Creating an image where the outside landscape was a key element of the indoor space, the shot had to take into account the wide difference in brightness between inside and outside. Jim’s shot was taken using a wide tilt-shift lens to maintain nice verticals. It was necessary to use a tripod to make sure that various exposures could be merged and put together in post-production. The pool area was really warm and humid and there was a delay for the lenses to warm so they didn’t steam up.
The main exposure (part1, shot at 1/20th of a second f8) to capture the interior light. Basically, this uses the pool lights, some daylight and flash which Jim positioned to the right of the alcove (far right in this picture) and just outside the window on the extreme left. You can see some excess flash on the ceiling here, there’s a lot of reflections and the outside is too bright to give a strong impression.
The other shots capture additional detail – part4 is the same as part1 with no ceiling lights on so I can eliminate some of the reflections these cause. Parts 2 and 3 were shot for the landscape outside – part2 for the hillside and gardens and part3 for the sky. Using Photoshop Jim copied parts of each image into the final composition.
Very often the difficulty shooting interiors is about the contrast. It can be particularly tricky between the light areas such as windows and the dark shaded areas as with floor areas.
The approach Adrian takes is to accept that, unlike our eye, the camera will never be able to deal with this contrast of light. So the trick is to create two exposures (sometimes helps to make four – six exposures) one for the light areas, such as the windows, tablecloths etc and then an exposure for the darker areas, to bring out all the detail.
Once the raw files are imported getting onto the computer, the two images (or however many were taken) are then brought into the photo editing software. The darker image is added as a layer on top of the lighter image. Then using the eraser tool at about 25% you can then start to erase the darker areas. As you do this, you reveal the layer below which of course is lighter than the image above. Additional adjustments can be made, by bringing the lower level through by simply adjusting the opacity of the eraser.
Quick and easy, without compromising the contrast and an enhanced image can be achieved. The skill is learning the correct or ideal amounts to add and remove ensuring that the original image remains true. The images below demonstrate the balance that has been created using the technical procedures outlined whilst at the location and then in post-production.
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