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Help me improve

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Jun 16, 2016
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Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I am struggling getting my photos to look as nice as I know possible. I don't know if I am using the wrong equipment for what I need, the wrong settings, or what my problem is! I have a really hard time controlling the lighting and often times get blurry shots. Also, I'll take several picts of the same room and the walls will look different colors in each shot. Please help! I'm not afraid to trade in my camera for a new one if needed but I want to do the right thing.
Here is what I am working with:
Canon Rebel T3i
10-18 mm Canon lens (for wide angle shots)
Neewer Speedlight NW985
Here is what my photo looks like:
IMG_0017.jpg

IMG_0076.jpg

IMG_0314.jpg

Here is what I want it to look like:

Please do not post images to which you do not hold rights. You may post links.

Please Help!
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Would it be alright to try an edit on your photo's?
 
Ok, then what are you editing your photo's with? I can assure you the one's you posted were run through some kind of editing software. I had already tried an edit on them and in about a minute got them close to what you are wanting.

If you're trying to do this all in camera then you will need to change the time of day you are shooting and learn to use flash to illuminate the room you are trying to photograph or expose for the outside and balance the inside with flash.
 
Thanks. I use Lightroom but I am a noob at it.

I used Lightroom and got the edits you were looking for so it's possible you'll just have to play with it and get used to it. Are you just starting out in photography? Still using your camera in auto?
 
I use the AV setting outside and CA (creative Auto) Soft for indoors. I am open to any suggestions in settings or Lightroom though. I hope its that easy of a change!!
 
You've discovered dynamic range! That's the term that describes the difference between the brightest and dimmest areas of the scene, and cameras cannot record all the levels from bright outdoor sunshine to shaded indoor scenes.

In your second image, you metered the window scene and used a flash, either the camera's pop-up or a larger unit on the hot-shoe (shown by the shadows cast by the ceiling fixtures, the stools, and the faucet.) The flash didn't spread enough light to cover the frame, resulting in the darker area on the left. You can also see how it falls off with distance, with that far corner being poorly illuminated compared to the near counter space. The others, except for the last one, I would call slightly overexposed. They have a washed-out look, lacking contrast.

People who shoot indoor scenes like that use several lights, triggered remotely by the camera. For example, in your second one, there could be a pair of lights on low stands (out of sight) in front of the sofa, one firing towards that dark area to the left, another firing towards the chairs against the wall, maybe actually more towards the fireplace. maybe also one left of frame firing towards the patio door to light the back of the sofa, and one low between the counter and the patio door firing towards the fireplace but more up, towards the ceiling.

Another option is to face away from the windows and use the natural light to light your scene, without including any of the windows in the scene.

What I'm getting at is that with sunny windows and a single on-camera flash, you're going to be very hard-pressed to get the results you want. Indoor scenes have to be artificially lit to complete with the window light. There's just too much difference between the light indoors and outdoors to use the window light to actually light the room, too. You can use the natural light, without flash, to illuminate the indoor space, but you should then use a viewing angle that actually does not show the windows, just walls and furniture.

Also... tripod! Even with fairly fast shutter speeds, setting the camera on a tripod lets you bracket the exposures, shooting several frames, some a little dim, some a little bright, with the exact same point of view, which will not be possible handheld. With bracketed shots you can composite or even HDR a bit to compress the dynamic range.

Before anyone says, "Ooh, no HDR!!!!" I'm not talking about the exaggerated saturation and "painted" look you get with excessive HDR processing. I'm talking about using it as a tool to bring up dark detail and bring down highlights. This image is an HDR of my friend's cat on a windowsill. There is no way to capture this without HDR. Either the cat is silhouetted against the outdoor scene, or the he's visible against a white background. Three frames 2 stops apart from each other were used.

16407239435_62f6df0e52_o.jpg


Lightroom doesn't do HDR, Photoshop (sorta) does, but there are lots of standalone HDR programs out there.
 
Thanks @wfooshee ! I think that getting another light source will solve most of my problems. What would you recommend me buying to fix this problem? Thanks!
 
Lightroom doesn't do HDR
My Lightroom does HDR. Which version are you using?

In the latest version, select the number of images then right click. It's an option in there to HDR merge the photos. Once clicked, it does it's thing and opens a dialogue box. You change the settings you want, or leave them in their default settings, and click ok. Voila.
 
My advice, get the flash off the camera. Get a cheapo wireless flash triggering unit and then get a good tripod. Put your camera on that tripod and do a few exposures for the interior, exterior, just get the entire scene perfectly exposed. then use the flash to accent the lights, you want to use the flash to act like the lights in the image so it looks natural. Then you need to blend it all together in post production. If you more detailed suggestion I suggest watching youtube videos.
 
My Lightroom does HDR. Which version are you using?

In the latest version, select the number of images then right click. It's an option in there to HDR merge the photos. Once clicked, it does it's thing and opens a dialogue box. You change the settings you want, or leave them in their default settings, and click ok. Voila.
Yeah, oops... I don't actually use Lightroom at all, I was going by something someone said to me, which is obviously not accurate.

Thanks @wfooshee ! I think that getting another light source will solve most of my problems. What would you recommend me buying to fix this problem? Thanks!

I actually don't have any specific recommendations. For a LOT of light you'll need more than a speedlight flash, you'll need a professional strobe unit. As for triggers, there are probably a dozen brands of radio trigger devices, but I haven't worked with any so I couldn't tell you one from another. My own lights are limited to a couple of flash units, no big strobes.
 
Hi there. I am love creating landscape and urban images and processing in HDR. Over the past seven years I have been perfecting my work. And it continues to be a work in progress.

However...

I do have a couple of realtors who I shoot listings for. My photos are 5 shot HDR and I use no light source other than exposure time in the camera. You can see an example of my work.

This was actually the interior of historic home in Snohomish Washington.

304.jpg
 

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