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Author Topic: Architectural Photography--How to get paid?  (Read 13075 times)
fredjeang
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« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2011, 12:29:13 PM »
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Fred I was about to do the same edit this morning, but you beat me to it. It is fairly simple to clean up the color in post unless it is extreme.

But should you? Or how much? I would say that there is a difference between the needs/wants of designers vs. the consumer architectural market (shelter magazines, builder brochures etc.). The edit you offer IME would be preferred by design professionals because the colors are more correct and the clean modernist design is emphasized. But on the consumer side of the market warmth is oftentimes more desirable because of the emotions it evokes. Another viable edit therefore would be to maintain the warmth of the original while getting rid of the red cast on the interior and the green cast on the exterior.
You're correct Kirk.
I agree with your lines.
But that was not really what I wanted to invite the OP to look at. In fact the tones I choosed can be warmed. There are "arbitrary". What I did is a cleaning because of the casts and reflections on metal structures, on wood and walls etc...if you do a big zoom on the file you can see it.
with a cleaned file you have a "master 2" file ready for variations and you can give it the tones you want. This was the step I wanted to stress.
I agree that magazines aimed to buyers would like warmer tones.

It's true, I've hesitated to do that quick editing because it's delicate, it's not a critic section so I tried to be cautious on the spirit and in the end I think the OP may find something usefull. If not, well fine, I think I kept it in a constructive spirit. He presented himself as somebody who wants to make a step on that. I would never have done that otherwise.

Ps: I think I need to look at Photomatix seriously.

  
« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 12:43:31 PM by fredjeang » Logged
willconnor
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« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2011, 01:50:39 PM »
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Will, Much, much better!!  Here's a tip to get around a lot of interior lighting, purchase Photomatix and make wide brackets of each shot.  Blend the images together using the exposure fusion mode (H&S adjust), not tonemapping, and you'll end up with something much like what you see with your eyes.  Quite often that's all you'll need, if something is really dark I'll fill it in or if the light just really is boring I'll bring strobes in thru windows from outside which somewhat replicates natural light.  Don't show work that isn't finished either. Attached are some examples of working this way (Photomatix).  Jim

Jim,  Thanks-- all good advice, especially the part about not showing work that isn't finished!  I actually thought I was finished-- I just wasn't seeing it.  Thats why this feedback has been invaluable.  I've tried PMX some along with manual layer painting in PS.  Those examples are gorgeous, particularly the one in the aquarium.

Will
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willconnor
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« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2011, 02:26:41 PM »
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Fred and Kirk,  Thanks for the edit and comments.  Am I correct that the best strategy when you have mixed lighting, is to get the color temp globally optimized in raw and then selectively correct color in PS?    Or process  the file more than once for different temps and then combine?

I'll play around with the file and try to find what I feel is the best balance.  I do think, like Kirk suggests, that maintaing some warmth while  reducing color casts is worth trying.

Will
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Dennis Carbo
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« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2011, 03:20:45 PM »
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I think the exposure fusion mode is much better than the actual HDR function in Photomatix which i think tonemaps an image and usually it just looks a bit odd.  I use the exposure fusion too.  check out bracketeer as well...I actually prefer the results to Photomatix...closer to what you would get bu hand painting and masking.  I thinks it is MAC only though

D

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fredjeang
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« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2011, 04:03:53 PM »
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Fred and Kirk,  Thanks for the edit and comments.  Am I correct that the best strategy when you have mixed lighting, is to get the color temp globally optimized in raw and then selectively correct color in PS?    Or process  the file more than once for different temps and then combine?

I'll play around with the file and try to find what I feel is the best balance.  I do think, like Kirk suggests, that maintaing some warmth while  reducing color casts is worth trying.

Will
Hi will.

First and for most, thank you for your words. I must confess that I was not very sure about my editing folie without having asked permission and I'm happy to see that you understood the spirit.

About your question, there are several approaches. The good thing about PS is that it's like Rome. All the ways leads to the same goal.
In your image there where basically 2 kinds of dominance issues, magenta and green.

My personal view, thinking in a non automatized task, and let's say that the RAW overall tone that you want is done, I would look at things that way.
- Clean the original for all dust but also elements that can be distracting. (for ex the yellow seal, unless you want to keep it to indicate daily life)
then
- seeing the materials groups, for example the metal structures of the windows= 1 layer
- the wood, floor+top+chairs, another layer
- the walls, all the white, another layer
- exteriors, another layer.

Each layer might require different correction. You can choose to have for ex the metal warm, but it might have reflections that are different from the walls.

The good thing about working with layer is that you have a perfect flexibility. If you use the pen tool, don't forget to save the path (it's working path on default) once you closed it because you might need it.

