In our second episode of the podcast, we dive into the different types of gear we both use on our shoots and for our post production workflow. Read the transcript here or download the PDF below:
Hey everybody. Brian here from New York.
Rich Baum from Sacramento California.
And welcome to episode two of our shooting space’s podcast we’re glad you’re here to join us. If you’re watching this that means we released Episode 1 which we recorded which was an intro and a welcome. We didn’t know how it was going to go but we were happy with the results and we decided to release it. And here we are recording Episode 2.
We decided to talk about some equipment for this podcast.
We wanted to keep it very basic very generic and just dive into what you and I each used lighting camera wise even equipment for post-production. Keep it brief not too in-depth but talk about you know the tools that let us do what we do.
So I don’t know the gear. Exactly.
So I don’t know if you want to start to talk about you know are you a Nikon guy or a Sony guy. What kind of stuff do you use and all of that.
I’m a Nikon guy from gosh 40 years of Nikon. I went back to Nikon when I bought my first serious digital SLR or DSL or. I kind of cringe because I bought it because I had a couple of old Nikon lenses and hell I could have stayed with I could could’ve gone canon or something else. But I’m an icon and actually had some issues with Nikon this past year. And actually the last three years with recalls and things like that but I don’t really go into that now but I’m an icon shooter and for real estate I tend to shoot like Sony a 6000 mirrorless and that muralists has virtue’s for several reasons. The
electronic viewfinder the small size the small cost and the great quality. And so I’m shooting with 6000 mirrorless Sony bought for under four hundred dollars Openbox from Best Buy with a 16 of 55 kit lens and then can be that and then I bought a samsung 12 millimeter for three hundred nineteen dollars on sale now for other 299. So can’t beat that. I love the LEDs because it has very little distortion that sharp crap. And when you put it to seven point one and shaving penalty you never have to focus for real estate. It’s just always in focus. I take down the focus ring never focus it because the manual lens. It does have a little chromatic aberration but that’s easily fixed in Lightroom. I though from my Nikon I use it with my tilt ship LEDs as I have the Nikon 24 millimeter tilt shift and a 19 millimeter tilt shift last year.
So I’m set in tilt shifts and we could have a whole podcast on tilt shift but it’s great tool to get I bought my first shift last month so I’m LodgeNet I’ve got a 24 millimeter the name and ask you your Nikon or Canon again.
I actually started my photography career Nikon and switched over to Canon when I started doing a lot of video production too because canon when video started coming out with the whole DSL or video to exactly mark to possibly I guess 6 7 8 years ago now I switched over to canon for the ability to do both and at this point.
Now that I’m doing more photo but I’m so heavily invested in canon I am not going to start making that switch now but switch back. I’m a canon guy. Have the 5 Mark 3 now and actually you’re speaking about mirrorless actually about 5 6 months ago. Bought my first mirrorless and started dabbling in that too. What you get.
I’ve got the canon M5 which is not it which is not a popular mirrorless camera and all of them like I’ve missed the mirrorless boat. They
definitely did. You know it’s funny because I was looking for two things with a mirrorless camera I was looking for a camera I wasn’t yet at the time ready to start using that as my main real estate photography camera so I was looking for a camera one to put in my bag as a backup camera and number to have a camera just for personal use with my family and all that stuff. And given the fact that I was so heavily invested in Cannondale series lenses I decided just to stick with the camera and now I did. I did actually purchase a Sony a 7 to first and use the metal Boon’s adapter with my camera lenses and was not it was fine when I was doing manual focus for real estate stuff but when I was shooting just my family and personal stuff the focus was not quick enough for me.
So given the fact that I was going to use it for both. I ended up then selling that Sony and going with the canon M5 muralists. Like I said canon is not known for the mirrorless cameras but this has the same sensor as the canon Adey D so it’s pretty good camera considering and I’ve been pretty happy with it. I’m pretty happy with the results so far.
Yeah great. No I think I think the world’s going to go mirrorless and I hope Canada really gets their act together with Nikon too.
I got actually heard rumor of a full frame lowness from Nikon but we won’t go there because little pissed off it like these days. So yeah no I think it’s great. I think it’s a wonderful way Capelli got me into the 6000 and it was kind of like a challenge and I love it. I think it’s great a little camera would shoot a wedding. Not very good so performance but for real estate photography. I was four hundred seven point one. Rocking it yeah. So likewise let me ask you what are you using these days. I don’t need to know your background. I have a long background in lighting but these days really for real estate.
So depending on the job I have a combination of I have about 6 or 7 speed lights a combination of canon and some Nikon believe it or not.
