Blogging about Travel, Photography and anything else that takes my fancy

  • February, 2020
  • Twilight Photography - Will My Property benefit?

    Most if not all properties will benefit from twilight or dusk photography but some are more suited than others.

    There is something about the warm glow of the lights against the often dramatic evening sky that is very appealing to the viewer.

    I have even seen data that suggests a better than 50% increase in views of twilight images over daytime images. Sort of makes it a little compelling doesn’t it?

    However, some properties have great views of water or parks that sometimes get lost in the semi darkness of twilight. These properties may be better served with daytime images or where possible both daytime and twilight.

    Often when providing twilight shoots we will send the photographer a little early, this gives time to capture some drone photos if required and also views that will be lost later on.

    Some of the most appealing twilight images involve water, pools, lakes, canals and even dams can be used to get the reflection of the home in the water.

    If your home has external lighting it will most likely be a star subject for twilight, if the property is vacant with no power than it is of no value at all.

    And if your property has a great deck that has views of the setting sun, well that can be magical.

    So, when you are next considering real estate photography make sure you give a thought to twilight images.
  • Photographing Pools

    Getting That Money Shot

    It is often the pool shot that offers up the best marketing image in both the average home and the prestige homes.
    This is especially true during the hot summer months when homes with pools seem to be in high demand.

    As a photographer I'm always looking for the best angle to capture the most inviting shot, from my experience most suburban pools are best photographed looking back towards the home.

    There are a number of reasons why this will work best but the most obvious is, it usually eliminates any objects from the backyard that may not improve the image and also usually ensures neighbouring homes or overlooking windows/balconies are not obvious.

    Pools always look best when the sun is bright and the clouds are few so scheduling when the weather is good is always top of mind.

    Pool shots are also better when pool cleaners are removed, there are no dog bowls on the patio, pool brushes and skimmers are stored out of site and pool covers are removed. If you have a pool cover, storing the cover roller out of site is a good option too if possible.

    Another option for pool owners is the twilight shot, these can be dramatic and a great image to attract attention.

    The last thing to remember when having a pool photographed is to have it ready to go at least 30 minutes before the photographer arrives. Pulling pool cleaners out after the photographer arrives can leave water marks all over the paving, it also makes it difficult if the sun is in and out of the clouds and the only time it is out the pool isn't ready to shoot.

    Everyone ready to "Splash Into Summer"?

  • January, 2020
  • Copyright, is your marketing above board?

    Many, if not all real estate agents use photographs to help promote the properties they are marketing. However, it is important that the right precautions are taken to ensure that agents do not expose themselves to unnecessary legal risk due to lack of knowledge regarding the relevant laws.

    Matt McCormick, founder of McCormicks Law , in Brisbane explains,
    “A person or other entity seeking to use a photograph, especially for a commercial purpose, should ensure that they have the appropriate permissions before using the work.”

    Under the Copyright Act 1968, copyright of artistic works, such as photographs, generally resides with the author (photographer) unless agreed otherwise or an exception applies.

    In the context of images used to promote the rental or sale of property, most photographers license the exclusive use of the images for the duration of the respective listing to the real estate agency. A real estate agency that has licenced particular photographs may also have an implied licence to make reproductions of the photographs and to use them on several mediums, provided the use of those photographs complies with the agreed commercial terms. However, once the property is rented, sold, removed, or no longer listed with the particular agency, the license for those photographs most likely expires, meaning that those images cannot be used for additional listings or other commercial purposes.

    “It is important to understand that the ownership of a particular work has not necessarily been transferred because payment has been made for the use of that work. If it is an employment relationship or for a private or domestic purpose, then this might be the case, but in a commercial context where a photographer is contracted to take photographs for a particular purpose, it is likely that those images have only been licenced (and paid for) for that particular purpose. It is important to note that this may vary based on the particular circumstances between the parties, and may also be modified by an agreement between the parties.” said McCormick.

    Some real estate photographers take a rather “laissez faire” approach to their rights, creating a situation where agents and principals assume that photography is like buying a shirt. The idea that ‘I paid for it, therefore it is mine’ is a common misconception.

    Rather than buying a shirt, photography is similar to catching a taxi. When you take a ride in a taxi, you do not own the car and your subsequent rides are not automatically paid for as part of a previously paid fee. When you pay for photographs, you do not automatically gain ownership of the photographs or the right to use those photographs for subsequent purposes.

    Photography pricing will generally include two components: the first component compensates for the effort of turning up, fixed costs and a fee for skill similar to the flag fall fee for a taxi ride. The second component related to the usage of the images much like the kilometres driven by a taxi. In commercial photography, the second component will generally cost more than the first component. Charges are usually calculated based on how long the images will be used, what geographic regions it will be seen in and what media use is required (print, web, billboards, TV, etc).

    In real estate, most photographers will simplify the charges and provide a fee based on the images required and the fact that it is obvious that the images will be used to market the home on the web, newspaper and signboards and will likely only be required for the life of the listing (which is often less than 3 months).

