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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Looking for tips for photographing holiday accommodation

    Hi everyone

    We have a holiday apartment between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales that we opened this year. At the time of opening, we were in a bit of a hurry so I just took a selection of semi-adequate shots on a Canon IXUS.

    You can see them at

    I’m not really that happy with them as I don’t think they paint the accommodation in the best light, but they have kind of done the job for the time-being. Now I would like to look at upgrading the images.

    Recently, I bought a new DSLR – the Canon EOS 50D with the 17-85 lens. I am still learning with it, but am pleased with the results so far.

    I am going to have a go at doing some better shots later this week and am just looking for tips. For instance:

    Would I be best shooting in RAW? I normally just use the highest JPG setting…
    Do I need to use a tripod? I have an old one somewhere…
    Do I need to be using a different lens? A wider angle, perhaps? If so, any recommendations?
    Should I be using reflectors or additional light sources? Don’t have any so any recommendations welcome if it’s something I need…
    Should I be using HDR? Never done it before but willing to learn…

    My main concern is the main shot – the one with the balcony, the river, the bridge and, in the distance, the castle on the top of the hill. I want to show them all to their best in one shot, if I can, and am wondering if HDR is the best way to achieve that.

    I’m also considering ‘setting up’ rooms. Ideas so far are:

    Balcony table with bottle of Champagne in ice bucket and couple of glasses.
    Fresh flowers.
    Nice bowl of colourful fruit on one of the tables.
    Kitchen surface with a nice loaf of homemade bread on a chopping board, with knife and a couple of slices.
    Cafetiere with coffee, and cups, jug of milk, sugar, etc.

    - all things that will hopefully make the place look a bit more lived in, and give people a more welcoming/cosy impression.

    Any more ideas like this or any tips at all would be most welcome, and I’ll gladly report back with some new shots in due course…


  2. #2
    Senior Member freygr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Portland, OR, USA

    Re: Looking for tips for photographing holiday accommodation

    First, Yes you do need to use a tripod. 1) Take a shot with the correct exposure for inside the room. 2) Take a shot with the correct exposure for outside (window view), note don't move the camera between exposures. 3 merge the two exposures in Photoshop or other editing program.

    If you wish for a panorama or 3D interactive image you will need a panorama tripod attachment. The panorama 3D attachments can be costly $300 and up but the simple non-spherical panorama attachments start about $40. The reason you need a attachment is because of parallax, the nodule point of the lens must be centered over the pivot point of the tripod to prevent parallax problems during stitching the panorama. Objects in the foreground and background will not line up, it's not a problem most of the times in landscape/cityscape panoramas.

    Panorama Madness:

    Nikon D800, 50mm F1.4D AF, 16-35mm, 28-200mm & 70-300mm

  3. #3
    Senior Member Medley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Hillsboro, OR, USA

    Re: Looking for tips for photographing holiday accommodation

    Should you use HDR?

    Yeah, I think so. These shots are the result of a practice session using my own living room, but I now do freelance work for realtors. What keeps them coming back are the results (I guess, lol.)

    Use the widest angle lens you have- it gives the impression of more spaciousness. The 17-85 would be acceptable though, just use the 17mm end. Yes, shoot in Raw. If you can find one, get a remote trigger. The wired ones for Canon are about $20.00. If not, use the camera's timer. This will prevent you from shaking the camera while the shutter is open.

    Use a tripod, and keep the camera level, with the back of the camera parallel with the walls. This will prevent perspective distortion. While we're on the subject of distortion, let me point out the 'epic-fail' part of this image. I shot this basically from one corner of the room, using the sliding glass door as a center focal point. Now look at the junction where the walls and ceiling meet. See how the perspective looks off?

    There are three ways to fix that:

    The first, and easiest way is to set the camera up at the center of one wall, and choose a focal point in the center of the opposite wall, level with the camera.

    The second is to use a tilt-shift lens. This is a specialty lens that allows you to 'shift' the lens left or right, or 'tilt' it up or down, in relation to the camera body. This corrects for distortion, as it allows you to shoot from any angle, and still keep the back of the camera (the sensor plane, really) parallel with the subject. The lens has few uses outside of architecture photography, but you might see if you could rent one for your shoot.

    The third fix is Photoshop.

    Hope that helps,

    - Joe U.
    I have no intention of tiptoeing through life only to arrive safely at death.

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