October 9th, 2016
What is your preferred way of lighting rooms without windows? Having elaborate lighting to mimic windows is often impossible due to small spaces and also misleading. Rooms with one strong light overhead are lighted terribly with ugly shadows and colors. Using bounced flash is often flat and just not soft enough. I guess I’m curious to know what look to go for? If somebody has a photo of a room (no matter the size) with one overhead light that is lighted admirably I would love to see it posted here.
You are right, the most common way to light a room with no windows and one overhead light (frequently these are small interior bathrooms) is to bounce a small flash off of the ceiling/wall joint and adjust the power so you get the effect you want. I take this approach because most of the time small bathrooms are not where I want to spend a bunch of time on a shoot. Usually, I find the results acceptable for the amount of time it takes.
However, if you are bothered by the misleading light, shadows or flat light, another approach is to use Enfuse processing. The image above is an example (click on the image to view larger) by London interiors photographer Simon Maxwell, from his book Enfuse and Hand Blending in Photoshop for Real Estate Photography. This particular image is an example from a discussion on how to control the highlights.
Simon’s approach above is to shoot 3 RAW brackets and process the brackets with Lightroom and the LR/Enfuse plugin. As you can see the result has only natural light from the lights in the room.
Do others have examples for Vida?