Colorado Charm in Walden Photo Journal

This photo shoot was in the Walden subdivision of the Tri-Lakes area. This is a beautiful area, large lots, plenty of trees and some awesome views. This was a newer home, so there were lots of challenges but at the end we were really happy with the results.

bakersext

The amount of contrast between the light and shadows here on the exterior of the home made us decide to do a 5 bracket tonal compression. It really evened out the image and gave it a natural look.

BakersFarm Entry 

Portrait angled shots are generally difficult to deal with on real estate websites as well as in the MLS. We couldn't resist this one though. As you look back towards the door it is the focal point of the front of the house. 

BakersFarm LivingRoom

This great room living room is was just soaked with sunlight. We wanted to maintain the views of some of the vegetation through the windows while showing the room was warm and open. In order to accomplish this we did a 7 exposure "Fusion" this helped maintain the actual look and feel of the room.

BakersFarm Kitchen 

Once again in the kitchen we used a 7 exposure to give the room a warm and natural look. 

BakersFarm Nook

 

BakersFarm FamilyRoom 2

 

 

BakersFarm FamilyRoomAlt 2

 

bakersdeck

This image was taken from our "drone" we tried to minimize the contrast between shadows and sunlight. We did a virtual HDR image for this one, using RAW files to simulate an actual HDR image. We were not able to get usable brackets because it was windy and the drone was moving all over the place.

If you have any questions or would like to talk to us about our listing services, please contact us or give us a call 719-388-4000

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3945 Gorge View Place Photo Journal

3945 Gorge View Place is an impeccably maintained 4-level home located in a truly unique neighborhood. Sunset Mesa, is a hidden gem of a neighborhood right in the heart of Northeast Colorado Springs

 

Gorge View Exterior

 

This exterior shot is a 3 exposure HDR image. We used the aspen tree to the right in order to block the sun which was behind the house when we shot this. The leaves provided a nice bright green accent in the upper right hand corner. Additionally, the position of the sun kept the living areas full of natural light for the entire shoot.

 

Gorge View Kitchen

 

In this Kitchen, we wanted to capture a clean, even feel while bringing attention to the hardwood floors. In order to accomplish this we used a 7 bracket "Exposure Fusion".

 

gorgeview familyroom

 

This Family Room was located at the back of the house, there was a ton of sunlight streaming in through the windows. We did a 9 bracket fusion. This allowed us to show the room as it appears to the eye. Notice you can see foliage through the window. A standard image would have shown the window as completely "blown out" (over exposed).

 

 

Backyard Picture

 

The backyard was a 3 exposure HDR tone compression image. We shot it this way because there was such a wide contrast between the shaded and sunny areas. Tone Compression seems to work really well in this kind of setting.

 

gorgeview diningroom

 

gorgeview livingroom

 

gorgeview nook

 

The remaining images are 7 bracket "Exposure Fusions". We shot this way because we wanted to have a clean even look on the inside while maintaining the view through the windows into this beautiful lot.

 

For more information on this house please visit: https://www.springshomes.com/mls/2577820-3945-Gorge-View-PL-Colorado-Springs-CO-80918

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5 Things to Do This Weekend (Oct 22, 23) in Colorado Springs

5 Things to Do This Weekend (Oct 22, 23) in Colorado Springs

Fine Art & Craft Show - Sat Oct 22, 9am-4:30pm, Sun Oct 23, 10am-4pm Lewis Palmer High School

Admission: $5. Hosted by Creative Crafters, this art & craft fair has everything from handmade and commercial wares to yummy food items. For more information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Strange Parade, Tribute to the Doors - Sat Oct 22, 7:00pm at Stargazer's Theatre

Admission: starting at $12. A Doors tribute band is about to rock the Stargazer's Theatre. Starting at Karaoke nights at CU Boulder, this band developed into the band it is today. For more information visit: http://stargazerstheatre.com.

