to increasing my photographic appeal, in other words I am looking for more work.