Photography For Real Estate

Tips and techniques for real estate photography

Stunning Interior Image By Thomas Bliss

Posted by larrylohrman on November 26, 2006

Thomas Bliss is an Architectural Photographer that works out of studios in Gig harbor, WA and Tucson, AZ. I’ve had a link to his site in the list of interior photographers along the right hand side of the blog. Thomas asked me to update the link I have to his site so I was looking through his galleries of images on his new site. I’ve been a fan of Thomas’s work for some time but I was particularly impressed with image #6 in his residential gallery. To see the full-size image on his site go to and hover over “Portfolios” and scroll down to “Residential”, then scroll forward to image 6/26.

I love how the fabric patterns are so bright and beautifully lit and the same time exterior is clear and dramatic with the wonderful blue color that occurs around 15 to 20 minutes before sunset. Anyone who’s tried to do a shot like this can appreciate the lighting skill that goes into an image like this.

I ask Thomas for some of the technical information on how he created this image and here’s what he said:

This image was the last shot of a very long hot day in Scottsdale Arizona for Interior Designer Carolyn Morrison. The shot took roughly one hour to set and light. Exterior hot-lights were set to shoot the pool area and palms, roughly 2500 watts. Interior lighting was accomplished using mono-block strobes with a 10 stop range. Strobes are used as gentle fill, and are stopped down to within about two stops of the exterior, shot bounced into 3′ silk umbrellas. Image capture was made with a Canon 1DS Mark II (16mp full frame) and a Canon 16-35mm lens. Whenever I shoot interiors I always shoot RAW tethered to a 17″ PowerBook. Its like having a 17″, 16 million color Polaroid. However easy I just made this sound, its not. Color balance, custom white balance, gels, dimmers, photo correct bulbs in the lamps all had to be carefully adjusted right up to the point where everything was in balance (in my opinion) and then when the light outside was right, we popped off about ten frames, and that was just the beginning. Next stop, post processing. In post, further color correction, perspective adjustments, sizing for the clients usage needs, unsharp mask, saving as 8-bit in both 300-dpi tiffs for print and jpgs for web use. Upload galleries and burn DVD’s for the client, and 12 hours later the client has final images.

Great work Thomas and thanks for sharing the details.

Of coarse in the typical real estate photography situation you are not going to have the time to put in to creating a single image as Thomas did here but I think it is instructive to understand what goes into a high quality image like this and what is possible.



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