25 November 2022

Project for the Week - Interior Real Estate Photography

Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens for Real Estate Photography

Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35nn f/4 IS USM Lens for Real-Estate Photography

Real Estate Photography Cape Town
As a Canon photographer / photography trainer I get quite a few requests to do ‘photo-shoots’ for organisations and / or individuals (for various genres). Most of the time I do not have the time or it is something that I don’t really do. Above all – I don’t really sell images, except to National Geographic and / or doing articles (with VCP images) on Canon EOS / EOS R equipment.


For quite number of years I was involved in fashion (and portraiture) photography – mainly for Partners Hair Design, but prefer my own ‘photo-shoots’ wrt my own architecture / landscape / wildlife / macro (and other) genre interests.

For this week I was asked to do interior real estate photography for a business / personal stakeholder. Under most circumstances I would prefer ‘outsourcing’ this type of request, but for this project I am keen to travel with a few ‘Canon cameras / EF lenses / EX Speedlites and yes, of course, the tripod’.

As I’m preparing and researching my photography objectives I believe the best lens(es) to use will be in the 16-35mm and 24-70mm zoom range(s). With two lenses covering said focal lengths I will take a few other (prime lenses) along as well. The main lens for this job will probably be the Canon EF 16-35mm lens (as an ultra wide-angle choice) paired with my old and trusted Full Frame Canon EOS 6D.

I have done a few of these interior real estate project before, so will go with this frame of reference in mind. I have not seen this specific interior and will rather go over-prepared wrt focal length / lenses. (If indeed possible it is highly recommended to get a good look / feel of the property / spaces before the actual shoot – especially if it’s for someone else – i.e. paid assignment).

Important environmental considerations will be general architecture, décor, interior space(s), angles, colours and available light – all based on the client’s requirements and specific (publishing) objectives. Good communication with the client is essential for the best possible outcome.

For softening outside sunlight (shining into windows – to capture outside day time views from inside) I will use HSS flash (High-Speed Sync) on the external Speedlight flash. The reason for this is, is that the maximum shutter speed of the EOS 6D is limited to 1/180s (most other Canon EOS / EOS R cameras are limited to between 1/200s - 1/250s - not much of a difference and not fast enough for this objective) – to override this, the flash must be manually set for HSS for increasing the default maximum flash shutter speed to ‘balance the interior and exterior ambient light’. A shutter speed of i.e. 1/500s - 1/2000s may be required - depending on the outside light / environment). If HSS is not enabled the external (outside) light will be far too over-exposed vs. the inside interior light – during day time shooting.

Should you have to do a project of this nature with an APS-C camera any Canon EOS / EOS R crop body (or other brand) should do. My lens recommendation(s) will be EF-S / RF-S lenses (or other brands) in the 10 – 135mm range – either as an ultra-wide angle lens (10-18mm / 10-22mm), a prime wide(r) angle lens and / or zoom lens(es) wide enough for required interior space(s) / creative objectives.

RAW image processing is highly recommended - for enhancing i.e. the best natural exposure / contrast / shadows / saturation / vibrance / perspective challenges (when using ultra-wide angle lenses on a Full Frame body).

Useful Interior Real Estate Exposure and other Settings (Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm lens):
  • Av or Manual Mode (depending on available light)
  • Aperture: F8 - F16 (depending on space)
  • ISO: 100 - 400
  • Manual Focus Mode
  • Speedlight Flash (depending on available light)
  • HSS flash mode (if outside views through windows are required during daytime) 
  • Manfrotto 190 Pro Tripod (for low ISO shooting / manual focus stability)
  • RAW processing (via Adobe Lightroom

Interior Real Estate / Interior Décor Photography Training Contact Me 

Please note: This is a summary of a personal project with a few recommendations (of how to go about this genre of photography from my own experience / perspective). Actual settings may vary as they are dependant on specific conditions / requirements.

© Vernon Chalmers Photography

The Basics of Real Estate Photography for Interior Photos

15 November 2022

Vernon Chalmers Photography Training Philosophy

Photography Training and Skills Development for Canon Photographers

Vernon Chalmers Photography Training Philosophy Grey Heron Copyright Vernon Chalmers
Grey Heron at Woodbridge Island © Vernon Chalmers Photography

"Understanding and chasing the light is more valuable than any camera in hand" — Vernon Chalmers

Vernon Chalmers Photography Training Milnerton, Cape Town and Cape Peninsula

Over the past ten years I've had the privilege of assisting and training hundreds of local, national and international photographers, either via group workshops, during private one-on-one training sessions and / or online support on my website or via my Facebook Pages.

