October 19th, 2014
My post last week got PFRE reader, Felix thinking. He posed the following question:
I’m looking forward to the book on Enfuse but it did raise a question. I know Scott favors using flash and I have read his book and taken his video course. In your post, you said that Simon uses Enfuse extensively. Is there room for both techniques in one’s repertoire? Or is a person better off picking a single style and sticking to it as much as possible? Do many photographers use both techniques? I’m currently using flash per Scott’s video and have been happy with the results.
- From what I see almost all RE photographers primarily use one approach or the other and do so based on personal preferences. You could say that blending multiple flash layers together by hand, like Mike Kelley teaches, is a cross between the two techniques. Although I would argue that’s a technique that is in general too time intensive for ordinary real estate photography.
- One of the underlying motivations for using the Enfuse/HDR technique is to reduce the time you spend on-site. But in the end you shift that on-site time to post-processing time. My experience is that once you get the hang of small flash photography it can be very fast on-site. So I think that many experienced small flash photographers would claim that they can spend less total time on a job if they use flash.
- I hear the “natural light” argument a lot from people that don’t use flash. However, the hybrid technique where you use a single fill flash on bracketed shots and Enfuse/HDR processing is very popular because it gives better results than shooting brackets with no flash.
- You may encounter large rooms with bright windows where you can get a good shot easyier by shooting a series of brackets and processing them with Enfuse/HDR than you can with small flashes. I personally had this happen when shooting a Restaurant with a large seating area with huge windows. Had too few flashes with me to use flash so I used Enfuse. It saved my butt!
- Here is a poll I did last April on what lighting technique people use an how that has changed over the last 3 years.
The bottom line is you can find photographers that get great results with either technique. If you pick a technique and take the time to master it you can get great results either way. You may encounter situations where the Enfuse/HDR approach is the fastest way to get a good shot. So it doesn’t hurt to know how to use both techniques.