Saturday, 4 April 2009

The Flashy Pad continued…

flashy pad1

I had a job a couple of weeks ago for one of my house builder clients to photograph some showhouses for them.  It was a lovely sunny day which is great for the beach, but obviously not so great for photography.  I had sun streaming in from the windows producing high contrast scenes everywhere.  Of course it looks great to the naked eye, but if only they could make a camera with the same dynamic range as a human eye!!

Anyway, I resorted to using my flashes as I usually do in these situations.  As you can see from the left image above, which was taken with just natural light, the sunlight was causing me to get burned out highlights in the floor and had a blue cast since I was using auto white balance (shooting RAW of course!).  The image on the right was created using three flashes: 1 hand held behind me bouncing into the roof, a second in a stand in the kitchen pointing backwards again bouncing into the roof joint and a third in the living room at the end of the hall bouncing into the wall.

The image on the left was 1/5s at f8 while the right hand one with the flashes was 1/60th at f8.  Using a 60th of a sec shutter speed meant that the hall light didn’t really register which is why I cut it out of the composition.

Here’s another flashy pad pic…

flashy pad2

This one is a matter of preference I think.  I prefer the image on the right as I think it shows the colour of the floor and cabinets more accurately, but the one on the left isn’t without it’s merits.  I also wanted to bring in the blue sky and so basically exposing for the outside and lighting the interior with the flashes enabled me to do just that.  I think I only used one flash in the kitchen, bounced off the wall of course.  Bouncing off a wall turns the wall into the light source and so, since it’s a (relatively) bigger light source, it’s a softer light source therefore giving softer shadows.

flashy pad3

Again, a matter of preference.  Sometimes overpowering the ambient can take away some of the warmth of an image.  I almost lean towards the natural light version of this one but I’m not sure why.  Perhaps it’s because it’s a livingroom and the streaming sun looks more inviting.  Not sure, but again I used three flashes for this one, all bounced into the roof joints.  The bigger the room the harder it is to light with just a few flashes and you start to get harder shadows.  Having white walls to work with does help alot though.  I just put the flashes on their widest settings and lowered the stands a little to get more coverage.

Basically, if you have to use a small flash for an interior and want softer shadows then the golden rule is to bounce bounce bounce!  ‘Because bouncin is what us photogafurs does bestest doncha know!’ (Ok, watching too much Winnie the Pooh with my wee boy!!)

I have a couple of other pics to post where I definitely prefer the natural light but I’ll leave that for another post as it’s getting late and I’m working all weekend!!


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