Lighting Interiors for Hotel

bayareaphoto

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I am new to the forum. Looks like you have a great group here!

My question is about lighting hotel rooms for the hotel's website. I am torn between doing a single exposure and trying to get my lighting right in one shot (ambient, tungsten, and flash all mixed), or trying to light the room separately and do multiple exposures and mask them later.

My original plan was to take the image at around 1/60th of a second, somewhere between f11-f16 and expose for the light coming in the window. Then use 5-6 speedlights and strobes in various parts of the room to highlight certain areas. I was planning on removing all the flourescent lights out of the lamps and replace them with AC Slave strobes that can screw in the household sockets. Never have used those AC Slaves though before so not sure of the results.

Doing test shots with the 16-35mm lens on a 5D Mark II revealed too much distortion of straight lines so I will rent either the 17mm Tilt shift or the 24mm tilt shift for the final images.

I guess my other options are to light with hot lights so what I see is what I get or to try to do different exposures and do HDR, or shoot different exposures and mask later so I don't have to worry about trying to hide all my artificial light sources. This sounds like a lot of post work though and I have not done this type of editing as of yet other than basic HDR with Photomatix.

Any advice is appreciated on what would be the simplest solution with best results?
 

Buckster

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From another recent thread:
I wish I can find that one architectural photographer who takes bracketed shots with different WB.

For example inside the room with shade temp
The window where you can see outside with daylight temp.
The hallway with tungsten temp.

Then he combines all of them like HDR. The color is just awesome. Everything is correct exposure and color. He uses T/S lens. I wish I saved the link.

Oloneo PhotoEngine (link) does that kind of work very well indeed, and it is relatively cheap. It's a great piece of software for HDR/multiexposure, and I've switched to it from Photomatix. To get back to the OP's point, I usually shoot with a partial correction gel over my flash indoors, then white balance to the flash in post. This often helps with subject/background separation, and it gives something of the atmosphere of the ambient lighting. It's all personal taste, of course - there are times when you want uniform white balance and there are times when you don't. Anyone familiar with Chris Doyle's cinematography for Wong Kar-wai will have seen very effective mixed lighting, often copied now.
Seriously check out that software for lighting control via post processing.
 
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bayareaphoto

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thanks for the link Buckster. This looks like a helpful way to get the proper exposure of each individual light and then adjust in post. I just hope everything looks natural with this and not too HDR-ish. Will probably go this route unless I hear of any better ideas.
 
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bayareaphoto

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After reading more I see that they don't have a Mac option. I really wish I could do this on my computer.
 

Buckster

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thanks for the link Buckster. This looks like a helpful way to get the proper exposure of each individual light and then adjust in post. I just hope everything looks natural with this and not too HDR-ish. Will probably go this route unless I hear of any better ideas.
Always glad to help if I can. From the video on this page, it looks like it will work without being HDR-garish:

 
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Buckster

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The guy in this video is using it on his Mac with some sort of work-around:

 
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EchoingWhisper

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Use LAB mode and change color balance to your preference.
 

RyanSands

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I do a lot of architecture shots myself and I always find the best way to shoot interiors without too much post work is to expose everything properly when your there shooting. I could only imagine if I had to combine my shots later in order to get my exposures. For me I blow out the windows to white..since rarely is there scenes outside of the windows I think would enhance my shots. Then I expose properly for the ambient lighting in the room...your going to want a little bit longer of an exposure then 1/60th of a second in order to boost the ambient wall lighting or any lamps etc that are in the room. So your 100% going to need a tripod for this kind of work. Then you can bring along a few strobes...I bring 4...and adjust your F-Stop to what is needed to balance the lighting. Here are a few examples.

architecture_10b.jpg


architecture_08b.jpg


IMG_0412_01.jpg
 
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bayareaphoto

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Great shots Ryan! I like your natural lighting. What lens did you use to take these images?
 

KmH

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The EXIF data for the last one shows a 19mm focal length was used set to f/9, for 1/2 second @ ISO 100, mounted on a Canon 5D.
 

2WheelPhoto

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Ryan thanks for the tips and wonderful pics. My triggers and strobes will be getting a serious practice workout during my next stay at a Marriot property.
 

EchoingWhisper

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I guess a lot of people don't realise the power of LAB mode curves.
 

Buckster

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I guess a lot of people don't realise the power of LAB mode curves.
It'd be great if you could explain how to use it to deal with the different color temperature mixtures presented to rooms and subjects by multiple light types mixed together, like fluorescent, tungsten, sunlight and flash all being present.

I took a course in LAB color and, somehow, that got left out. It'd be great to add that to my abilities, and I'm sure others would find it useful as well.

Thanks in advance!
 

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