Workshop Wednesday: View from Balcony

Workshop Wednesdays are a weekly segment where I provide a composition analysis of a real estate photograph. If you have a specific type of room or exterior space that you would like to see in this segment, please get in touch.

This week’s image was taken during a twilight real estate photo-shoot of a three-bedroom apartment within Peppers ‘Soul’ on the Gold Coast, Australia. It is a 243m high building with 288 units spanning across 77 floors.

The image was captured towards the end of the shoot when the sun had slipped below the horizon and the neighbouring buildings had begun to light-up.

The purpose of the image was to show the impressive skyline and ocean views within the one image, available to the buyers.


The bulk of the subject is situated in the four squares within the bottom right of the (rule of thirds) grid, with the ocean sitting in the left third if the frame. The twilight sky is an important element within the image and makes up the rest of the composition.

Although the purpose of the image is to show both the ocean and the city (Surfers Paradise in this case), the city is the primary focus.


The ocean’s shoreline and the beach travels diagonally across the image towards the centre of the frame, which assists in helping guide the viewer to the city skyline (the focus of the image).


The balcony railing has been included in the bottom right corner of the image to indicate to the viewer that the photograph is a true a representation of the view from the apartment’s balcony and has not been ‘zoomed-in’ excessively. A focal length of 10mm was used in this composition.


The core of the city skyline is situated in the centre of the image to highlight the focus and complement the diagonal lines of the shoreline discussed in point 2.0.


The building on the right has been used to close the right frame of the image by cropping to 10mm.


The left side of the image shows uninterrupted views of the ocean/horizon without any objects or buildings framing the edge. This help convey to the viewer that the views of the ocean to the left are infinite.

The original photograph – View of the Gold Coast from apartment.

Photograph Information

Camera: NIKON D90

Aperture (ƒ): 11

Focal Length (mm): 10

ISO: 640

Shutter Speed (s): 1.6s (5 Brackets)

Flash Fired: No

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