October 8th, 2012
After talking to some beginner interior photographers lately I think it is time to recycle some of the old exposure fusion/flash hybrid posts that we’ve done here on PFRE in the last couple of years. Here is why:
- While multiple small flashes is without a doubt the way to shoot for optimal results, this is technique is difficult enough that you don’t learn to do it over night. It takes some practice.
- Shooting 3, 5 or 9 brackets is pretty easy. And if you process these brackets with Exposure Fusion (using LR/Enfuse, Photomatix or EnfuseGUI) you’ll get pretty good results.
- You’ll get even better results (fewer shadows, crisper whites and more accurate colors) if you just use a single on or off-camera flash with a diffuser.
- It almost doesn’t matter what you do with the flash, it will improve the results. The fact you are shooting brackets removes a lot of the shadows or errors you tend to make with small flashes.
So my advice to any beginning interior photographer is simply shoot some brackets and add a on or off camera manual flash to one or more of the brackets. You’ll start to get the feel of using and triggering flashes and eventually if you want to go totally small flash either get Scott Hargis’s ebook or video series. In the mean time you can dependably do shoots and deliver very acceptable results with the EF/Flash hybrid technique.
Here is a list of more detailed posts on how to use this EF/Flash hybrid technique:
- What is Exposure Fusion?
- HDR Pro feature in Lightroom 4.1 — Updated 10/9/2012
- Blending Flash and Ambient Frames for The Best of Both Worlds
- Shooting Brackets For Exposure Fusion and HDR – Part 1
- Shooting Brackets For Exposure Fusion and HDR – Part 2
The last lighting technique poll I did showed that Exposure Fusion/Flash Hybrid is the second most popular shooting technique behind multiple flashes. There’s a reason for this! It works pretty well and it’s easy to learn while you build up to the ultimate technique – multiple off-camera flash.