Luxury Real Estate Photography by Barry Grossman
Barry is a professional architectural and interior design photographer based in South Florida. As a professional photographer with over 23 years experience he works closely with architects, interior designers, public relations firms and advertising agencies. Barry’s photography assignments have taken his creative team from Florida to New York, Las Vegas to the Bahamas and Atlanta to Cancun. Barry’s images are consistently published. His clients are seen internationally in books, trade publications and magazines including Architectural Digest, Florida Architecture, Florida Design, Luxe, and Miami Design among many others.
How did you become a photographer?
I began my career in commercial photography shortly after graduating film school where I minored in photography. I have always wanted to tell stories with my images. As a filmmaker, I was drawn to interior space and often used architectural elements to help convey my narratives and help define my characters. Many personal projects centralised the story of the environments and the people who lived within them. Atmosphere was integral to what inspired me artistically as a filmmaker, cinematographer and stills photographer.
What persuaded you to shoot interiors?
Working with the interior design community just seemed to make sense and I love the artistic temperament of my clients and the specialty allows me to express myself, while telling the story of my designer’s work.
What type of customers do you shoot for?
For over 25 years I have had my primary clientele be interior designers, primarily residential, but nearly as often, designers and architects of commercial spaces. From my experience, the collaboration of photographer and interior designer is a very artistically motivating one.
Why did you choose to invest in the Cambo System?
I have owned a Phase One camera since 2003 and I have upgraded their digital backs every 3 year or so. Late-2015, I started to research their IQ260 and really wanted to bring my work to the next level. It made perfect sense for me to begin utilising the best technical camera and lens system to go along with my new Phase One digital back. The Cambo WRS 5000 does everything I need as an architectural shooter. I am able to refine my work and achieve the absolute best in image quality with this extremely elegant system. I love the feel of the camera… I love the look of the camera. Most important, I truly enjoy setting it up each day and working with it because I have what I consider to be the best combination of quality, ease-of-use and camera design in the industry.
Many photographers ask for lens recommendations. Which lenses do you mainly use and do you have any of the Cambo WTS versions – with the Tilt/Swing panel?
I employ the following lenses, which are all Rodenstock: 23mm HR Digaron-S, 32mm HR Digaron-W, WTS40mm HR Digaron-W and WTS70mm HR Digaron-W.
Each lens functions beautifully with the Cambo system. My primary lenses for my interiors work are the 23, 32 and 40mm. The WTS lenses with Tilt/Swing capability is fantastic and brings me very close to the functionality of my old view camera with the ability to control depth of field and plane of focus.
Do you have any other cameras, lenses, or any useful gadgets in you kitbag we should know about?
I am so impressed with my tripods by Really Right Stuff and I use two of them. My primary camera support is the TVC-34L and for small travel shoots, I love their tiny TVC-24. I also utilise the Arca Swiss Cube head for my camera support and it’s an essential tool to go along with the precision of the Cambo WRS 5000. I am also very fortunate to own Profoto strobes and employ B1, and D1 units for my work.
Finally, what is you capture process and how do you manage your Workflow?
These days, our workflow has become streamlined. Most of our work involves shooting multiple exposures and what I call, “lighting layers.” These different photos are accomplished with the precision that the Cambo system offers. It is extremely important that the digital files are exactly registered as one pixel off can become problematic to my post-production process. A typical shot will involve 15-20 test images as we compose the shot, adjust the subject matter to suit the designer’s and photographer’s artistic vision.
Once the frame is set, I usually shoot an ambient frame, sometimes several of differing exposure values. This is followed by anywhere from 2, 3, 5 or sometimes 10 or more “lighting layers” where my assistant or I will move throughout the frame adding fill, or adding accent lighting to create depth, drama or allow for technical value i.e. correct colour balance or tone rendition. Once all that is complete, we move on to the next shot!
Usually, the following day, we are in our studio processing the RAW files in Capture One Pro software. Once the files are output, we will open them into Photoshop where we work our magic. This technique offers great functionality and efficiency, but also allows for creative use of lighting while on-set. All this would be very hard to accomplish with equipment less advanced than the Cambo and Phase One, in harmony.
As it pertains to file delivery, I will usually finalise my images as 16bit RGB files and archive those. Most often, these days, I will also save a max-quality Jpeg file and upload that to a private server for my clients to review and eventually download.