    So what are the potential penalties for not seeking permission to use the images?

    Essentially if a copyright owner’s rights have been infringed, they are entitled to seek relief based on that infringement. While there are a number of avenues for relief, in a commercial context it is likely that a photographer would want to seek damages as a means to help remunerate them for the use of their work.

    Most real estate photographers will be happy for the Seller/Landlord of a property to have a copy of the images of their property; however some Seller’s may be under the misconception that they own the images taken of their property because they paid a real estate agency for the marketing costs of their property. However, the licence obtained by the real estate agency for those images will not usually allow for the redistribution, transfer or use of those photographs to another person.

    Therefore problems may arise if a Seller/Landlord wishes to use the photographs for another purpose. This could occur where a Seller/Landlord changes agents, decides to delist the property or relist it for rent using the same photographs. If photographs of the property are to be used for another commercial purpose, additional permissions (and payment) will most likely be required.

    It may be prudent for principals to train their team in order to avoid the hassles involved when someone calls and says, “Sorry to bother you but I think you are using my images without permission!”
  • March, 2019
  • Morocco

    The thought of travelling somewhere off the beaten track is very appealing to me. I guess its the authentic experience I'm looking for but also maybe those conversations with friends that are fresh, unusual, different to the run of the mill travel experiences.

    My wife and I travelled to Marrakesh from Barcelona and via Casablanca, sounds rather exotic but we didn't get out of the airport in Casablanca, just a quick change of planes.

    Casablanca airport at the time was typical of what I guess are about a tier 3 airport, certainly not comparable to a Changi in Singapore or Heathrow in London but probably a Cairns in Australia although a little more rundown.

    Arriving in Marrakesh is an experience to behold, the thing that hits you straight off the bat is the noise. The streets are a total mish mash of vehicles with the most prominent the motor bike and its ubiquitous horn, the culprit for a lot of the noise.

    We stayed in the Medina, in a middle of the road Riad which provided an unbelievable contrast. The Medina is noisy, a concoction of smells, busy almost frantic with traders everywhere, motor bikes racing up the lane ways and beeping all the way. You make your way down some narrow lane ways to the Riad, you step inside and there is silence but for the trickling water feature and the warm welcome of Fatima our host. The Riad feels like an oasis in the middle of chaos, neat & clean, peaceful and welcoming.

    We were greeted with tea in one of the reception areas of the Riad which whilst I'm not a big tea fan, was happy to partake lest I offend our host. Fatima was very friendly and accommodating but with very limited English, this did not cause us any real problems. In retrospect I think it added to the experience.

    The roof of the Riad was also available for relaxing and enjoying some sun, it also provided an opportunity to survey the tops of the Medina. Clearly a bit of a ramshackle of TV antennas, satellite dishes and chimneys.

    Breakfast which was included in our Riad accommodation was a typically continental style but with a delightful Moroccan twist. No complaints from us, very enjoyable and taken in the peaceful Riad courtyard with the soothing sounds of the water feature.

    After breakfast we joined a guided tour of the Madina, it was a great way to learn a little bit about the daily way of life of the locals living in the Madina.
    Some very interesting aspects including the communal bakeries. Everyone in the local community provides the bakery with their dough, they have their unique cloth so the baker knows who belongs with which bread. They are all baked in the oven together and somehow the baker gets it right.
    The butcher is a little different to what we are used to, meat is often butchered on site, no refridgeration and is hung in the walk ways.
    We didn't notice any candle stick makers but there were plenty of merchants of every description.
    Later in the evening we headed over to the Souq Market, a very large market which seemed to come to life as the sun went down. Highly recommend a visit but be prepared to barter for every purchase, the locals seem to enjoy it and many speak excellent english and like any good salesman often have a joke or two share.

    There are some restaurants upstairs that provide a great vantage point to look over the souq and also provide a fantastic location to capture the sunset so take your camera. If you have a small tripod now is the time to take it out and get some use out of it.
    The next day we took a tour of the Atlas Mountains.
    Heading out of Marrakesh it doesn't take long before you leave the hussle and bussle behind as you travel the much quieter less used roads of rural Morocco.

    The scenery quickly changes to mountainous sculptures, snow covered backdrops and contrasting rugged rocky outcrops.

    Along our travels we stop to experience some fare, the Berber tribes are famous for their sweet tea and are keen to have everyone taste their brew.
    The local village children on their way home from school stop for a chat, very friendly and happy to chat with the travellers.
    The scenery is quite spectacular along the tour.

    As we make our way down the mountain we stop off at a Hotel with some great views of its own. We really enjoyed the day trip up the mountains and discovering the Berbers, its definitely a have to do option if you have time during your stay in Marrakesh.

    I hope you enjoyed this post about our time in Morocco, next post I will do on our Africa Safari through East Africa, Kenya, & Tanzania but in the mean time a few images of Morocco are below.

    #morocco #marrakesh #atlasmountains #travel

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