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| Re: Lighting and white balance |
I wouldn\'t worry too much about the lack of using a grey card. As you correctly pointed out, you are dealing with mixed lighting that ranges from warm (tungsten) to neutral (flash) to cool (outside). Depending on where you place your grey card, you\'d get different readings anyway ... ... you can already see that in the pics without the card to tell you of this issue.
Looking at your exif data, I see that you had sufficiently long exposures to allow the ambient lighting to provide a good amount of exposure. Good news is that you\'ve got really even lighting across the scene, bad news, you\'ve got really even lighting across the scene causing it to have that \"flat\" look that you are talking about.
The other \"bad news\" at such long exposures is that you\'re blowing out your lights into some bright orbs in some places. Interiors are tricky as you\'ve already figured out., and it this is your first stab at them, you\'re actually looking better than most I\'ve seen when starting.
There are a few strategies in play, but mostly I try to use my flash to kick off the back wall, side wall, ceiling corner to raise the overall room lighting level. The reason I kick backwards is that it makes the light travel a little farther before reaching the scene ... which is of course has a lot of DOF to it ... so that the falloff is smoother as it moves across the room.
I tend to expose for my interior lights, so that I don\'t blow them or their color. Sometimes if the scene is to dynamic, I\'ll shoot bracket & blend in post. That and I like to use cross light with my flash in another room when I can. It kinda becomes a balancing act between overall exposure and light painting effects ... if that makes any sense.
You mentioned your PP efforts ... are these RAW, sooc jpg, or PP?
I normally work in PS, but for my RE pics, I do use LR as the sliders come in pretty handy for lifting shadows and balancing things, so either way can work ... but you\'ll find that PP is going to be your friend.
There are many ways you can go, but here is a quickie just to show some change, neither better, nor worse, but rather different. When shooting with such low contrast lighting (ambient), you will probably need to push your sharpening a bit harder than usual, and offset it somewhat by pulling your shadows & highlights. Like I said, PP will be your friend, and you\'ll kind of develop your own style for working with it. It\'ll be a combination of what you do in the field and in the file.
Mr. Bean is correct about time of day ... but when I\'m shooting multiple houses in a single day, well you don\'t always get to choose the time, nor which way the windows are facing.