Real Estate Photography Technique: ‘Leafy Green’ Backyard

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The real estate photography case studies are a weekly segment where I provide a composition analysis of a real estate photograph and a look into the real estate photography technique used. If you have a specific type of room or exterior space that you would like to see in this segment or you would like one of your photographs featured, please get in touch.

Real Estate Photography Technique: Backyard and Pool

This week’s image was taken during a twilight photo-shoot within the ‘nautical’ twilight phase, when the center of the sun reaches approximately 12 degrees below the horizon. During this phase, the warm red sunlight disappears and is met by a very dark blue light as the horizon transitions to the darkness of the night sky.

The subject of the image is the leafy green backyard with the key features being the pool, grassed area, and deck at the rear of the two-storey house.

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Applying the rule of thirds to this image places the house in the third column on the right-hand side, and the pool and green space in the bottom third row. The overhanging tree fills the top left corner of the composition (see part 5 below).


The purpose of the image is to show the viewer the relaxed backyard with the pool, grassed area, deck and the ‘leafy green’ setting as the key features. These features make up at least 75% of the image with the remaining space comprising of the twilight sky and the actual house.


The left and right edges of the composition include the small garden beds on side and rear of the backyard. These act as (partial) borders and also help tell the viewer that the pool is surrounded by additional landscaping.


The diagonal lines of the pool edges help lead the viewer into the (third) main feature of the image (the deck) and reveals the pool and green space on the way to the centre, which are the other two important features of the image.  


The camera height was lifted to approx. 1.8m (on the tripod) to bring more of the tree branches (on the top left corner) into the frame.

The purpose of this was to fill the top left of the image with the greenery to enhance the feeling of the backyard being in a ‘leafy green’ natural setting. The extra height also ensures that the deck (which is slightly elevated from ground level) is clearly visible in the image.

Photograph Information

Camera: NIKON D750

Aperture (ƒ): 11

Focal Length (mm): 16

ISO: 100

Shutter Speed (s): 2s (5 Brackets)

Flash Fired: No

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The primary focus of the composition is to highlight the ‘leafy green’ backyard, swimming pool, and deck.

For more case studies and tips on real estate photography technique, please click here.

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