Architectural and Interior Photography -Commercial and Residential

How to Photograph and promote buildings and spaces...

A lot of people contact me regarding photography for interiors or exteriors .....

There are really 3 different types of techniques that one might use to capture the essence of a building or space....The first is simply to place a camera on a tripod and line up the shot and shoot.....

Typically the if you use a very sharp lens and a slow shutter speed results can be so so to fairly good..but more often than not the windows are blown out because one exposure alone can't usually capture all the tonal and dynamic range in camera from one shot....Some architectural photographers use a "PC lens" - a type of lens that offers perspective control. But more ofen than not, a very sharp wide angle will the Tamron 15-30mm 2.8 for example. Our eyes adapt miraculously to changes in light level without even being conscious of look into a dark corner, you look out the window - no problem --a camera is different. For any given photo project there is only one exposure level that it can be set to at one given time...One shot - one expsoure. So with the outside brighter than the inside either the windows are too bright or the room too dark....

Architectural Photography How Tos

The way around this problem is to adjust the shot solely for the light levels from the that they come correctly exposed....or a little bit bright is OK....Then a good photographer will ADD fill in remote radio triggered flash from units aimed at the interior ceiling to add the brightness level to a bit below that of the outdoors....This way you get correctly exposed windows and interiors- adjusting the flash and the placement is crucial.

Another technique is called HDR photography where 3 or more exposures at different levels are blended with imaging software theoretically one shot for the shadows, another for the mid tones, and a third for the highlights (windows). This technique will get you into the ballpark but sometimes the blending mode adds a shade of artificiality to the image which is not always the best...

Finally what a lot of photographers who shoot commercial buildings use as a techniques are blended exposures - where you mask in the best parts of many layered images.....This technique lends itself very well to circumstances where reflections and seperate lighting is desirable.....for instance if you want to shoot a section of glass separately without the flash....and then carefully "paint" that separate shot into the existing image. Time consuming yes....but perfection assured!


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