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Archive 2012 · Interiors Lighting Question
  
 
Image1
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Interiors Lighting Question


Not sure if this is the correct category but, Considering available lighting, is there any way of determining the approximate best time of day to photograph an interior without spending the whole day at the jobsite? Most interiors seem to have a sweet spot time of day to shoot them, but without actually living there! it's hard to figure. any advice from interior shooters would be appreciated. ...John


Mar 18, 2012 at 04:42 PM
colinm
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Interiors Lighting Question


If you've got a smartphone you can whip it out and fire up an app like Sun Seeker. If you know what you want the ambient light to be doing, you just need to mesh that up with where the sun needs to be. Phone says the sun will be in the right position at 4 o'clock? You shoot at around 4 o'clock.

If the building's occupied, the occupants also usually have a pretty good idea what the light does and when.



Mar 18, 2012 at 09:09 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Interiors Lighting Question


The Sun tracks E-SE-S-SW-W in US during the day. North facing windows will have indirect lighting from the sky most of the day


Mar 19, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Elan II
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Interiors Lighting Question


You don't actually say what your preference is. Some photographers try to avoid direct sunlight in interior architectural shots, others embrace it. In either case, it's the photographer who controls how much of a presence/influence window light is allowed to have by adjusting the shutter speed and amount of fill.

I personally like a strong contribution from all ambient light sources. I try to make my shots look like they're taken on a bright sunny day even when it's overcast, or even cloudy outside. It's not very difficult to achieve in most cases.






Mar 19, 2012 at 12:52 PM
RDKirk
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Interiors Lighting Question


You don't actually say what your preference is. Some photographers try to avoid direct sunlight in interior architectural shots, others embrace it. In either case, it's the photographer who controls how much of a presence/influence window light is allowed to have by adjusting the shutter speed and amount of fill.

And that can differ by the mood of the interior design, as well. Some brooding types of interior design are better off with brooding lighting, for instance.



Mar 21, 2012 at 11:29 AM
 

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cgardner
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Interiors Lighting Question


The problems with interiors are contrast range of the lighting and color temperature differences. Even in an interior room without windows you may encounter bare bulb sources and different color temps of lighting. Add a window an you are dealing with even more contrast and another different color temp to deal with.

Filmmakers deal with both problems by using huge sheets if color / ND gels over the window and then lighting the interior with a single color temp of light or a controlled mix.

With stills you can deal with brightness ranges that exceed the sensor and a mixed bag of light sources with a combination of shooting RAW and HDR/bracketing of exposures. Bracketing will allow the camera to cope with the range of brightness encountered between a bare lighting fixture like a chandelier and the shadows in the folds of a black sofa cushion. Color differences between sources can be handled by making duplicate copies balanced for each source then bending them on layers in Photoshop with masks. The next result is a photo with a full tonal range with color that seems normal with all sources with "see by eye" normal context.

Another approach is a variation on painting with light. In tight spots where its not possible to light the space all at once, or you have only limited lighting gear, it is possible to light different parts of the room in separate exposures from a fixed camera position on a tripod, moving the light around but keeping the direction constant for continuity, then blend the different shots together seamlessly.

Another solution is to shoot bracket exposures at different times of day. For example if light in a window is a problem take a shot exposed for the exterior seen through the window during the day, then without moving the camera wait for night and shoot the interior with the interior ambient lighting + flash if needed then blend the window shot in during PP.

These approaches are more post processing than photography oriented but the expand the time of day options for shooting and solve the problem when no single time of day is a good one. For exterior shots shooting at dawn or dusk with all the interior lights on produces an attractive result and minimizes the technical problems direct sunlight creates.



Mar 21, 2012 at 02:08 PM
jefferies1
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Interiors Lighting Question


I find I can usually find a room that has the light I want to shoot in and start there. Then move as the sun moves direction. I may have to start at an upstairs bedroom vs the main living area but it works most of the time. For me I am trying to avoid harsh direct light patches in a room. Not sure how a app on the phone would tell you the positions of windows in a home you have never seen match up to the sun direction.


Mar 22, 2012 at 04:56 PM
sic0048
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Interiors Lighting Question


Jefferies - the app won't do that. But with a basic idea of the layout of the house and the orientation of the structure (perhaps from Google Earth), an app that tracks the sun's position will let you know which parts of the house could have direct sun or not at a particular date and time. Obviously there are ton's of location variables that the app cannot predict, but it can help out a lot.


Mar 26, 2012 at 06:47 PM
RDKirk
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Interiors Lighting Question


But with a basic idea of the layout of the house and the orientation of the structure (perhaps from Google Earth),

Knowing that much, I don't need an app to tell me which window the sun is going to shine through and about when.



Mar 27, 2012 at 11:34 AM
sic0048
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Interiors Lighting Question


Really? Because there is a lot of difference in the direction of the sun depending on the time of day and time of year. If you want to do more than simply guess, the app can be very helpful. Of course if you are located on the equator, I guess it would be easier to do without the app.


Mar 31, 2012 at 11:06 PM





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