Photography For Real Estate

Tips and techniques for real estate photography

Image Composition

Posted by larrylohrman on March 22, 2006


What’s wrong with this image? This is an image I shot this last week in a small living room with my wide-angle zoom cranked all the way out to 16mm.

While shooting, I completely missed the distracting angles that the lines in the ceiling make. This is a perfect example of how you have to be careful of all the vertical and horizontal lines when composing and framing a shot with a wide-angle lens because perspective is exaggerated. To me this shot gives the feeling there are too many angles. It feels like a room in a fun-house! The odd angle that the ceiling and ceiling tray make is a big distraction. That is, the strong angles in the ceiling draw your attention and detract from other more important features of the room. All the perspective lines converge to the corner to the right of the fireplace which is not the focal point of the room. Also, the vertical elements of the window are not completely parallel with the edge of the image. We live in a world in which all walls are perfectly vertical so when your eye picks up non-vertical wall it looks unusual and keeps traveling back to that part of the image.

The vertical lines in the window can easily be fixed in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements with the “Transform>Distort” feature. I always spend some time during photo editing making sure all verticals are in fact vertical. In the photo above it took a little more work to fix the angle problem in the ceiling. I think the photo below works better with all the crazy angles fixed. Notice where your eyes move in the photo below compared to the way the move in the photo above. I find when I look at the image above my eyes move around trying figure out what’s wrong where as in the one below my eyes easily settle on the fireplace and then move to the window.

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