I am often asked to “do my magic” which is fun to hear and even more satisfying to ‘pull the rabbit out of the hat’ especially on a home that is a little worn. The two photos above show what the photo looks like straight out of my camera and what happens after the ‘magic’ is applied in software according to what looks good to me.
There is no substitute for professional level equipment as typically the camera and lens can achieve much better results and do things that you cannot do with consumer level equipment. As an example, shooting the front of a building or home requires including both ends of the building. For most lenses, that means standing out in the street so that you can capture the ends as well as the roofline of the home. Tilting your camera up to capture the roofline will work, but by the time the verticals are straightened, the cropping that is necessary chops off the ends of the home.
I shoot with a $2500 Tilt/Shift lens which enables me to capture the entire home without standing in the street, usually on the front lawn. It is simply magical. 50% of my results starts out in the field when I make the choice where to stand, what or what not to include in the photo, and getting the white balance and exposure correct.
The other 50% of my efforts happens in processing the photos on the computer. Shooting RAW means that the camera does nothing to the photo but take the picture, no processing, noise reduction or color adjustments. That is all done in software and has taken me many years to continually tweak and improve how I process photos. I continually strive to reach perfection for every photo, not one is every rushed through the process. After all, my quality of product is my reputation and if you do not have that, your business is slowly dying instead of growing. Thankfully, my business has been growing for 7 years now even after leaving Portland and starting over in Central Oregon.