Taking professional pictures is in the exposure

Real Estate Agent with DH Management

Back when, I started off in photography, I was fortunate to take a lesson from a seasoned Pro. I saw his images and was basically blown away by them. I called him up and the next time he was in my area, I paid him to spend a couple hours with me, so i could ask him everything i could think of about taking professional shots.

It basically came down to really understanding exposure time. Most of us use the automatic feature on our cameras and just shoot away ---which is fine if you want to take snapshots and not dynamic wow images.

The situation is this--All cameras when left to automatic exposure want to shoot everything at neutral grey. For example-Take a shot of snow and notice that the snow is blue and not white??

 So why is it not white-It was white when i looked at it----So what do you do to make it look white. You have to open up the lens say one and 1/2 to two stops to let more light in--(The camera has to be set on Manual---anyone that wants to take dynamic pictures and be in control of the camera instead of the camera being in control of you need to be able to choose the exposure time and lens opening,

 Lets look at it another way-say you are shooting something and you want the blacks to really be black--if you shoot it in automatic--it will be neutral grey, not black like you wanted. So what do you do---close the camera stops down 1 to 2 stops and let less light in.

To try this out go into your backyard and take some shots-Forst shoot something automatic where you want the whites to be white---then open the lens up a stop and notice the difference.


It will take time and lots of trial and error as to to correct  exposures--both the lens opening and the time to get it the way you want. The goal is to look at a scene and have it come out the way you want t to come out.


There are tons of books on this subject---some of the best are by John Shaw.

Dennis Handa

My website is at www.dhphotoart.com 


Comments (7)

Ted Baker
Carmody and Associates LLC - Winter Haven, FL

Dennis - I have commented in previous posts that whether you came out of the film world or the digital world - the variables of exposure ( time/shutter and aperture/f stop and, in some cases, flash) are the key to your shot - and the books that have been standard guides for decades are not going out of style just because the current camera technology is digital.  At least the digital media for practice (the new film) is free (reusable).

 One approach to learning the effects of manual settings is to bracket exposures for comparison.  While many D-SLR camera have an automatic bracketing feature - I should note that the excellent Nikon D-40 (which I have discussed previously as an entry level D-SLR camera) lacks this feature. 

I enjoyed your website and recommend others take the click trip - with excellent outdoor and wildlife photography in color and black/white.  My fav may be the San Xavier light and the Great Egret Reflections. 

Thank you for the solid advice and the excellent portfolio on your website. 


Sep 18, 2007 12:19 PM
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor
thanks again for the information
Sep 18, 2007 04:51 PM
George Sheldon
George Sheldon Photographer - Lancaster, PA
Very good post and excellent points. There is a lot more than just point and shoot on auto.
Sep 20, 2007 07:23 AM
Joyce Heffner-Williams
Keller Williams Clients' Choice Realty - Monument, CO
Owner/Broker/EcoBroker - Monument Real Estate

Lots of shots at different settings...  Like you said - trial and error.

Sep 21, 2007 02:54 AM
Janice Sutton
1st Stage Property Transformations - Murrieta, CA
Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta

Dennis - Thanks for the education.  I finally got brave enough to change the flash mode.  Now I am on to working the different stops on the lens.  If that's what it's called! I am always complaining about my pictures...I think I need to take it up with the photographer..me!

Sep 22, 2007 12:13 PM
Dale Baker
Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections - Claremont, NH
New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information

Howdy Dennis

Thank you for the eductional iinformation you posted for us to read.

Have a good one

Sep 24, 2007 11:18 AM
Benjamin Clark
Homebuyer Representation, Inc. - Salt Lake City, UT
Buyer's Agent - Certified Negotiation Expert
Thanks for the tips. I'll try them in the daylight...
Oct 03, 2007 04:02 PM