 

Great Pumpkin Festival, Sat Oct 22 10-3pm, West Colorado & 25th Street, Old Colorado City

Admission: Free. A pumpkin weigh-off, Sidewalk Sale, costume contest, Giant Kid's Zone and more. Great fall festival for the whole family. For more information: http://shopoldcoloradocity.com.

 

Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival, Fri -Sun, Various locations around Breckenridge

Admission: Various. If you love the Great American Beer Festival, and you are a fan of spirits, this is the festival for you. The 3-day event hosts lectures, tours open houses and an after party on Saturday night. For more information: http:breckenridgecraftspiritsfestival.com

 

Citizen with a Country, Sat Oct 22 7:30pm, Sun Oct 23 at 2:30 pm, Pikes Peak Center

Admission: from $23, Kids free with purchase of an adult ticket. The Colorado Springs Philharmonic presents this wonderful mix of Dvorak and Brahms which looks at life's greatest tragedies, a thwarted love affair and the fight for a country's independence. More information can be found at: http://www.csphilharmonic.org/.

 

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Real Estate Photography

Online listings and more specifically, property photos have become the new first showing. Buyers no longer want to waste time slogging through dozens of homes in order to find “The One”. Like it or not, todays buyers eliminate properties based on first impressions. Great property photos motivate homebuyers to move those homes to the top of the stack. Good Realtors know this and insist on the highest quality photos.  

 

Good quality images are generally described as being clean, clear, bright and even. Additionally, the expectation is that the shots will use a wide angle lens in order to clearly showing the entire room. Great photos should convey emotions as well as a sense of comfort and style; a place that would make you happy to live in.  

 

Professional photography starts with professional equipment. Modern DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras are ideal for real estate work. These cameras give the photographer the ability to realistically see what they are producing, allowing the experienced photographer to make adjustments for different lighting conditions. Additionally, the DSLR allows the photographer to change lenses, as needed. If your property pictures are done with a phone or point and shoot camera, you will want to take a look at the results before going live, especially when compared to other homes on the market.  

 

The next step for any professional real estate photographer is going to be post production work. This involves color correction, white balance adjustments, vertical adjustments from effects of wide angle lenses and more. Truly great photographers will take the post production process a step further and produce “enfused” or “HDR” (High Dynamic Range) images. Both of these treatments require a lot more work but in the end provide much more photorealistic images, ones that really stand out from the pack.  

 

The human eye, perceives a much wider dynamic range of light than any camera possibly can. HDR Photography techniques like “Exposure Fusion” and “Tone Mapping” processes compensate for the camera's lack of dynamic range by allowing the photographer to take multiple images of a single scene. These images cover the range from seriously under exposed to very overexposed. The photographer then uses special software in order to merge these images, adjusting the pixels based on the overall image. The resultant image shows a significantly wider dynamic range than any single image can. Here is a side by side comparison of a "properly" exposed single image and a Exposure Fusion version of the same scene.

 

 

normalexposure enfused
Normal, appropriately exposed image Exposure Fusion Version

 

The Exposure Fusion version shows a much more even, clean look without changing the fundamental look of the room. In order to accomplish this, we used the following 7 total exposures. These were processed in PhotoMatix Pro and the rendered as the resulting Exposure Fusion above.

 

strip 7 strip 6 strip 5 strip strip 2 strip 3 strip 4

 

The second option we have when working in a program like PhotoMatix Pro, is to render the image with "Tone Compression". We have found this process to be helpful but only in certain cases. We feel like the images result in a fake or overprocessed look. Here is the same image rendered as an HDR image with tone compression:

 

HdRed enfused
HDR with Tone Compression Exposure Fusion

 

We feel like Tone Compression give the images a fake, over processed feel. Since our goal is to realistically show our for sale listings in the best possible light, we primarily use the fusion method.

 

No matter what processing techniques the photographer uses, it is the Realtor's job to make sure their for sale listings are presented in the best light possible. If you have any questions about Real Estate Photography or are interested in talking to us about selling your home, please give us a call.

