A Demonstration Video Of High-end Interior Technique By Roger Brooks

November 14th, 2011

Thanks to Harry Lim in Orlando, FL for pointing this video out to me.

This is a meticulous demonstration by Roger Brooks, a Architectural and Interior Photographer in Vancouver, BC demonstrating  a lighting/post process layering technique commonly used in high-end Architectural Interior photography.

Note that I show it here as an educational illustration of how many Architectural and Interior photographers work. This is not something you typically do for real estate photography because real estate photographers are typically not getting paid to spend this much time on a single image. It does show how carefully lighting is controlled in upper-end Architectural and interior photography.

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10 Responses to “A Demonstration Video Of High-end Interior Technique By Roger Brooks”

  • Great video. Something that you rarely see as so many of us are self taught. PFRE notwithstanding, I have found a distinct lack of information on the web regarding higher end architectural photography. This illustrates some great technique but at the same time I am struck by the differences in how I process my images.

  • I shoot HDR because it does not require bringing in lighting and an assistant. But that means I spend a lot of time on the back end, processing the image and color/exposure correction. Also allows me to get in and out of a property quicker than if I were setting up lights. It would be interesting to do a HDR shoot comparison on the same property. Having said that, it appears Roger spent a great deal of time on post processing as well.

  • I got the Scott Hargis ebook “Lighting Interiors” and his technique is to light all the zones in a room/space in one go.
    Which is better? Presume Scott’s way requires more strobes that Roger’s method but a lot less post processing.

    Thanks for the video

  • @Wayne- My guess at what Scott would say is that his technique get’s it right at the time you are shooting rather than doing it in post thus reducing the total amount of time spent on the shoot.

    The significant thing about Scotts technique is that once you get the hang of it you cut your post time to almost zero. This means you can do more shoots per day and not have to spend all night doing post on the work you shot during the day.

  • @ Patrick – you would not be able to replicate these results using HDR alone. To be in control of the image, you have to be able to add light. Otherwise, you have to accept whatever crappy light is already there (you can massage it, but you can’t fundamentally change it).

    A lot of the light placements Brooks did could have been done in a single capture, but not all of them (particularly in the kitchen area) — but it would have taken more time on location. Ultimately, it’s the result that matters, and this result is good. It’s true that I’d rather spend my time in the field, but that’s not always an option, either. These are good techniques to have at the ready.

  • Having both techniques in your back pocket is the best position to be in I guess.
    I’d aim to do as much as possible in camera with multiple strobes but light the tricky parts individually as needed and use Rogers technique to composite the images.


  • Scott’s book has me using flash more and more with each shoot, and the feeling of getting it right in camera is fantastic (thanks Scott!). A big advantage of controlling the light with flash vs. HDR is, for me, the control I have over color balance. It’s always interesting to see someone else’s technique, and I enjoyed the video.

  • While much of the lighting in the example could have been done in a single capture, I think he makes a good point that this technique requires bringing a lot less lighting equipment and may also save time on site. However, if you have a situation where the client wants to evaluate the images on site as you shoot them, this might not be the best technique to use. But, anyway, this sort of thing is beyond all but the most high-end real estate photography.

  • Very effective results, but very time consuming indeed. I disagree that this could have been lit in one exposure – it may not have been possible to prevent light spilling from one area to another, and I don’t think it would have been possible to hide all the lights in this wide view – e.g lighting for kitchen bar area. Not sure of the benefit of using two halves, was this just done for resolution? I’m sure this takes a great deal of practice to master.

  • I tried the Roger Brooks technique today. A couple of observations.

    1. Shooting vertically on a ball-head tripod not the best set up. Notice in the video he has a L Bracket on camera.
    I did not have an L Bracket. They’re expensive. Like $179 expensive. I tried to shoot without it. Almost lost my 5DMII and a rented Canon 24mm tilt-shift ($2000) because it slip out of the clip. Luckily I caught it.

    2. If you are a single shooter, i.e., no assistant at your beck and call, you may have the tools to make this technique much easier than you might realize. If you have pocket wizards–you probably have the PW pre-release motor cable which will fire your camera and you probably have a Sekonic L358. Add the Sekonic remote triggering and bingo, bango, bongo, you can walk around a room with a light and fire your camera and lights.

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