I'm not very friendly of abusing the selective corrections after the raw stage, you will always have more precise results with the brush, but it's longuer. (as often, the longuer, the better). But this is not a rule and you will have to combine several techniques. I recommend if you want to go serious on that, that you train a lot with the pics you have. Trying different ways and you will get soon the tricks. The very good point is that this is your house so you can see what the materials really are.

The retouching I did was rather cold on purpose, it was kind of too neutral. But this has an advantage, it creates a clean Master for more advanced step and allows very easily to change tones or pushing a more advanced retouching if you need from a wealphy base.

If you check the Jim's interior pic, it's rather warm. But there is no dominance conflict, that's IMO the point to reach. Even the blueish reflection on the column warnish is ok because of the aperture in the center top. It belongs to the exterior that "enters" inside and it's geometrically distributed.

Check Jim's Blog, the works are particularly impressive and there are many arquitecture.

It seems a bit of work but it's not that much and in the end it saves a lot of time later because your client might want a slightly different tone, colder or warmer etc...

The ideal would be gaining experience in the shooting with the lightning so the pp stage is reduced. This is where the experienced arquitecture photographers make the big difference. This is the toughest and on that I'm not usefull at all.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 04:25:24 PM by fredjeang » Logged
David Eichler
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« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2011, 05:37:22 AM »
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I used to use Photomatix exposure  fusion a lot (yes, the current version). However, I find that luminosity masking gives me better results a lot of the time.

Any thoughts on this from experienced APs?
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haefnerphoto
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« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2011, 07:21:59 AM »
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I used to use Photomatix exposure  fusion a lot (yes, the current version). However, I find that luminosity masking gives me better results a lot of the time.

Any thoughts on this from experienced APs?

David, I'm not familiar with that technique, what is being done?  Jim
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2011, 09:35:08 AM »
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David, I use Tony Kuyper's Luminosity Masks quite extensively, but more to finish the tones in an HDR image. My workflow is to use Lightroom/Enfuse on a 3 exposure 2 stop bracket set of exposures. If the dynamic range in a scene can be controlled by that spread, I can quickly create a decent, very believable, HDR image that requires some minimal tweaks.
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ChristopherBarrett
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« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2011, 10:23:08 AM »
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Similar.... I use Photomatix to tame the contrast, which often yields an image that's a little too dark overall and lacks "oomph".  I'll drop that on top of my middle (good overall) exposure and copy the middle exposure to a mask on the HDR layer.  This usually lets the HDR through the areas that are blown in the middle exposure while masking back the midtones and shadows (where the base exposure is nicer looking).

I often then use Tony's masks to add contrast to the midtones and sometimes open the shadows.

Seems we've all independently arrived at similar workflows, heh.
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #29 on: March 17, 2011, 10:53:01 AM »
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Quote
Seems we've all independently arrived at similar workflows, heh.

Great minds.........
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David Eichler
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« Reply #30 on: March 17, 2011, 01:02:47 PM »
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David, I'm not familiar with that technique, what is being done?  Jim

James, you can find the basic technique for using a luminosity mask as a contrast reduction method in Katrin Eisemann's book on compositing and masking. Basic technique is one exposure for the shadows and one for the highlights. Layer together in Photoshop. Can put lighter exposure on top or the reverse, for different effects, depending on the subject. Create a luminosity selection from the bottom exposure and add a layer mask to the top layer using that selection. Either adjust opacity to taste or apply a curves or levels layer to the bottom layer, depending on whether the light or dark exposure is on top. For me, this method seems to deal well with the same kind of contrast range as exposure fusion. For larger contrast ranges, it is either Photomatix HDR tone mapping (not my preference for high quality work) or hand compositing (hand blending, as some call it).

I believe the Kuyper method with luminosity selections is intended for adjusting tonal separation in relatively narrow bands of tones. I have not tried it, but it would seem useful for recovering some of the tonal separation that is often lost with HDR techniques.

I would note, however, that Photomatix exposure fusion has the a nice side benefit of minimizing noise, perhaps less important now that Adobe's noise reduction is so good. Also, it has a decent anti-ghosting feature, but that doesn't always work.
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David Eichler
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« Reply #31 on: March 17, 2011, 01:51:15 PM »
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Similar.... I use Photomatix to tame the contrast, which often yields an image that's a little too dark overall and lacks "oomph".  I'll drop that on top of my middle (good overall) exposure and copy the middle exposure to a mask on the HDR layer.  This usually lets the HDR through the areas that are blown in the middle exposure while masking back the midtones and shadows (where the base exposure is nicer looking).

I often then use Tony's masks to add contrast to the midtones and sometimes open the shadows.

Seems we've all independently arrived at similar workflows, heh.
[/quote

Chris, when masking the HDR with the middle exposure, are you usually doing that by hand (that is, painting with a brush, cutting a pen path, etc.) or by some sort of "found" mask?
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ChristopherBarrett
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« Reply #32 on: March 17, 2011, 03:51:46 PM »
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David,
What I mean by masking the HDR level with the middle exposure is like this...

