Friday, July 9, 2010
I may be repeating myself but I cannot stress enough how important good lighting is for a picture. I try to only use natural light as it imparts a natural glow to the picture, but sometimes this lighting need to be tweaked a bit.
With a recent photo shoot (thanks Janice Selig of Allen & Selig Realty), I was challenged a bit with the harsh light outside that created defined streaks indoors. As you can see in both exterior photos (at the beginning and end of this blog), this was strong, midday light. It was at about 2pm in July, not a time I would usually pick to shoot a house, because midday light can be overbearing. I usually like either morning or afternoon light, as its lower on the horizon and imparts a soft glow. However, this wasn't an option for this shooting as the house was on a wooded lot, which would have created shadows on the exterior parts of the house if later in the day (morning wouldn't work either as the sun would be on the back part of the house, rather than the front).
I sorted out the outside but the back to the inside challenge, which was the strong light seeping in and creating unwanted beams of light. Now our eyes edit this streaking out (in fact I think it adds drama to a room) but the camera doesn't add any emotion, and instead takes away from the photo and what I'm trying to convey.
One of the rooms that I had this challenge was in the downstairs bedroom. As you can see in the photo, the afternoon sun cast its light on the bed, leading the eye to the middle of the room, not towards the back, which is what I wanted the buyer's eye to go (to give a sense of depth to the room, I wanted the buyer's eye to be pulled to the small lamp by the side of the bed.)
So I tried completely shutting the blinds, and bumping up the exposure on my camera, but with the dark wood, walls and bedspread, the room looked too cave like. The eye was pulled back to the lamp as I wanted, but would the buyer even like the room?
My final solution was to partially raise the blinds so some natural light came in but without the streakiness on the bed. I then shifted the angle of the picture I was taking just a bit, so that you couldn't see the window where the light was coming in (also a bit distracting). The final result was a room that made use of natural light the best way it could without any strong rays to take away from the picture.
(Another exterior view, that shows the strong light of midday)