Friday, 8 May 2009

Stripes, blinds, spotlights and laughs!


Since it’s been over a week since I posted anything (had a long weekend family hol which was great, thanks mum!) I thought I’d put up a few pics from a job we did last week.  In the next issue of Home Plus Scotland we’re doing a piece on the very talented interior designer Susan Bremnar.  One of my first jobs for the mag over a year ago was to cover two houses that Susan had made over so I was looking forward to meeting her again and getting some great shots, and the house didn’t disappoint.

The shot above was a room tucked into the middle of the house and was totally unexpected.  Susan had made a lovely wee room out of what otherwise could have been a wasted space.


This was the main living room and there’s a couple of things I wanted to mention about this shot.  Firstly, since I was there to get shots to support the piece on Susan rather than to do a full house shoot I didn’t really have time to set up lights etc.   To combat the bright day outside I shut the blinds and just exposed for the interior.  Because the window was way brighter than the rest of the room it ALMOST blew out. 

I possibly looked a bit strange taking a pic of a room on a nice sunny day with the blinds shut but if we’d left them open the light would have bled into the white panels beside the window and robbed them of any detail and I probably would have also lost detail in the cool wooden floor.  But because the window almost blew out the blinds don’t necessarily look like they’re shut.  It basically acted like a very large light source which gave me really nice soft side light which lit the room and also brought out the detail in the very cool wallpaper.

Oh and the second thing about this pic is the importance of having someone with an eye for design to ‘style’ the house.  Susan actually brought that couch with her, as well as various other things like flowers etc, and had it all set up for when we arrived.  More and more I’m realising the value of styling whether it’s for houses, food or portraits!


Ok have to finish off with two cool kitchen shots.  LOVED this kitchen with it’s split level seating/dining area.  One thing I’d like to point out about this shot are the spotlights.  Anyone who shoots interiors will know that you always use quite a small aperture when taking wide shots not only to get max DoF but also to get that ‘star’ effect from lights.  Well spotlights are great for this and really add a ‘sparkle’ to the shots.  Whenever I see alot of spotlights like these I shoot around f11 which gives me a nice look.  Another reason I see a tripod as a necessity.


Just thought I’d put this one in too as I love the heater on the left which basically heats this room and the livingroom (which you can see through to!).   As usual the owner of the house was really nice and we had a fun shoot.  Susan might kill me for posting the next pic but I think it’s great and shows her sense of humour :)


For this shot we had a shoot through brolly high camera right and used a fairly long shutter speed to let the ambient behind Susan soak up.  Exif for this is: 20s f4.5 50m(f1.8) ISO 200.

Have another food shoot coming up next week as well as a couple of house shoots so will pop a couple of shots up when I can!

Ian :)

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