Interior Decorating

Interior Photography – How To Balance Extremes of Exposure



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Oliver Pohlmann from We Are SO Photo showing you a scenario which many real estate and interior photographers face. Here is a room with extremes of exposure – very bright windows and very dark shadow areas. Using a mixture of exposure bracketing, together with blending in a flash and window exposure layer, we can create a perfectly-balanced exposure for the room.

Download the RAW files from this tutorial here – http://tinyurl.com/h75ajxy

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35 thoughts on “Interior Photography – How To Balance Extremes of Exposure”

  • Begoña Sanchez Azcunaga March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Very well explained. Thanks for your time. Which flash did you use?.

    Reply
  • Nick Powell March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Instead of using a brush on the windows, I find it works better using the pen tool to select and mask each of the windows.

    Reply
  • Alessandro Radice March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Great tutorial! You explain very well! However I have to shoot in a museum in which flash is not permetted, how can I remove the window shine from the wooden floor?

    Reply
  • Stefan Rasch March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    I consider myself a beginner in interior photography. To learn the tricks that can make your life easier and the customers happy I have seen many tutorials here on youtube and other sources. Your way of doing it is one of the most efficient I have seen so far. Maybe not the fastest always, but the precision of the result is what makes the difference.
    Therefore, thanks a lot for sharing your experience and showing us your workflow!

    Reply
  • Kiril Varbanov March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Great tutorial, thanks for that. I have just two comments: for some reason it looks a bit overexposed to my monitor – it might be just me? 🙂
    Second, at the upper left corner there's a single line, probably part of a ceiling frame. Wouldn't you want to remove that and make the roof flat and equal on its entire surface? Because now it looks like as if you forgot to crop it. Looking down, however, you couldn't do that, as the chair would be gone. So, simple Clone/Stamp would have made it perfect, to my understanding 🙂

    Reply
  • Dennis W March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    The windows over the sink have about the same exposure as the patio door you are blending in. You could have brought some of those windows in with the door.

    Reply
  • David Nipauer March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Very helpful. Best workflow i have seen on youtube yet. Thank you

    Reply
  • Ammar Selo March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    FYI, when you did the WB sync, it actually did NOT do anything lol. I'm surpsirsed you don't know this!
    You have not changed the WB on the image that you are borrowing the WB from, so you basically kept it at the original settings, which is "As Shot". So when you synced with the other images, lightroom set the WB on all the other images to "As Shot" which really did NOT do anything. Hope that helps!

    Reply
  • mooreav March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Man! this is great.. Can I do these techniques in photoshop elements?

    Reply
  • Rhonda Gregory March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Thanks! I like your teaching style!

    Reply
  • Vidane Visuals March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    So helpful. Been watching a lot of other peoples workflow and this seems to be the best. Obviously not the quickest but definitely one of the cleaner ones. Thanks so much!

    Reply
  • Garry Dyer March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Nice tutorial many thanks .

    Reply
  • Daniel Ah Koy March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Hi Oliver, would it be possible to achieve this same final edited image, if you were to use a ND filter to cut out some of the light from outside, and then lowering your shutter speed and using external flashes to brighten up the interior?

    Reply
  • Janet March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    I am just starting out in real estate photography and your tutorials are perfect. I have watched and taken notes on this one about 3 times. After the first watch, I actually shot 7 images and created a great photo thanks to this tutorial. I just needed a couple more Lr and PS details in the subsequent watchings. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Minh Quach March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    very helpful video. Thank you!

    Reply
  • The Shealy Show March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Very cool video, learned a lot! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Berus7777 March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    One thing that continually escaped me here were the presenter's references to taking an additional flash photograph of the terrace doors in order to brighten up their frames. How is this possible, given that a photo from a different position wouldn't stack up with the rest of the images? I can see using an off-camera flash unit to capture an image for this purpose, but that photo would still be taken from the same position in the kitchen. Could someone please clarify how an image taken from another position could be composited along with the rest of the HDR frames? Thanks!

    Reply
  • Berus7777 March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    :::clapping::: Yes. THAT'S how it's done. Great work!

    Reply
  • Serge Piastra March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Thanks Oliver. Great tutorial! I've subscribed 🙂

    Reply
  • Anna Ferguson March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Thanks Olly…that was a great tute! I've subscribed 🙂

    Reply
  • Divi Photos March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    great video

    Reply
  • Vizionario Media March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Great video! what did you use for your flash?

    Reply
  • Zachary Krauss March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    How did you meter and take the French door outside exposure shot and make sure the angle of view etc is properly lined up to layer with the other photos? Did you leave camera in same position as other shots ?

    Reply
  • Heli4213 March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    How do you avoid over near the doorway the doorway being not darkened like the view out the door ? Must you use a flash over there or should I say how do you normally deal with window views that you want darker ???
    Thanks Bob

    Reply
  • Heli4213 March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Wow your the first person who uploaded there files for practice that I have found. THANK YOU will try to download later. It's way better to have the photos so we can follow along and that way if we make a mistake we can really see it. Thanks will try to download later.

    Reply
  • Fotograf Nunta Iasi - Daniel Mihai Condurachi March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    If you sync the white balance and in the reference photo the white balance was not changed (you can see the it says "As Shot" instead of "Custom" in the top right of the Basic panel), the all you do is nothing. It does not transfer the value for Temp and the value of Tint from the reference photo to the others. It just says to the other photos to also have their own "As Shot" white balance. What you need to do is to change slightly, even with 1 unit, the Temp or Tint of the reference photo. This will turn the WB to "Custom" and the values for Temp and Tint will be transferred to the selected photos when sync the white balance is selected.

    Reply
  • Robert Miller March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Thanks Oliver. Really enjoy your videos!

    Reply
  • Spaces & Faces Photography March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Always love your tutorial videos! I just started my business a year ago here in the US (Austin, Texas) and your videos have proven to be the most helpful. You are right about the US clients wanting to see clearly out the windows. For some of my more contemporary shoots with large windows, I will bring in the layers into Photoshop and actually draw polygon around the window, invert selection, and then add layer mask so the surrounding area isn't affected by the darker image. Thanks again for the time you take to make these videos and share your knowledge!

    Reply
  • Kirt Germond March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    hi Oliver. Thanks for the tutorial…i always face this issue. Did you bounce your flash behind you in the corner of the wall and ceiling?

    Reply
  • Bill B March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Very generous of you, Oliver! Thank you for sharing your source files…VERY important for me to practice.

    Reply
  • midgeman90 March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Love it Oliver!

    Reply
  • Sergio Lopez March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Thank you for another great tutorial Oliver! I have a question. You weren't happy with the HDR that you got so you blended it with the flash shot. Why not to blend it just with a longer exposure shot in order to keep the natural light on the final image? Thank you for your answer! You are a great help and inspiration!

    Reply
  • Ed Waggoner Sr. March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Very helpful video, I added it to my favorites bar.

    Reply
  • garryentropy March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Looks overexposed a bit on my monitor, what about taking out the two lines out in the top left corner, is that ethically allowed?

    Reply
  • We Are SO Photo March 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    We've all come across a room like this with brutally-bright windows and dark shadow areas. Using a mixture of exposure bracketing, together with blending in a flash and window exposure layer, we can create a perfectly-balanced exposure for the room. Download the RAW files and try it yourself. Link is in the description. Enjoy!

    Reply

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