5 Tips for Photographing a Real Estate Interior with Bright WindowsAugust 30, 2018
Hi, this is Stuart from the Photomatix team
and here I’m going to share 5 tips
for shooting a real estate interior with bright windows.
So, let’s get started with our first tip by turning all the lights on in the room.
When taking a set of bracketed photos, lighting your interior is key,
as by making the room brighter,
will help reduce any differences in lighting in your scene.
In my next tip, we’ll set the ISO to 400.
And why are we doing this?
Well, to keep this simple, the lower you set your ISO,
the longer your exposures will need to be.
… and then your results could very well end up being unusable,
Or worse, both.
So to avoid this, set your ISO to 400, but don’t go any higher,
because if you do, you’ll run the risk of your photos being noisy.
Now let’s talk about the best way to set your shutter speed:
point your camera at the interior and not at the window.
Any bright light, and especially light coming in through a window,
is going to dramatically affect your camera’s auto-exposure
and you’ll just end up with a set of dark, underexposed photos.
So, to overcome this, point your camera to somewhere inside the room
that is far enough away from any source of direct light:
and that includes the window or anything artificial. OK?
Then, make a note of the shutter speed displayed by your camera
and use it to set the ‘normal’ exposure for your bracketed photos.
By ‘normal’, I am referring to the ‘0 EV’ photo of the bracketed sequence.
Let me explain what I mean by ‘EV’.
EV stands for ‘Exposure Value’ which is a value, or measurement,
which is found on the photographic exposure scale.
For example, if I asked you to take a set of 3 bracketed photos with a spacing of 2 EV,
then each of your photos would have a separation of 2 units on the EV scale.
So, back to ‘0 EV’.
Now this refers to the photo that appears in the very middle of your bracketed set.
HDR relies on merging multiple photographs of the same scene
and this means taking a series of long, bright, + exposures.
together with short, darker, – exposures.
Now let’s move onto a tip that is easily overlooked:
switch your camera to ‘MANUAL MODE’.
The reason you switch to ‘MANUAL MODE’ means that your
aperture and your ISO remain the same
once you’ve chosen your shutter speed.
If you select any of your camera’s pre- programmed modes,
then your bracketed photos will end up
with different aperture and different ISO settings …
and then if you merge photos with different apertures and different ISOs,
then you’ll end up with an image which will has lost
all its depth of field and simply won’t be sharp.
And lastly, use a camera that can auto-bracket 5 photos at a spacing of 2EV.
To get the best results, your bracketed photos will need to cover a wide range of exposures:
from the darkest areas of the interior …
all the way to the brightest window.
So, to get everything you need, it could mean taking at least
5 bracketed photos at 2EV …
or 9 bracketed photos at 1EV.
Let’s recap on our 5 tips:
Turn all the lights on in the room.
Set your ISO to 400.
To set your shutter speed, point your camera
at the interior, not at the window.
Switch your camera to ‘MANUAL MODE’.
And finally, use a camera that can
auto-bracket 5 photos at a spacing of 2EV.
These tips should help you get started.
Use them and you’ll soon see
how much they improve your real estate interiors.