Commercial Property Photography

November 2, 2015 HDR, Real Estate 0 Comments

Back in mid-September I drove about 1,400 miles through Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and back into Georgia to photograph 18 commercial properties for a client. In early October I flew up to New York to photograph two more. I enjoy going back and forth between residential and commercial property photography – I like the change of pace and getting to switch out one set of challenges for another.

With residential property photography I’m mostly dealing with interiors where there aren’t usually moving objects (I bracket all of my shots so I can blend the different exposures – moving objects can sometimes be problematic) but I do have to deal with multiple sources of light that all create different color casts and white balance issues. With the commercial work, which has mostly been exterior photography so far, there is only one light source (the sun) so getting the white balance right isn’t usually a problem. But there are lots of moving objects (cars, people, trees blowing in the wind, moving reflections in windows) and the location of the sun always has to be taken into consideration.


The Bojangles’ above faces northeast. The front of the building is only briefly lit by the sun after it rises above the tops of the trees across the road and before it starts to move around the side of the building. On this trip is wasn’t possible for me to be at this property at that time of day so I just had to work around the face of the building being in the shade. This is where knowing your way around your editing software is essential for doing client work. I blended three exposures together and then selectively edited the shady area for exposure and white balance without making the image look unnatural.

Home Depot

When the face of the building is lit by the sun things are much easier. And I love it when the sky cooperates.


I removed a lot of power lines, utility poles, lamp posts and a few other distracting objects from this image. I don’t make edits like that to the images that I deliver to clients (unless requested), but when preparing images for a blog post or for my portfolio I like to clean up the clutter.

Regal Cinema

Long flat buildings like movie theaters produce images with a lot of sky and foreground. Cropping to a panoramic format can bring the focus back to the building.

CVS Lifetime Fitness

Circle K

This property took a while to photograph (it was rush hour and there was a lot of traffic in and out of the gas station) and quite a bit longer to edit. Four exposures and a lot of masking in Photoshop later and I’m finally happy with the results, though.

Chattanooga Day Trip

September 7, 2012 History 0 Comments

I took a day trip to Chattanooga almost two weeks ago with my mom. We visited Rock City, the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge and Point Park (and an ice cream place). The bridge and the ice cream were the best part! Not that I didn’t like Rock City – it was geologically fascinating. And the view from Point Park is always nice, especially if you manage to visit on a clear day.

The photo above is of the Hunter Museum of American Art taken from the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge.  The Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge was built in 1890 by the Smith Bridge Company of Toledo, OH. The bridge was closed to motor vehicles in 1978 and was mostly abandoned until the late 80’s. In February 1990 the bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places and was eventually renovated.

Walnut Street Bridge & Tennessee River

The Walnut Street Bridge on the left, the edge of the Hunter Museum on the right, and the cylindrical thing just left of center is an art installation marking the former location of an old bluff furnace built in the 1850’s.

Lines and Shadows

Lines and shadows on the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge.

Canon in Point Park

A canon in Point Park and a bit of the view down to the Tennessee River and downtown Chattanooga.

High Falls in Rock City

The bottom of High Falls in Rock City, TN.