Last week, I signed up for a webinar on photographic techniques that I was curious about. I teach a course on photography for real estate and was interested in seeing if there was something outstanding or current that I was missing.
The course was taught by a fellow whom I admire (no names here, I don't wish to embarrass anyone). He has a good style of delivery and is very personable. He's a competent instructor and I had confidence that the one-hour online webinar would be worth viewing.
Everything was fine, as they say, until the curtain went up.
The WebEx webinar format doesn't always work so well, and that was certainly the case this time. I had audio, but no video, for the first twenty minutes of the webinar. During the first one-third of the class, I was instructed to log in again, and was told the video would work. I logged in again and again, and the video component of the webinar finally did appear.
The course was very basic. Attendees were surveyed during the course to see if they had any prior experience with Picasa, PhotoStory, SnagIt, Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. From the surveys, the picture emerged indicating that seven to ten percent of the class (around 121 logged in) had used those techniques and software programs in the past. I knew early on that there wasn't going to be anything new or earthshaking offered in this webinar.
Things got worse. At no point in the entire webinar did the instructor mention the merits of using a tripod. The brief discussion about "what camera to buy" was glib and basic. There was no discussion on the merits of point-and-shoot cameras vs. digital SLRs. There was no discussion about full-frame sensors in SLRs or the effects of crop factor in cameras without full-frame capability. And there was no mention of panoramic photography or photo stitching.
Most real estate agents could use a good lesson on how to compose a shot, but there was nothing about that in the webinar either. And no discussion of lens speed in low-light environments.
Some of the real estate photography examples used during the webinar looked just plain lousy. And the speaker seems to think that a 28mm lens is the gold standard in wide-angle lenses. 28mm is often considered to be fairly wide by some photographers. But in order to achieve really stunning results while shooting indoors, you have to get into the 18 to 21mm (or shorter) range.
The course ended (mercifully) after an hour, but I'm pretty sure a good number of those who paid to attend came away with that empty feeling.
Okay, there are great resources out there on the Web if you're truly looking for advice on real estate photography. First off, let me say that there are some great posts and tutorials on ActiveRain about real estate photography. You may have to dig for the best stuff, but it's worthwhile. I recommend the Ken Rockwell website (www.kenrockwell.com) for some of the best reviews of cameras and software that you'll read anywhere. And Stan Barron has published some superb information about using ultrawide lenses and digital cameras with full-frame sensors to achieve the best results.
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CONTACT BROKER ERIC KODNER, CRS, ABR, E-PRO, AHWD, MADELINE ISLAND REALTY LLC
CALL OR TEXT MESSAGE 612.670.2539
Madeline Island Real Estate Broker Eric Kodner is licensed in Wisconsin & Minnesota