,Often I find myself shooting scenes that require the viewer to be able to see inside AND outside, such as the scene above, which I shot for Celtiskloof Lifestyle Centre a short while back (you can follow them on Facebook here). This is a challenge in Real Estate Photography because the camera does not see the way our eyes do. If we expose only for the outside, then the inside will be dark and under exposed. However, if we expose only for the inside, then the outside will be bright and over exposed. The solution? Shoot a variety of exposures and put them together to make one complete, finished image.
How do I do that? Here's a quick glimpse into the process.
Find my angle. First, I spend some time walking around the space I want to photograph to find the best spot to shoot from. I want to try and include as much of the scene as possible and at the same time highlight it's best features. When I find that spot, I have my angle. You can experiment with different heights as well. Changing the height can drastically alter the look of an image.
Camera setup. Once I have my angle it's time to set up the shot. My camera goes on a tripod because I want to avoid having the camera move at all, while I'm shooting. Then I frame up the shot and check my focus. Depending on what I'm wanting to highlight, I play with my depth of field using the aperture setting, but for this shot I wanted quite a lot to be in focus so I shot on F16. Then it's time to find the appropriate shutter speed settings, that I want to use. I usually use the meter reading in my viewfinder to find the correct all-round exposure. This gives me my starting point.
Multiple exposures of the same scene
Shoot multiple exposures. Now it's time to start shooting. I know what shutter speed I need for a good all-round exposure, which is good, but not great. If I used a shot like this, I would run the risk of the making the outside look over exposed and bright while the inside looks underexposed and dark. I wanted an even exposure all the way though the image, so, to achieve that, I shot 4 - 5 frames, the shutter speed getting faster with each shot, then went back to my starting point and shot 4 - 5 frames with the shutter speed getting slower with each shot. Now I have a set of images with the correct exposures for the trees, the patio and the inside.
Multiple exposures meticulously & professionally blended together
Put it all together. From the set of multiple exposures, I choose the best frames that would allow me to create a final image that is evenly exposed all the way through. All the selected exposures are processed the same way using Camera Raw and then carefully blended together in Photoshop. This is where the real detail work starts. A lot of time and effort goes into making the final product look like one seamless photo. It can take anything from one to two hours to finish just one shot but it is worth it if you want to showcase a property in the best way possible.
I hope you found this post interesting. If you have a property that needs to be photographed, give me a shout on email@example.com. I'm always happy to help.