February 28th, 2017
Ginnie asked the following:
I am starting to explore real estate photography and have been playing with HDR in Lightroom. When looking at this month’s photo winners, I notice that the views outside the windows are crystal clear. How is that done? Does the photographer use multiple flashes? Any input would be appreciated.
Yes, bright windows are the classic challenge for real estate photographers! The difference between brightness level outside and the brightness inside is typically beyond what digital sensors can capture. So as a photographer, you have a couple of choices:
- Use lighting to raise the interior brightness closer to the brightness level outside. This can be done quite easily in most situations with small manual flashes (in some cases with just one). This approach is explained in more detail in this post.
- Shoot a frame in which the windows are exposed exactly as you want them and a frame with the interior exposed as you want it. With the inside and the outside on two layers in Photoshop, you then create a composite image that renders both the inside and outside as you want it. For details see this post.
Everyone must decide which approach is best for them. #1 takes less time and gets the image as you want it in the camera with little post-processing required but you must learn how to use manual flashes (that is a challenge for some). On the other hand #2, takes time in post-processing but you don’t need to bother with flash lighting.