Finding a Home’s Best Light

Local homebuilder Chuck Tippins creates some absolutely incredible homes! He specializes in Westbrook at Savannah Quarters, which is also a client of ours, so we’re very familiar with the neighborhood’s atmosphere and architectural style. 

Chuck is co-hosting an event with another client of ours, Buy Sell Savannah Real Estate, and we’re creating all the associated branding materials at SMG. 

This home is one of his most recent builds, and it’s definitely worthy of showing off. It’s amazing! That’s why we decided to use this as the main focus for this project.

Perfect Timing

We needed to get some great photos of it, but we had to be creative with timing. This home has a western exposure. While we were able to get some beautiful shots with soft morning light of the back of the house, the front of the home presented a challenge. Overhead sun would create unflattering shadows, so we needed to wait until it was lower in the sky. We decided to wait until the sun was almost set and use a variable ND filter to darken the lens for a nice long-exposure shot. 

This is the raw image without any post processing.

Leading Lines

Chuck created this cool brick pattern in the driveway, which is actually a perfect square, but with our wide angle lens it appears slightly elongated. We positioned the camera at the farthest corner and used the brick pattern as leading lines to draw the eye to the home.

Light and Color

This photo was taken about 10 minutes after a torrential downpour. The clouds were starting to dissipate, and the lingering rain clouds did a nice job of the remaining daylight.. We took several shots with varying exposure lengths until we got the right one. 

It’s our old friend, color wheel.

We utilized some traditional color theory in grading this image. Without going too far down the color rabbit hole, our brains are attracted to warmer-toned highlights and cold-toned shadows. When choosing a highlight color, it’s best to tint your shadows the highlight color’s opposite on the color wheel. In this case we tinted the highlights a nice, warm yellow tone. This gives a visual of a space that’s warm and inviting, which is exactly how a home should feel. The shadowy spaces behind the home are tinted a slightly teal blue. This juxtaposition creates a good color balance. We shoot in Camera Raw, so we’re able to make a lot of changes to the HSL (Hue, Luma, and Saturation) without sacrificing image quality. If you aren’t shooting in raw, start now. It’s the best way to instantly improve your images.

The final image

Final Touches

After we got the color just right, we made a few more adjustments. Because we used a 14mm lens, there was some slight lens correction that needed to happen. We also used the dodge tool set to ‘highlights’ at about 8% to brighten up the highlights in the image and reveal a little more detail. 

The client is thrilled with this image. and so are we! Up next is a video featuring this property, and we’ll be sure to share when it is complete.