Interior Architectural Photos: HOW do you LIGHT RIGHT?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by MMeticulous, Oct 6, 2009.

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How do you typically shoot Interior Architectural Photos? (Lighting)

  1. Use Existing Light Only (single exposure)

    33.3%
  2. Use HDR with Existing Light & Bracketed Shots

    66.7%
  3. Use Light Stands Only

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Use Light Stands with Flash Accompaniment

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Use Master/Slave Flash Pair Only

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. MMeticulous

    MMeticulous TPF Noob!

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    Hello Everyone,

    I have a new Canon 50D and two good flashes. I also have two ECA 250 light stands. I'm about to start shooting interior architectural photos for a client I'm building a website for: banks, office buildings, small commercial buildings.

    My question is this: what is the BEST, most reliable way to get good interior shots? Should I stick with existing light and adjust my exposure accordingly? Should I go with existing light and bracketed shots? Do people do HDR (I'm new to this) on interior shots? Should I setup the light stands and shoot with or without flash accompaniment? Should I just use the flashes in a master/slave pair and leave the light stands at home?

    I used to be a Realtor, and I would setup the stands and make a full day of shooting a residential property. It worked well (I got good shots), but it was extremely slow moving. With the commercial properties, I'm concerned that I'm not going to have that much time to setup and shoot the interior. (There will be a lot of people staring at me, waiting for me to be done.) Also, a lot of commercial properties would be really hard to light inside with auxiliary lighting. (They are big and have a lot of separate yet connected spaces.) I'd really like to hear from some people who do architectural photography for a living, what route do you advise for interior lighting?

    Thanks in advance for the feedback!
    :mrgreen: Jeff
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2009
  2. WimFoto

    WimFoto TPF Noob!

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    hi jeff,
    if time is an issue i would go to the building and just take a few shots with a on-camera flash. at home on the computer check your results, post editing is a wonderful thing and might be good enough for a website.
     
  3. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Each interior deserves to be evaluated and handled according to it's own particular needs. If it's well illuminated, you may get away with a single shot. If it's all good except for one dark corner, you may want to set up a light to balance that out. If you want to highlight some particular aspect of the interior, you may want to set up a light for that. There may be issues with different light sources including natural, tungsten, fluorescent and even neon to consider. Perhaps the view out the window is an important aspect of the interior, and will need to be balanced accordingly. Time of day relative to where the windows are and what can be seen through them can play a role.

    In other words, there are too many variables to say, "do it this way".

    Nonetheless, for the situation you've targeted, I'd say bracket 3 or more shots on a tripod and HDR them is going to be the easiest and quickest way to deal with whatever you run into, though that doesn't necessarily mean it will be the best.

    Study House Beautiful magazine shots and reverse engineer the light for more ideas on how to properly deal with the various situations you may run into.
     
  4. MMeticulous

    MMeticulous TPF Noob!

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    Dang... only one person voted! Anybody else care to weigh-in on this? I would really like to hear several opinions if possible.

    Thanks!
     
  5. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 TPF Noob!

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    Though i probably am not as experienced as Buckster on this topic, I agree with what he's saying. Every situation is different, but if you want to ONLY do it one way to simplify things or get it done quickly due to time constraints, then bracketing is the way to go here - provided the dynamic range is great enough that you can't get the detail you need with one shot. No setting up flashes and the like, get in, setup on a tripod, get your burst and get out.
     

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