As a professional photographer, educator and skills development facilitator my main training priority is to provide a quality hands-on learning experience to the new and developing photographer in his or her photographic journey across the different genres I facilitate. 

Woodbridge Island Copyright Vernon Chalmers
It is my mission to assist the new and / or more experienced enthusiast and professional photographer with technical information and associated photographic techniques. It is essential for me that the student (over time) develop a true understanding of the journey mastering the art and science of creative image making (irrespective of Canon camera / lens).

My inherent training philosophy is that a major component of any level of learning is the provision of relevant information, answering learner questions and to facilitate (and demonstrate) photography learning outcomes until the photographer is comfortable in applying new information, knowledge and skills in the field. 

No previous delegate or client should hesitate to contact me for any information or advice they may require in terms of current or future camera requirements and exposure / focus settings et al.

The majority of this information sharing sessions are via private email requests and / or Facebook private group postings and private messages.

Butterfly Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Copyright Vernon Chalmers
Any new Canon photographer is welcome to browse my Vernon Chalmers Photography website and / or Contact Me

Vernon Chalmers Photography images are also available for browsing via my Facebook Page

Visit the Vernon Chalmers Photography website for more information about photography training at Milnerton / Woodbridge Island and Kirstenbosch Garden, Cape Town

Page Image Information

Image 1: Cape-White Eye Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town

Image 2: Cape Teal Ducks in flight at Woodbridge Island, Milnerton Cape Town

Image 3:  African Monarch Butterfly Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town

Image 4: Woodbridge Island / Milnerton Lighthouse after Sunset - From Arnhem, Milnerton Cape Town

Images captured by Vernon Chalmers with Canon EOS 6D / Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon EOS 700D and various Canon EF / EF-S lenses

 
Woodbridge Island | Milnerton Lighthouse Copyright Vernon Chalmers
 Woodbridge Island | Milnerton Lighthouse After Sunset

Canon Photography Training Milnerton | Cape Town

For Sale: Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L lens and two Extenders

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L lens and Extenders / Teleconverters For Sale Cape Town

Canon EF 300 f/2.8L IS USM lens and tele-converters
Canon EF 300 f/2.8L IS USM lens and 2 Extenders

A rare opportunity to purchase and own the following used renowned professional Canon equipment:
  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM lens (Mark I)
  • Canon 1.4x Extender / Teleconverter (Mark I)
  • Canon 2x Extender / Teleconverter (Mark I)

The lens and both teleconverters are 100% compatible with all Canon EOS DSLR cameras (Full Frame and APS-C bodies).

I am advertising above Canon equipment on behalf of Will Taylor, respected professional wildlife photographer and friend.

Price: R30 000 (for all 3 items)

Location: Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

Reason for Selling: Will recently upgraded his Canon EOS System to the new Canon EOS R System.

Contact detail: Will Taylor (Calls / WhatsApp) 079 781 8908

My personal thoughts
This lens and teleconverters should be a great value addition to any Canon photographer who wants to update a current Canon EOS system with a professional quality Canon L lens and tele-converters for wildlife photography (including birds in flight).

Canon Full Frame Body / 300mm lens and teleconverter focal length
  • 300mm with 1.4x extender / teleconverter = 420mm (at f/4)
  • 300mm with 2x extender / teleconverter = 600mm (at f/5.6)

Paired with Canon APS-C / Crop Sensor Body and 300mm lens
  • 300mm with1.4x teleconverter = 420mm x 1.6 crop factor field of view advantage (at f/4)
  • 300mm with 2x teleconverter = 600mm x 1.6 crop factor field of view advantage (at f/5.6)

Canon 1.4x Extender / Teleconverter (Mark I)
Canon 1.4x Extender / Teleconverter (Mark I)

Canon 2x Teleconverter (Mark I)
Canon 2x Extender / Teleconverter (Mark I)

01 November 2022

Affordable Canon 400mm Lens for Birds in Flight Photography

Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens (No Zoom and No IS)

Canon EOS 7D Mark II /  EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens Woodbridge Island Cape Town
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Prime Lens

'Super Fast Autofocus on Canon EOS 7D Mark II'
I was recently asked for my opinion on an affordable, light and reasonably sharp 300mm or 400mm prime lens (for Birds in Flight and some wildlife photography) by one of my Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town workshop delegates.

