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Behind the Shot – “Bridford”


If you have read my other articles on “Behind the Shot” you know that I like the shoot landscape photography but for this one, I will be jumping into the Real Estate Photography sector. The below photo was taken almost a year ago of an apartment community located in Greensboro, North Carolina called Hawthorne at Bridford. I was tasked to get a twilight/sunset photo that would be used on larger print material like book covers, billboards, etc but they only wanted a photo of the fireplace pavilion that was brand new. The fireplace pavilion was in the newly developed courtyard and it was flanked by the brand new apartments.

Getting the Shot
Before even heading out to the community, a bit of research had to be done. I had to figure out where and what time the sun was going to be setting so I can get the most vivid colors possible. Thankfully it was going to be setting in the direction and location I wanted because I had a composition in mind.

I arrived to the site about 45-minutes before sunset and got the equipment all set up. I placed my camera on the tripod and began to dial in my composition and settings.  About 10 minutes before sunset, the clouds started to break a bit to make way for the orange glow of the sun (which was pure luck). I started to snap a couple shots but after getting some from my current angle, I decided to change it up. I went to the opposite side of the pavilion and snapped a couple more. As I was getting the shots, I was checking the LCD screen and was thrilled how they were turning out.

Original Composition Before Switching to the Final Image Composition


Below is the final shot straight off camera. As you can see it was still a bit dark and because of the bright sky, a little bit of dynamic range was lost in the shadows. Because of this, I increased the exposure .5 stops, increased the shadows, vibrance, a bit of saturation and did my normal sharpening. As you can see, I also had to increase the white balance to make it warmer.

Straight off Camera (no Editing) – ISO 100, f/13, 1/100/sec Shutter Speed


Final Edited Image – Edited in Lightroom 5


I would say the most important part of this shoot was the research. Without that I would have not known the composition or which direction to shoot to get the most color. This was also the first major shoot with my Canon 6D and I would say it was a true success.