Photography for Real Estate posted some good tips on MLS upload specifications. Here's a clip:
"One of the challenges of real estate photography is to prepare photos for upload to the local MLS in such a way that the uploaded photos look their best. A related consideration is that you’ll want the photos to also look great on your client’s broker site as well."
Check out the complete article here.
Just like our on-going series on delivery options, we're going to keep a running review of various forms of managing your business' accounting. If you do your own accounting, this information will be of use to you. Some software keeps your data on your local machine - others store it in the cloud. Each has it's own set of advantages and disadvantages. Stay tuned for more analysis into this topic and we'll investigate the industry leaders in software and cloud-based accounting.
Shot Addict recently posted an entry on architectural photography that I thought was worth sharing here. The article is geared towards teaching the basics like focus points, lenses, backgrounds, light (very important!), etc. Even if you are a working professional, I still recommend the article because you never know what you'll pick up.
Check out the complete article here.
I'm a big fan of the expression 'you only have time for the things you make time for', or something like that. Well, I didn't make time for the podcast this week. I've recently accepted a few new projects in addition to my typical workload and found myself working straight through the weekend. This meant there was no time to outline and prepare the podcast, which meant there was no recording happening today.
We'll resume schedule next week with business start-ups. Thanks!
Here's the follow-up to our earlier post about Strobist's real estate photography assignment. The results are pretty inspiring...
Check it out here.
We mentioned in the second podcast how barrel distortion was able to be corrected, and in the fifth episode the software that can do that - well, here's a brief overview of PTLens.
PTLens is nothing short of an amazing tool for real estate photographers. It can fix all sorts of distortion problems including lens pincushion/barrel distortion, fisheye distortion, vignetting, perspective distortion, and chromatic aberrations. The main thing to point out is that it doesn't duplicate Photoshop's 'Lens Correction' filter and that's because Photoshop's filter is fairly limited. PTLens produces better and more consistent results than Photoshop for various reasons, but the main one being that: "Photoshop uses one parameter to correct distortion while PTLens can utilize up to 3 parameters. One parameter often does a fine job on standard and telephoto lenses. Wide-angle lenses typically require more than one parameter for accurate correction. For example, moustache distortion can be corrected with PTLens but not with Photoshop's Lens Correction filter."
The continually updated library of lenses is another selling-point. If you acquire a lens that isn't in the database already, you can send in some calibration images and they'll run run the distortion test on the files, then update the database. How great is that?
The final feature to note is the tight Lightroom integration. Say you just came back from a shoot, you've post-processed your files, and you are about to export them for delivery - well, just quickly send them to PTLens to correct the barrel distortion and you're on your way.
One thought remains -whenLightroom has the ability to do lens corrections, will it be as good as PTLens? More than likely not at first, but only time will tell.
The trial currently allows you to correct 10 files and the price for a license at the moment is $25.
We'll be doing a video review of PTLens and all it offers in the future, so stay tuned.
Check our PTLens here.
Box.net is a great option for delivering your files to clients. The word 'great' actually doesn't even begin to describe how useful it really is - it's fantastic. Basically, you can upload your .zip files containing the photos from your shoot to your client's folder, then give them private access to it.
As you can see from the screenshot above - the sharing options are pretty slick. You can simply copy/paste the link Box.net gives you and email it to your client. Another way to grant people access to the file is by clicking the 'send link' option, which then allows you to enter the email addresses of the people you want send the files to. Box.net immediately sends an email to the people and allows them to download the file. The only downside to this method is the all-unknowing spam filter on the other end. If you have a 'Pro' account (paid), you can password-protect the download links for an added layer of security.
The above screen is what your clients see when they click on the link you send them. After they download the file, Box.net generates an automated email to notify you that the file was downloaded. This lets you know that they got your file and everything worked out.
And finally, storage. Free accounts come with everything mentioned above (sans password protection) and a whopping 1 GB of storage (not being sarcastic). I say whopping because files for MLS systems are so small, it would take you a very long time to even reach half of that - that is if all you are doing is files for MLS. If your clients want their full-resolution images for ads, Box.net may not be the system for you. Free accounts have the 1 GB limit, and they also have maximum upload size restrictions. Each file you upload can only be 25 MB large, so if you have 160 MB of files to get to a client, you're going to have a number of .zip files to upload, and for them to download - making the process a lot less smooth on both ends.
Just to clarify - I talk about .zip files as if they are the only way to deliver files. They aren't. You could get your files to your clients one-by-one if you wanted, but I wouldn't recommend it. I use .zip files because, most obviously, you can compress a folder full of images into one, they can be uploaded and downloaded easily, and they are compatible with both Windows and Mac users.
Storage: 1 GB
Upgrades: $9.95/month for Individual, $15/month for Business