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HarlanHambright private msg quote post Address this user
I have been an architectural photographer for soon-to-be 40 years. I have always done my own darkroom work and printing. Still do, though with different tools. I have also always dabbled in new technology to offer unique services to the design professions, even before the digital revolution. I have now done 8 properties in under 2 weeks with the MP. My clients love them! But I had an existential realization today while scanning: This ain't art. It's an amazing product, an effective presentation tool, and I enjoy being the conduit for the completed work, but there are virtually no decisions to make as a "photographer." This is more like surveying than anything else. And, everything being totally automated, there is NO control or input on the look and feel of the final "image." Color balance on the whole is acceptable in awkward situations, but I do much better with Photomatix and Photoshop. Am I thinking too much?
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JohnBecker private msg quote post Address this user

I know what you're saying, but we do have input as to how we construct the model. Do you seek out minutia to get close to, so they're seen in the final product? Do you go for slick, efficient hotspots? Do you concentrate on coverage more than anything else?

We all have our own unique approaches. We may not have any control over the look of the imagery, but we do dictate the flow of the tour. If that's all we have to offer, we might as well make it as good as we can and call that our "craft."
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WGAN Forum Founder DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user

It's like Argentine tango lessons. You take six classes, and you feel that you have mastered the dance. You take classes for eight years, and you realize how little you know. When I am not capturing indoor spaces in 3D and VR, you'll find me tango dancing.

I view every Matterport 3D Showcase as a work of art opportunity.

For example, in my capture of this two-story Penthouse of a luxury boutique hotel in New York City, how did I get "magic hour" lighting to last five hours to make it look nice outside the windows (and terrace) too?

It's likely most Pros would take 1.5 hours to shoot this space. I took five hours. It's hard work to make it look so easy.

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HarlanHambright private msg quote post Address this user
well, how DID you get magic light to last 5 hours?
good job dealing with the mirrors.
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WGAN Forum Founder DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user

Let's see if some of the other Pros want to solve this brain teaser.

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HarlanHambright private msg quote post Address this user
manhattan is a bunch of canyons anyhow.
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craigsauer private msg quote post Address this user
I would have spent the first few hours thoroughly scanning the entire property, not worrying about the lighting overmuch, and then when magic hour came around, rescanned all the spots closest to the windows.

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WGAN Forum Founder DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
Brain Teaser solved by @craigsauer


I did have enough magic hour lighting to (almost) rescan all the upstair and down stairs for the 'walk around' experience. Plus, one golden hour scan in the shower (which has a window with a view).

As you know, we can not control f-stop, shutter speed or ISO, we can control the lighting. That's key.


When magic hour arrives, I only care about the 'walk around', I needed to do all the other scans first to get the floor plan and dollhouse to look nice. Plus, the stairs takes a while. Most of the scans in this model actually got disabled.

The stairs and bathrooms can be shot in almost any lighting, BUT I need to get that done first so that I can go back during "magic hour" and scan only the great views.

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WGAN Forum Founder DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user

By the way, for the full Matterport geek experience, I write at length about how I did this on our We Get Around blog:

Matterport Pro 3D Camera Photographers: 11 Tips for Capturing Magical 3D Models

Plus, here are 11 more tips ...

Matterport Photographers: 11 Tips for Creating 3D Tours of Luxury Real Estate

I really do view what we do as an opportunity to create art.

And, it is hard work to make it look so easy.


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ron0987 private msg quote post Address this user

You do make some good points, but if you remember 20 years ago the first digital cameras were emerging. All I heard at that time was they would never replace film cameras. I remember the first digital cameras? I have been taken photos forever, I got my first digital camera which was black and white 1.5 megapixel, for work. It was large bulky and would only hold 12 photos. No ISO, no shutter speed, no aperture and definitely no Photoshop. Look were we are today. This is new emerging technology, a little clucky now but by far a better start then what digital camera started out as. Just my two cent and look how far Nikon has come, sorry Canon owners

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ron0987 private msg quote post Address this user
Like Dan pointed out the creativity is not how fast you can get in and do it, anyone can do that. The creativity is planning your project out and creating the best you can with what you have on hand. I also like pushing the limits on the camera to see what it can produce, outside, outside at night, all lights on, all lights off, what can I get with what I have and for me that is exciting and fun. Do I get frustrated with the limitation yes, but again I slow down regroup and move forward.

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HarlanHambright private msg quote post Address this user
I certainly have applied all my photographic knowledge to my MP jobs (time of day, etc.) but my post, I guess, was referencing the vast difference between the processes between MP and "architectural photography." Based on y'all's responses, I have been inspired to apply my photographic sensibilities more to the MP process (which I was doing mostly), but after 2 hours of scanning, I was feeling like a robot. Maybe these can become "works of art," but absent my take on color, saturation and exposure, etc.

I'll get it.
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THRHHI private msg quote post Address this user
While we can't control the camera function i look at each project as a challenge to get best scan I can with what i can control. That means planning the flow, looking at how to approach each room, the lighting, doors open/closed and how to get the most consistent walkthrough. I do spend a lot of time looking at showcases I like and looking at the camera placements, the results and why the photographer chose that spot. For example in Dan's showcase of The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta (38A) I discovered that he actually shot a scan from on top of the kitchen counter with the camera being at about 8'. So i ask why? Was it necessary for detail? Did it make the walk through flow better? Did it create a better dollhouse? Care to chime in with a response Dan?
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BillRobinson private msg quote post Address this user
It's also a great use of leading technology to enhance art, and visa versa. To take art to places it may not be allowed to go. I was fortunate, and honored, to be the lead 3D photographer in helping Matterport scan the Ai WeiWei art exhibits at Alacatraz.

In several trips to the island I made practice scans to confirm lighting, scan placement, etc. Matterport's team and expertise made it all come together culminating with the 3D models being shown to Ai Weiwei, in China, on an Oculus VR headset. As a political prisoner in China, and one of the world's leading activists, he couldn't visit his own exhibit. Matterport magic made it happen.

We had five exhibits to capture in a national park that can't close exhibits that are scheduled open to the public, poor lighting, a short time window (5-6 hours) and only one opportunity as the display was being dismanteled as we finished.

So I agree with Dan. We do perform art, although in a different manner. We need to keep an 'artistic standard' with our work. Just that some of the canvasses seem a lot nicer than others.
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smcclell private msg quote post Address this user
@HarlanHambright I just had a look at your site and your tour does not seem to be working..just a FYI. Someone else can check make sure it's not just me?

I agree that more creative control would be great but as other have said there will be time for it to grow. Not just MP but other products I'm sure.
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HarlanHambright private msg quote post Address this user
@smcclell Thank you! I added the 2nd floors yesterday and deleted the old model and forgot to relink my site. Done.
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Invelop private msg quote post Address this user
Completely agree with Dan. After a few scans you should realize how much you don't know.
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