The workshop delegate is a Nikon D500 user / photographer and although I could not comment directly towards her requirement for a Nikon 300mm or 400mm prime lens I shared with her my own Canon EF 300mm / EF 400mm prime lens decision-making process (from a few years ago).

My response (edited for the website with more content and context for assisting other / new Canon Birds in Flight photographers as well).

I use the Canon EF 400mm f./5.6L USM lens for my Birds in Flight photography at Woodbridge Island Cape Town. A cost-effective Canon EF 400mm prime lens with no Image Stabilization (IS), with very fast Autofocus (AF) and surprisingly light for carrying around for long shooting sessions (up to three to four hours at times). A simple and effective design with many good reviews over the years.


Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens for Birds in Flight Photography
Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Prime Lens for Birds in Flight Photography

Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens: Professional / Consumer Reviews

This lens is exclusively paired with my Canon EOS 7D Mark II and I'm satisfied with the all-round AF performance, sharpness and mobility (paired with the APS-C / Crop Canon body). 

Canon EOS 7D Mark II /  EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens Woodbridge Island Cape Town
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Prime Lens
The Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens performs very well with the Canon EOS 700D, Canon EOS 70D, Canon 7D Mark II and the Canon EOS 6D (ito my own long term evaluaton).

I'm of opinion that the AF performance is slightly faster when compared to the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM zoom lens of which I have tested extensively on both the Canon EOS 7D Mark II and Canon EOS 80D in exactly the same shooting environment.

Not bad for a Canon Super Telephoto lens that was designed / released in 1993.

I did not consider the Canon EF 100-400mm lens options as I already have the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens - a lens that in itself is very fast and sharp and offers a great zoom range when required.

My original Canon prime lens decision-making lens selection
When I originally decided on a birds in flight lens I looked at three prime options:
  • Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM lens
  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens
  • Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens

Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM prime lens
I decided the 300mm f/4 (with image stabilization) was a tad short and not really optimized with a tele-converter on the Canon bodies at the time. With a tele-converer the reach is good - 300 x 1.4 - 420mm, but the AF would be a tad slower at f/5.6 for birds in flight (and I was concerned about the image quality when paired with the converter). And I already have a reasonably fast and sharp 70-300mm zoom. I have seen some great images from this lens and it was a serious consideration for me, but personally don’t really like shooting with a converter on a crop body i.e 7D Mark II.

Canon EOS 6D /  EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens Woodbridge Island Cape Town
Canon EOS 6D / EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM prime Lens
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM prime lens
The EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens (with image stabilization) at 3x the price the price was not something I could justify from a cost / benefit perspective, I tested it, very good and at f/4 (without converter). With a 1.4 converter the lens would probably just as fast at f/5.6, but an expensive option for birds in flight. Very sharp and not that heavy.

I've deliberately tested it on my Canon EOS 6D (Full Frame) at f/4 in the same shooting environment I use the Canon EF 400mm f/4 USM lens. A high-end professional Canon super telephoto lens that is comfortable on both APS-C and Full Frame bodies (with / without the 1.4x / 2x tele-converters), just a tad expensive and not convinced it will justify the price / value / performance ratio in my Birds in Flight photography workflow and shooting at my Woodbridge Island, Cape Town shooting environment. Birds in Flight images with the EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens

Canon EOS 7D Mark II /  EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens Woodbridge Island Cape Town
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens
I researched this lens for three months in terms of the following criteria:
  • For Birds in Flight photography only
  • 400mm focal length for pairing with APS-C body
  • Autofocus speed and image quality
  • Weight (mobility for carrying long periods)
  • Cost of ownership (Budget / ROI)

From the first morning I've added this lens still on my Canon EOS 700D I knew it was the correct decision. It ticked all the researched criteria boxes and although I've added a few newer Canon EOS bodies to my bag this is still my lens of choice for Birds in Flight photography. Its not a f/2.8 300mm or 400mm lens, but with enough good Cape Town light I am still without any doubt that this lens will perform very well against the more expensive Canon Super Telephoto options.

Canon EOS 6D /  EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens Woodbridge Island Cape Town
Canon EOS 6D / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
My training studio and home office apartments are literally on the doorstep of my shooting environment at Woodbridge Island and have a birds view of the the lagoon, sun and wind speed before venturing down for a shoot. 

Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens Release Date
The Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens was released in May 1993 and as far as I know somewhat before Canon's IS implementation (according to Canon 1995). It became a very popular lens for bird / birds in flight photographers mainly due to low cost, light weight, image quality and fast Autofocus.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II - Birds in Flight Photo Gallery
Canon EOS 7D Mark II - Birds in Flight Photo Gallery

Starting out with Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town
Starting out with Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town

Two Canon 400mm Lens Options for Birds in Flight Photography
Two Canon 400mm Lens Options for Birds in Flight Photography

Canon EOS Setup and Tips For Birds in Flight Photography
Canon EOS Setup and Tips For Birds in Flight Photography

Tracking Variables for Improved Birds in Flight Photography

Tracking Variables for Improved Birds in Flight Photography

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town
Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town

Sample images with two Canon zoom lenses
Have a look at Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town with the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (paired with Canon EOS 7D Mark II) and the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens (paired with Canon EOS 70D).

© Vernon Chalmers Photography

Water thick-knee Canon EOS 7D Mark II /  EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens Woodbridge Island Cape Town
Water thick-knee in FlightCanon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens (Woodbridge Island - Cape Town)

Unlock as much value as possible from your (long) lens…

Creative Bird / Flower Photography Cape Town with Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens

For birding we often want to go as ‘long’ as we can as far as our lenses are concerned – often forgetting what else is ‘in closer view’ to capture the natural beauty around…

Taking Advantage of Early Morning African Light for Birds in Flight Photography

Cape Teal Ducks with Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens Copyright Vernon Chalmers
Cape Teal Ducks with Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens : Woodbridge Island

What I have learned over the years is not always to change a lens, purchase a new lens (or camera) for various subjects, but to extract as much value as possible from the camera / lens in hand – at any given moment.

All four images captured with the same camera / 400mm lens and (birds in flight) settings at Woodbridge Island / Table Bay Nature Reserve, Cape Town

Canon Camera / Lens used:
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
  • Manual Mode: f/5.6 / Auto-ISO (Various)
  • Shutter Speed: 1/3200s - 1/4000s
  • No Lens IS / Handheld
© Vernon Chalmers Photography

Small Butterfly with Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens Copyright Vernon Chalmers
Small Butterfly with Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens : Woodbridge Island

Wild flower with Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens Copyright Vernon Chalmers
Wild flower with Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens : Woodbridge Island

Hadida Ibis with Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens Copyright Vernon Chalmers
Hadeda Ibis with Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens : Arnhem / Woodbridge Island


Canon EOS / EOS R Photography Training Milnerton Woodbridge Island | Kirstenbosch Cape Town | Across the Cape Peninsula

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens for Small Flower Photography

Garden Flowers with Canon EOS 70D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM  Lens - Constantia Cape Town

Small Flower with Canon EOS 70D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens
Small Flower with Canon EOS 70D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens (Aperture: f/1.8) : Constantia, Cape Town

Close-Up Flower Photography Constantia, Cape Town with Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

Had a great time doing some private client training this morning.

The weather was not that great while we were outside experimenting with (wider) apertures using consumer lenses in the low light conditions (but, this is sometimes the best learning environment for the new and developing photographer).

Couple of Autofocus / handheld small flower snapshots.

Canon Camera / Lens used:
  • Canon EOS 70D
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
  • Av Mode (Aperture Priority) f/1.8 - f/4
  • Auto-ISO 100
  • Shutter Speed: (Various)
  • No Lens IS / Handheld

Minor corrections / cropping using Adobe Lightroom

All images © Vernon Chalmers (Constantia, Cape Town)

Small Flower with Canon EOS 70D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens
Small Flower with Canon EOS 70D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens (Aperture f/1.8) : Constantia, Cape Town

Small Flower with Canon EOS 70D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens
Small Flower with Canon EOS 70D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens (Aperture: f/4) : Constantia, Cape Town

Small Flower with Canon EOS 70D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens
Small Flower with Canon EOS 70D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens (Aperture: f/5) : Constantia, Cape Town


Canon EOS / Canon EOS R / Canon PowerShot Photography Training Milnerton Woodbridge Island | Kirstenbosch Cape Town | Across  the Cape Peninsula

All Images Copyright / Intellectual Property of Vernon Chalmers More Information >>

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