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Winter photography tips for estate agents

The bleak midwinter may be upon us, but now isn’t the time to hibernate.

With February just around the corner, we’re gearing up to the peak season for UK estate agency. Savvy sellers will start reaching out to estate agents very soon so over the next few months, your photography is both arguably the most crucial of the year, and the hardest to get right.  

Running your final photos through the PropertyBOX app is a bit of a no-brainer, as it removes snow and adds in blue skies for free. But in order to get the best photos, there are a few other things you need to know.

Don’t be tempted to use flash on a dull day

If your photos will be enhanced anyway, the most important lighting factor is getting an even distribution of the available light. Far better to have an overall darker shot that’s then enhanced by PropertyBOX, than to cause harsh shadows and glare from using a flash.

Get your aperture right

Focus can be more difficult on a gloomy day. For a crisp image, you’ll need a 'deep depth of field,' which means every part of the photo is in focus.

To achieve this, you’ll need a small aperture, which will in turn reduce the amount of light reaching the image sensor.

When you’re inside, use your camera on an aperture setting of f6.3- f7.1. You can use f5.6 in smaller houses and rooms. When you’re outside, set it to f8 or above, like f16.

Setting your ISO

The higher the ISO number, the more sensitive it is to light. Essentially, a higher ISO gives a brighter image.

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You might wonder why we wouldn’t just leave our ISO on the highest setting to get the brightest shot. That’s because the image can be grainy when it’s set on a particularly high ISO. Generally, we find using ISO 400-800 gets a light and airy shot on a dull day, without introducing any grain.

 

The perfect shutter speed for a dark day

The darker the day, the longer your shutter speed will need to be. At the very quickest, you should set your shutter speed to 1/60; though leaving it open longer at 1/8 or 1/4 will allow more light to distribute throughout the final image.

 

How to edit out snow, rain and puddles

Head merchandisers at Amazon liken online photography to a ‘virtual sales associate’ (read more here). Your photos play a crucial role in attracting attention online, but big puddles or piles of snow can detract from an otherwise welcoming external shot.

Learning how to use Photoshop or other software to remove them is the domain of the experts. Rather than spend hours learning how to do it, and then more hours actually doing it, drop them into PropertyBOX and they’ll come back to your inbox, without any sign of rain or snow.

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One last tip…

Always take an external photo as soon as you arrive, and another just as you leave. The light may have altered significantly in the 40 minutes or so you’re inside the house and this hack will make minimise the likelihood or a reshoot.

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