Brad in Idaho says:
I would love some specific advice on one room of a house. It's a gigantic "great room" and very very dark. There is also a large emphasis on the view. I shot it last year before I knew how to use multiple flashes and was still doing HDR. I was very disappointed and it has bugged me ever since. The house is for sale again and I am lucky enough to get another chance.
I am using my Sony A6000 with 12mm lens and two YN560 IV Flashes. I've included a photo from last year's shoot so you can get an idea of the room and how horrible my first try was.
I don't think you're giving yourself enough credit, the shot from last time is pretty good, especially considering how difficult the room is.
Here is what I'd recommend:
- Shoot a little tighter, I know you need to show the scale of the space but there's room to crop in your current image without sacrificing the grand feeling of this room.
- Get 4 to 5 RAW ambient brackets of the room (lights off!)
(This is what you'll use to blend a nice base layer for post-processing.)
- Turn lights on and expose for the lights you want in your final image and take another shot (if you can do this at f/16, the lights will have that nice star shape).
- Turn lights off again.
- Bouncing light in this room is pointless, you need a shoot through umbrella.
- Expose for the view and grab a few brackets (if possible I would grab an umbrella and blast the window frames when you shoot for the views so that you don't get any blooming (Streaks or halos come into view around bright areas of an image that are caused by gross overexposure) around the window when you pull the view in post-processing).
- Now set your exposure just dark enough to kill any highlights or over exposed areas in the room.
- I would then walk around with your umbrella and light each area individually (seating area, kitchen, stairs etc.). Be sure to light off-axis (nothing from directly behind the camera) this will give you some nice frames to gently blend in some flash when post-processing. You'll be surprised how much depth you get by just adding a touch of flash to each area.
Lots of work but a great opportunity to build your portfolio and wow your client.