Yes I actually own a couple of Nikon EDI DX speed lights and the reason I bought a few of those is I got really cheap used about 40 bucks each and what I like about them is the manual flash output and they have an optical sleeve and what that does is that allows me to use those in a combination with all my other lights if I need to put it far in for 40 bucks. I just kind of beat it so I bought those and I use those to light back rooms or bathrooms or whatever I need to do in the far distance just enough where optically optically the sleeve.
You know have the position.
What’s your success rate you get. You have the misalignment and very often they have room.
Yeah I have to position it to make sure that it’ll see the flash and if a specific room won’t allow for that then I’ll have to use one of my cannons that are on the same network.
Brian May make wireless flashes. Now they do. I’ll send you a link.
Hey look my whole my whole my whole canon series of flashes all worked together so I use those and then I use the cannons the icons if I need anything beyond the 3 speed lights that I have on my Canon wireless system if I need some optical. Just because I wasn’t going to spend the 500 or so bucks for additional canon systems when I can get the optical Adey DX is for 40 bucks each. So most of the time I’m using speed lights if it’s something that requires a little bit more light. I actually recently purchased those flash point explorer lights which are 600 watt lights I think the same lights as the go Docks lights. I think at Arama just kind of rebranded them as their own flash point is exactly the same as Yeah.
Go Ducks as cheetah as me were.
So they all kind of rebrand them. Exactly. So flashpoint is Adorama’s version of the rebranding. So I bought a couple of those they had a sale on Black Friday about 2 months ago so I got rid of some old lights that I was some old Dinah lights that I wasn’t using for a while and bought two or those 600 watts. I’ve been using those the last month and a half if my speed lights won’t cut it as far as power.
I got 1 600 and it’s a pretty big pretty big light. But it’s it’s good to bring it out when I need it.
Yeah it’s good when I need it. And you know what it works with the wireless transmitter and I put it right on top of the camera and it’s good to go. The cool thing about their wireless transmitter though is that it has an additional hot shoe on top of their transmitter. So if I put their transmitter into my camera issue I can then take my Canon transmitter and put that into the other hot so I can have both transmitters fire at the same time or if I really am desperate put an on camera flash on top of that transmitter and do it that way too.
Yeah I ended up going to all flashpoint because I was some young Nuvo and I was always Nikon and then I have quantum flashes and I just had a long history of stuff but I’m currently all the all flash point. Super happy because everything talks to each other. I don’t have to have put a thing on a thing and it just works for me and also the triggers for that have the hot adapter on top. I don’t like the trigger itself. I have made a video on it actually because you see it you could be right in line with the screen you can see the screen and below you. So I went with the actually the XTi 32 trigger which is angled and now they just came out with the ex pro trigger which is really great and I give it three thumbs up I’ll give you an extra one I had it’s not really like the flash point and down a lot of people know I’m I’m into flashpoint.
I just find that they’re really great I love the 360. I love the 600 but it’s a little big and I bring it out. I usually put it on a twelfth withstand for when I get a big Foya and then instead of having to run it up and down and up and down. I just race to the stand and it works great. But believe it or not it’s only three quarters of a stop. More than a 360. It’s unbelievable. So I love my 360 200. I’ve had to return a few of them. I really I really like the 200. But people are having issues with it. We’re not making the claim that they’re faulty but people are having trouble with the two hundreds on off switches and my the the head didn’t work.
So anyway I got another one of those I got two of those and I got the Thor hammer of Sam Chen as the grip. Yes the little pistol and I’ve got to put the two the 2 200 next to each other and I went crazy for Christmas. I’m all set. Man I’ve got a couple of speed lights and I’ve got the 360 and I’ve got the 200 so I am set. I’m really really happy. It works together it’s just it’s all inexpensive it works together and it’s just great and portable. That’s the most important thing. Very portable self contained in all my batteries now are lithium ion and I’ll tell you something when you have gone to lithium ion you will never want to go back to a double A. I used to I used to charge 36 Doubleday’s every night and it would take five minutes to get them in the damn slug’s. So I’m really happy so. So what are you using for improved tripod men.
So right now I’m using a just a pair of men Frodo legs and I have the 410 and geared hand and the man photo for Tangaroa head and that’s it. I have a depending on where I’m sure. I also have a small carbon fiber three legged thing travel tripod which is peanuts which is pretty interesting I actually have it right here.
Go get it let me ask you do you find it to be a little complicated. With all the things that tend to do a lot of things you know a convertible thing tends to be kind of got all these. It gets really complicated. How do you feel about the three legged thing. Because if if you know people don’t know the thrilling thing I think they’re made in Britain.