Say your base (middle) exposure is the background layer and the HDR image (created in Photomatix or whatever) is the layer above it.  Add an empty mask to the HDR layer, then select the background layer, copy the whole thing and paste it into the mask of the HDR layer.  What you end up with is a mask that only lets the bits of HDR through into the hilight areas, which is generally where you want it.  To soften the effect and blend them a little better I'll usually decrease the contrast of the mask (via levels).
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willconnor
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« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2011, 10:07:14 PM »
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How to Get Paid--Part Deux.

The aforementioned architect, who by the way, Kirk, I think might be old New Mexico buddies with the architect who low-balled you 25 years ago (just guesswork on my part), tells me his photographer, that he has worked with for years, will "do this work for me for 1-1.2K, and even finance it or take money in once published from the publishers."

I'm not sure I can translate this.  Is he saying his regular photog. will shoot a whole project for a low rate and then make it up later with direct payment from wherever it's published?  The Arch has already told me the monograph he's producing won't pay anything and the photographer bylines in the magazine he may have lined up, all have the photographers name followed by "courtesy of (architect)."  That sounds like the magazine's not paying anything either, no?   

The architect also seems to take offense at the concept of licensing the images...

It sounds to me like he's got his regular guy (who's done some very nice work for him) beat down and working for expenses and the fun of it... ?

   
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2011, 10:17:31 PM »
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The architect I was referring to passed away a few years ago. Over the years we reached an understanding that was very beneficial to both of us.

Personally there is no way I would work under the conditions he stated. It is basically working on speck. He is wanting his own usage for peanuts. Besides that since you are the owner of the building, he can't have it shot by anyone else without your approval. IMO you are in the drivers seat here.
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willconnor
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« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2011, 12:01:11 AM »
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Sorry, I was thinking of someone else that you've worked a lot with.

I think he managed to get his regular guy to work like this and so it has become his comfortable norm.
Because I didn't discuss any of this beforehand with him, I'll probably agree to license limited usage for
a similar amount to what he pays his regular guy, and be done with it.  If he tries to insist on unlimited
use, I won't go there.  His project will then fall into a black hole, photographically speaking, which will
drive him nuts...
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haefnerphoto
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« Reply #36 on: March 21, 2011, 08:54:33 AM »
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While this isn't the way I work with my clients, I have come across similar thinking from a very famous architect on the east coast.  For years he worked with one photographer who shot the projects at no cost to the architect and made his living from selling the images to Architectural Digest, etc.  I've priced out a couple of projects for them and while they don't expect me to work as they did with the previous photographer (who passed away)  I think they experienced "sticker shock" when my pricing came in.  I still contact them from time to time but so far no work has come my way.  Magazines here in Michigan pay virtually or actually nothing so I haven't been too aggressive in pursuing their business, does anyone know if Architectural Digest operates in a similar manner?  Thanks, Jim
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JoeKitchen
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« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2011, 10:21:21 AM »
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Besides that since you are the owner of the building, he can't have it shot by anyone else without your approval. IMO you are in the drivers seat here.
This is not necessarily true; some architects stipulate in their contracts that they are permitted to have the project documented by a photographer of their choice.  Now I do not think most architects would go there, point that out, and sue you for refusal to have it shot, but it is an option on their part.  
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 10:28:44 AM by JoeKitchen » Logged

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« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2011, 10:57:53 AM »
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This is not necessarily true; some architects stipulate in their contracts that they are permitted to have the project documented by a photographer of their choice.  Now I do not think most architects would go there, point that out, and sue you for refusal to have it shot, but it is an option on their part.  

You may be right about this as many architects end up in an adversarial relationship with their clients and this would guarantee their access.
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« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2011, 11:08:25 AM »
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Quote
I think it depends on the magazine, how well the photographer is at negotiating and who approaches who.  If you approach the magazine, they may look at it as insulting that you are trying to selling them something.  But if your client or a publicist convinces them of the value of the story for that publication, you may be in a better spot to get paid.  

Joe, I'm not sure how long you have been doing this, but IME you are wrong here. FWIW at last count-I quit counting a few years ago-I have had over 400 articles published. On nearly every shoot I send out queries to magazines and every year I sell many articles off of cold submissions. They are hungry for input and expect to pay the photographer if selected-HOWEVER when they are getting submittals from architect's PR people they often times assume that the architects own all rights and are offering the images for free to get into the magazine. There must be many architects who do offer this. My contracts are very clear about this because I have had so much experience with it. I have yet to have a story killed because I insisted on use fees, though in some circumstances the architect has antied up to cover the magazines fees because of their misleading pitch. I am not unreasonable or cutthroat about these fees-I have always been paid well upfront for the original shoot. Sometimes the fees on smaller magazines are nominal. But as I tell people "I don't need exposure, I need income".
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 11:16:58 AM by Kirk Gittings » Logged

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