 

 

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Bringing Awareness to Teen Suicide

Bringing Awareness to Teen Suicide

Suicide, is a sad topic no one wants to talk about. But I have to write about it because it's affecting our teens in Colorado Springs. You see, teen suicide is on the rise here. As of mid-October there have been 13 teen suicides in ...El Paso County.  In 2015 there were 14 teen suicides here. Our very own Academy School District 20 recently launched a "powerful partnerships and suicide prevention campaign" in order to bring public awareness to this sensitive issue. Rampart High School even performed a play about it. But the big question is WHY? What is going on here? What is happening to our teens? 

 

I've read about different theories and speculations. Some say our kids are depressed because we are a military town full of deployed parents who have to leave their families a lot. They say that's troubling our kids. I'm not convinced the problem stems from this. I know deployment is stressful, but military families have faced deployment for decades, and yet never was there a time when the teen suicide rate was this high.  

 

Others theorize that suicide is contagious. According to a recent article in Newsweek Magazine, "Decades of research prove that a startling range of emotions and behaviors can be contagious—from moodiness to yawning. Young people are especially susceptible; they obsess over fads and fashion trends and copy illicit behaviors from peers, such as smoking, drinking or speeding. Or suicide." According to this theory, the kids are copying one another.  I'm not convinced this is the reason.  Copying has been around forever. Why would it suddenly increase now?  

 

I am the mother of a teenager.  My daughter attends high school here in the Springs. I've watched and listened to her. Here's what I think:  

1. These kids are under more pressure than ever before. They're under pressure to perform well, almost perfectly. Example: school teachers are constantly talking about grades. Every time these kids take a quiz or turn in an assignment, they are immediately given an update as to their current grade, how many points are being added or subtracted because of that quiz or assignment. They can't do a project without worrying about how it will impact the grade. They walk around paranoid, for fear of making the "wrong" move or not being "good enough." They are reminded daily of each grade in each class. When I was in school, we got report cards which showed our quarterly grades.  We weren't reminded on a daily basis of how we were measuring up. Shame on our system for doing this to them. A fellow mom, whose daughter is in a few classes with my own, said "I've never seen Naomi (name changed) so stressed out. She can't relax under all this pressure to perform."  

 

2. Social media is not helping these kids to feel good about themselves. Sites like Instagram or Facebook show classmates and friends in happy, unrealistic photos of a perfect life. They show smiles and laughter and post about the good time everyone is having. They give an unrealistic view of how people should look and how life should be. These kids feel inferior when they read all that. They compare themselves to the images and feel they can't measure up.

 

3. Today's parents are putting so much pressure on their kids to perform, get good grades, excel at a sport, volunteer. It's too much. In speaking with one parent at last night's parent/teacher conference, she was happy to inform me of her daughter's great grades, playing a variety of sports, and volunteering with out local junior police program. Her other daughter, a high school Junior, is learning how to fly airplanes. I was exhausted just hearing about it. Parents are pushing their kids to excel at levels which are almost impossible. 

 

As a Realtor, I've even had buyers call who are moving here from out of state and have already determined which school district they want for their kids, purely based on district ranking. Not that there's anything wrong  wanting the best for your kids. I certainly do. But have we gotten too focused on rank and achievement? Ironically, one of the best ranking schools in our area, which is located in one of the best ranking districts in our area happens to have the HIGHEST suicide rate of all the schools in El Paso County. It's no coincidence. With such an emphasis on "turning out the best" perhaps we have ignored the pressure these kids feel to be the best, to outperform, to set higher standards than ever before.

 

I'm no expert on how to raise a kid or how to keep them from doing the unthinkable. And my heart goes out to all those parents and families who are facing such. But I have to believe the pressure these kids are under is so heavy that the burden is often too much to bear. Colorado Springs is a great city with an awesome public school system. But as parents we are ultimately responsible for ensuring our kids are okay. We have to pay attention to what they say and how they behave. And we have to let them know it's okay to be scared or imperfect. After all, aren't we all?

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