They are there. They’re really really interesting and I almost went that direction but I did. So tell us about the three legged.
So this is my opinion on the three legged thing.
Does stuff right. It’s got a monopole.
It has a lot of height and I would never really use it as a monopod. So while it’s an added feature for them to sell you like it then tripod. I don’t think it’s best utilized as a monopod. I think it’s great for what it is for a travel tripod like for instance I’m based at a long island and you know what today’s Wednesday. Friday morning I have a shoot in hand. I’m in downtown Manhattan in the financial district right off of Wall Street for big commercial real estate so you’re leaving now to get there right.
So if you’re not familiar with New York traffic if I was to drive there on Friday morning I’m about 15 miles away and you’re probably looking about two to two and a half hours taking a subway.
I’m taking the train yes taking a train was the exact I want to see a video. I want to see a podcast on that.
It’s not that bad. Well the truth is depending on the client. So for this client specifically I actually it actually works out easy for me because he likes natural light and doesn’t like me bring in lights. So it actually works out perfect for me taking a train because what I do for him is I shoot bracketed. And I just you know impose combine all the different layers. But for a shoe like that where I take the train in that three legged thing is the perfect thing for me because you know it’s carbon fiber it’s light. You know I have a little design backpack that I throw all my gear in the backpack the little you know three legged thing tripod and I’m pretty mobile I can hop on a train and you know sit down and listen to some podcasts on the train right and what that.
But because I bought this last Black Friday. So Black Friday of 2016 they were running a sale and it was 200 bucks with the head.
It’s pretty cool had to have a little hand here. It’s like a little clip had a little ball head.
But I can also I can put the 410 head right on it and it’s pretty good. I mean it’s a light tripod it only holds up to 17 pounds which isn’t an issue though for you know a DSL or a camera when I’m shooting real estate.
So as quickly as you can. Why do you use and why should people use a gear head start to break away just for the precise control.
I mean it doesn’t get any simpler than that I was using a ball head for years doing this. Not because I didn’t want to spend the money on the gear gearhead just because I was stubborn about buying it. You know you just saw one of those things you just never got around to like you said you bought your first chief Lenzie a year ago probably not because you didn’t think it was necessary or unnecessary you just don’t get around to doing it.
And you know I was using I I bought my first tilt at about five years ago. I got my name 19 because I save up for five years. That’s true. You’re right. Thirty four hundred dollars.
So if I can I’m happy to say for one’s Canon’s a little cheaper than that for their 17 million.
Canon got its act together as far as the tilt shift, no question.
But yeah it was it was a hundred percent difference once I started using the gear it had to go for my real estate photographer. Just to be able to you know shift something to a degree if I need to. Up down left to right you know no sag.
Adam made my post-production much easier as far as you know making my verticals vertical. Obviously there’s still a little bit you have to work on but it’s not precisely. It’s not even close to what it was before. Now
are you tethered or are you not.
It depends on the shoe. Like for instance the shoot Friday for instance where I’m doing all ambient light I or natural light I’m not going to should tether. There’s
no reason for me to can’t shoot untether or even natural light. I really don’t know.
More than anything architectural any almost any kind of photography I mean that’s sports obviously. But I’m so dependent upon tethering I just can’t imagine.
I mean any time I use light and I shoot tethered I have a camera and an iPad and as should tether that way.
But if I go natural light then I usually shoot untethered just for the sake that you know I’m using. Usually the camera meters onboard and even sometimes I’ll use live to get my proper exposure which is probably I probably shouldn’t do but I do it just because I have that video background and it kind of it’s ingrained in me. But I use the live view with the histogram and get my exposure and then bracket. So it’s pretty easy on a natural light shoot for me. But when I’m using lights I definitely should tethered with the camera. I
find that when I’m working with clients my clients now depend upon my my tether they will not shoot with People. I literally have clients that won’t shoot unless the photographer has an iPad that I can either give them to share or they can see my iPad because they just love it so much.
So a lot of your clients walk around with you as you’re shooting.
Well if I’m doing design work I no for real estate that’s a big rule nobody looks over my shoulder and tells me what to do. Especially homeowners and I can be very vocal about that. But what I’m dealing with design clients are custom build clients I want at the end. It’s a completely different pay scale completely different time scale. I want the client to. I want to them to discuss moving furniture moving design moving you know staging things like that. I think it’s really important not to present. I
agree with you what I do for a lot of my my design clients are my architecture clients is kind of a tip that I took from Mike Kelly’s videos where art meets architecture videos. I would take my my mirrorless camera when I get to a shoot and kind of take a couple of different angles to find my composition and my mirrorless camera goes it can wirelessly transmit the images to my phone or my iPad so I’ll walk around a room take 5 10 different angles then I’ll sit down with the client transfer those images wirelessly to my iPad and go over the different compositions before I start lighting it and say all right you know these these are my different ideas here are these are my favorites is what I.
