Shooting Interiors

January 8, 2010 | Category: Uncategorized

I recently shot some interiors for Distinctive Homes, a builder here in town. This is not something that I do often enough to call myself an expert on, but the photos turned out nice and I thought I’d share a few things.

The first thing we shot was the bathroom. The challenge was that we were shooting it during the day and there were to very nice windows above the tub that they wanted to shoot. To have the tub properly exposed meant that the sky in the windows would blow out to white. So we had to add light.

The first thing I did was to expose for the ambient outside. I set my shutter at the highest sync speed (which is usually about 160 for the 5DmkII), then set my ISO 160 and my aperture at f16. The reason for this is that usually on a sunny day you can follow the “Sunny 16″ rule. Which means that if you set your aperture at f16, then you can set your shutter speed at the same value as your ISO and be properly exposed. In this case though, after checking a few shots, I decided I wanted my sky to be a little lighter and opted for f11.

So now we had a black room and a nice window.

In the diagram above you’ll see that we added 3 lights. I mounted on on the shower stall and bounced it off the ceiling to flood the room with soft light. I wanted the appearance of a little light from the window, so we leaned of an adjacent window and fired a strobe with an orange gel through the bathroom window. We also had one strobe on the floor to light up the divider between the bath and the shower (you can see this more in detail in the video at the end of the post).

One of the other challenges was the kitchen. There was a lot of light coming through all of the windows that were providing some nice ambient light, but not enough to make it pop. So I set my camera to expose the ambient light as fill and then added an AB800 Through a large softbox at camera left and hid an AB800 in an adjacent room at as a little bit of a back light.

I have a lot of respect for the geniuses that do interior photography on a daily basis. You’re trying to show an entire room and light it at the same time. Hiding the lights and making the light look natural is an art form.

Below is a raw behind the scenes look at our day. Enjoy!

One Comments

  1. Marco
    on September 25th, 2010

    Thank you very much for documenting your process so thoroughly !
    For the bathroom shot, was it one shot exposed for windows without any flashes and then one brief exposure with flashes, blended together ?

    The kitchen looks amazing. I have to question the exterior shot though- the ultrawide angle makes it look like a 2D building.

Leave a Reply