Camera Settings & Modes to Use for Real Estate Photography
In this lesson, you're going to learn the basic settings. I recommend for real estate photography, everything is a starting point. Depending on your situation, you might need to adjust a little bit. But here are the basic rules of thumb that I would follow for your camera. You want to set it up to aperture priority mode, just a quick refresher. If you don't know what that means, it's a semiautomatic mode where you are telling your camera that you're going to lock down your aperture. Remember the aperture is the opening of your lens that lets in light. We're going to lock it down to F eight that gives us enough depth of field which we want in real estate photography to have most of your scene in focus you, especially with wide angle lenses, you'll generally get a lot in focus compared to like a more telephoto lens. But with a wide angle lens at F eight, most likely the whole room will be in focus, which is good. What that means is your camera is then going to use the shutter speed and i...
so and automatically adjust those to set exposure and get a generally exposed photo, we also want to lock down our iso depending on the camera, it might change how you do this. When you're on aperture priority mode. Sometimes within the settings, you can tell your camera I only want to go up to iso whatever you want 100 800. During any automatic mode. Other cameras, you can sort of manually set both settings. So an aperture and then manually set your iso to the lowest setting, which I would recommend. So ISO 100 if you can, some cameras, the lowest is 160 sometimes it's 200 whatever that lowest iso is for you set that and then it leaves the shutter speed to move around from 1/60 of a second to 1 2/1000 of a second to half a second to be able to expose your photo properly. Your exposure compensation is another important setting. So this is a setting. If you haven't played around with this, it's really key to use for real estate photography because what you're basically telling your camera, if you use that, normally it's set to zero and your camera is just going to get like a general exposure. But if you bump that exposure compensation up to like plus one, for example, it's forcing your camera to say that you want your photo to be brighter. And generally we want bright open airy photos with our real estate photography. And so I'll use that exposure compensation dial to force the camera to expose a brighter image that I like. Or if you're doing bracketing manually, you can adjust your exposure compensation up and down so that it will automatically expose like minus one exposure compensation, zero exposure compensation or plus one exposure compensation. That being said there's most cameras have an automatic bracketing mode which will do this automatically. I know this is a lot if you're kind of new to photography, but F eight aperture iso 100 then let your shutter speed go up and down to expose properly. In terms of shooting raw versus JPEG, I always use raw. I think you get more room for editing. Sometimes you don't even need to do bracketing when you're shooting raw because you have so much information there that you can bring up the shadows, you can bring down the highlights a bit. And so you don't need to worry about combining multiple images, but the file sizes are large. And if you're taking thousands of photos a week doing your job, then it can get quite daunting to be able to organize, manage all of those files. And to be honest with real estate photography, you could get away with J PGS. J PGS. For most new cameras are super high quality, you can still edit them. But I always err on the side of caution and I like shooting raw. But if you are using JPEG, make sure it's on the extra fine the largest file size resolution quality mode that your camera offers in terms of drive mode, drive mode is that setting where you're choosing things like setting a self timer, you're doing burst mode, those kinds of things, either you're just shooting a single photo or you're using bracketing mode. As I mentioned, bracketing mode generally is a setting where the camera will automatically take three photos, one exposure stop apart, one lower one at perfect exposure. And then one above and again, the reason to do that is in different situations, parts of an image parts of the room might be in more shadow or might be brighter and just taking one photo won't be able to get that dynamic range that range of exposures, right? And so you can take different exposures to be able to expose to the shadows, to expose to the brighter parts of a room. And then you can combine all of those photos in post production and it creates a nice evenly lit photo for focus mode set it to a wide mode. You can usually change the mode to be like a specific point, like a focus point. Like it'll be a little box that sometimes you can even move around with the joystick or the touchscreen on the back of your camera. And just having it in the center wide generally is the best option if you have it as a too small of a focus area. And you're accidentally like in the bottom left of the corner of the frame, it might focus on like a couch or something that's in the foreground of the frame rather than sort of what's in the middle, which is generally better. So what focus mode for white balance? I find that most cameras are great. Nowadays, I would just do auto unless you start to have issues, especially in rooms where you have really warm light from some ambient lights from the the room like lamps and then you also have exterior natural light coming in. That's really bright daylight temperature, different light temperatures. If that's being an issue for you, you might want to set your white balance manually. But I find that auto white balance is great. And if you're shooting in raw mode, you have so much room to be able to adjust the colors and match different frames because you can run into issues when you are doing what I'll again refer to and continuously remind you is the Flam Bent method of taking photos. It's a combination of flash and ambient photos. Combining those color temperatures from the flash from the ambient light can be a little bit problematic in situations if you're using auto mode, but I would just start on auto mode and adjust accordingly within your camera. There's often a setting to set a level and a grid. Often it's like a thirds grid that will have two lines vertically, two lines horizontally and this is very important because we want level straight photos and you can use that grid to be able to line up things in your image like a door frame, like a fireplace wall, like a window frame to be able to get those lines straight up and down, which is so key to real estate photography, sometimes this can be a little bit hard, especially if we're using a super wide angle lens, you get a little bit of warping on the edges of frame, but you can often fix that in post to some extent. So don't worry about that too much but try to get the best straight photo in camera as possible and using the thirds grid and the camera level is super key to doing that. All right. Thank you so much for watching this lesson. And the next one, we'll talk a little bit briefly about using a smartphone.