What do you think. And then once we decide on a composition then I’ll go in and start building up litum for that Leach situation can be different and truly understand.
All right so rich tell me what we’re trying to putter you use in and head.
Yeah I am as always vocal about my tribe. I just love my Manfrotto 30 46. I’ve been using him since the 80s and you can find him on eBay and I bet my last one for 75 bucks in perfect condition is actually a school district in New York. Long Island was getting rid of all their stuff on eBay and I bought one of them and still I have that it goes to seven feet has a Geard center column which I love very heavy very stable. But it allows me not to have to just post just my lying images love the line images. Usually when I’m using a D for Arcas that’s my new thing for head and it’s like one step up. I used to use the Mount Frodo for a five year debt and I just find it before I’m really looking forward to using it. And I put an Arcas was put a really red stuff clamp on there and it is just it’s really nice. That’s just in hog heaven as far as my gear right now. 2013.
Yeah that’s what I wanted. When it’s time for me to upgrade to my next secure head I’m duffing going to go. That’s the that’s the plan.
Yeah. Cool. So.
So tell me what are you doing a little bit in your workshop. Workshop your workshop on the brain your post-production.
So I’m using a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop as I’m sure most people are process everything in Lightroom as far as some basic very very basic edits.
You know whether it’s just adjusting contrast the little shadows highlight stuff like that you know adjust the white balance if it’s a little off and then I’ll typically bring the images into Photoshop for the heavy heavy lifting for my light room work. I
just bought the looped deck little deck that I was talking about earlier. See there. Yes. I just bought it a couple of weeks ago and there’s a little bit of a learning curve. What’s the cost of that. It was 300 bucks. So you can literally control almost every function with a little dial or button pretty much along with a couple of buttons on top where you can have some of your preset set. So they have buttons for your presets because I have a couple of presets when I bring images into Lightroom just for the lens profiles and stuff like that and it’s pretty cool. You know the first couple of days with fit actually slowed me down a little until I got the hang of it just because you’re learning a new piece of hardware and learning your workflow but once once you kind of know where each dial is without having to look down to find that dial then it just speeds up your workflow tremendously. So
I was kind of like just one step up from keystrokes exactions individual little things. Exactly. You can have your exposure on a dial and just dial in your exposure. Exactly
. So my hands are always on the exposure highlights and shadows dial pretty much. That’s where camps at most of the time. And once you get to the point where you can look at your screen and I have to look down at the looped back and just change each dial that you need and you’re able to move your fingers around without having to look down at the screen just like you said you know keystrokes would look down at the keyboard. That’s when it started to speed up my workflow. So it’s been pretty good. I don’t do a bulk of by editing the room most of it’s in photoshop. But even for the small things you know it was 300 dollars. But you know the way I look at it is you know if every session that I’m doing is going to save me five minutes I get up really quick and I said get a look at it that way.
Yeah same with computers. Exactly. It’ll add up really quickly. So
and how long does it take you to get an image. If you were to take Ambien in a flashy image from Lightroom how long does it take you to completely open up this Lares in Photoshop just to open it up.
Well I’ll send it. I’ll send them usually from Lightroom into Photoshop as layers. So it’s a couple of seconds you know. Price Yeah. PRICE
five to ten seconds. Yeah.
I guess some people are taking longer than 15 seconds you’ve got to get a solid state hard drive or you get is just because you multiply 10 seconds by a thousand. And that’s a lot.
No look I spend a lot of money on unfortunately or I guess fortunately I spend a lot of money on keeping my Mac computers up to date. And it’s important because there’s no if every editing session is going to take me 15 minutes longer because my computer is not up to par. That’s a lot of time lost. So you know it’s important that I can do all my work efficiently and as quick as possible. And as we spoke about last time I do some video editing too and you know I have to be able to edit it for now. So I need to get puter that can handle that. Yeah
well answered Wolden when Buckholtz will talk about your computer.
Sure. It’s already two years old at this point but it’s still chugging along. I look at the new mac MAC which is the Mac the screen Dymock pro Mac Pro twelve thousand dollars.
Yeah. No I mean that’s what I do. That’s what I use I use a 27 inch iMac. I use the 5 K version. I came out in about 2 or 3 years ago and it’s been pretty solid so far so I’m probably based on my speed. I’m
probably about a year to two years away from having to upgrade that. So you know it’s common but that’s just you know cost of doing our business. So how about yourself Oh editing.
Yeah let’s just. Let me tell you a little bit about my my workflow and then I think we’ll wrap it up but I am getting everything in I ingested into Lightroom. I’ve put it into a folder. I don’t tend to back it up right off the bat because I just do so much real estate shooting I don’t think I need it though. I will get boned sometime but I take everything and I go through my images and I will use the star method. I will pick one star next to the ambient shot I want to use and I will put it next to the flash shot I want to use and then I will put it next to the window pool if I’m going to do window pool or whatever shots I’m going to use or use a single star by. I then massage my images to make them the best they can.
I take my Ambien to try and match it to the flash. As far as white balance and exposure to the areas very important for people to understand that what parts of the image do you want to use so to make it match sometimes I’ll even make a virtual copy of the image and just make part of the image like one white balance is way off. I’ll just change that completely where every part of the image is off but that one spot I can use that I put it all into photoshop is Lehrers and then I do my flamboyant. And you know pretty much the same thing I do in my videos and bring it back in and do a little bit of vinyl. I do my special sauce before they go into photoshop and I do my final bump at the end.
Little contrast and tweak it a little bit and there it is. I do all my images and I put them into Dropbox has a set of pegs Exit 12 1250 pixels by 2 1250 pixels and then Id 1 said it 3000 pixels by 3000 large case. The agent wants to print them and then I’m done. So it’s taken me about 2. It’s taken me about an hour to two hours to shoot. Most homes and then it will take me 30 to sometimes go an hour for editing but I can try to keep it around 40 45 minutes and that is including importing editing and delivery.
So that’s pretty good. So you’re talking about anywhere from three to five minutes for an image which is pretty quick or even pretty good. I
used that I used to edit wedding photos people and I got it down to 3 4 seconds of image exactly the images.
Not sure it’s all about speed and efficiency. As we all know from real estate photographers were not.
And it gets faster for people people you know. Remember when you start using a camera changer when you start using a geared head start using a loop deck it’s going to take you longer. When you start learning lighting it’s going to take you longer but don’t look at it in the presence. Look at it in the where you’re going and it will get faster. An example for six months a year. But that that the better you shoot the better you like your shots last year editing is directly correlated to brasseries and that’s exactly what I just told you with the Loopt.
It took me a couple of days and it actually slowed me down and it was also the same thing when I was learning to use a tablet. I use a Wakem tablet sometimes I want to have to brush and try I dry I use it only when I have to use when I have to do some brushing and stuff like that. But you know it was a it was a process and it slowed me down when I first started. But then once you get the grasp of it you know I used to be a Portra retoucher for a couple of years in Manhattan right out of college. I worked at a design studio in Manhattan retouching portraits and headshots and comm cards and stuff like that. So for that stuff I really needed to use it when I got the hang of it and it slowed me down at first but once you get the hang of it you know it really helps speed up your workflow.
So let me ask you what are you. What do you think we’ve got coming up. You want to just give a little preview of the stuff we’re going to be talking about. Sure
yeah we got it. We’ve
got to definitely have a couple of ideas as far as different topics to discuss and you know some podcasts that we’re going to do just the two of us talking a little bit about marketing and talking a little bit about a little more about workflow a little bit more about you know your business side of things and how people run and operate businesses even from some basic invoicing and bookkeeping we can get into you know real estate photography standpoint dealing with agents and homeowners and all that stuff and then and then we have you know interviewee’s lined up some special guests. I think our next podcast we’re going to have a top notch real estate photographer come on with us who also has a youtube channel with tons and tons of tutorials.
So everybody State-Owned don’t give it up don’t give it away. I give them the name out. So everyone stay tuned to our next podcast should be released in a couple of days.
But we’ve got some really good and I’m going to pull out all the stops and some of my friends to come on in and share their tips with us.
Yeah. So we’re really looking forward to that pack cast as our first interview. And you know sky’s the limit. There’s so many different ways to go with this. And you know we’re looking forward to it. And you know everybody subscribed because that’s the only way you’re going to know when we release new episodes subscribe to our podcast. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram and all the different social channels that we’re going to have set up. And this way you’re in the loop and you know when we release things.
Yeah sounds great. And I’m really really excited about these podcasts are really I enjoy sharing my information and you seem to also. Exactly
. So from episode 2 of shooting spaces. We wish everyone a good night. It’s been a pleasure rich till next time with our guest interview.
Yeah right on and everybody shoot. Think think aspire big man. You better shoot faster and just do better work and get you’ll start shooting better projects. And you don’t have to be shooting more you shoot. Now you can be going somewhere. So it’s it’s hard now but it gets better.