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HDR… It’s how interior design photography is supposed to look!

Interior design photography has changed over the years. I remember the days when you had to have Sherpas to help you carry all of the lighting required to adequately light the space while keeping the mood and presence that the designer or architect intended for the space. If there were windows in the space, most of the photography had to be done near the twilight hour so that the light coming in from outside did not overwhelm. Once it became dark, unless there was a beautiful cityscape that could be seen, the windows were dead space. And since film could only record a narrow latitude of exposure, dark areas would have to be lit (and lit as if the light was part of the space) so the scene would be more evenly illuminated to fit into the films exposure capabilities.

I remember spending hours setting up views ahead of time so that at the twilight hour, I could run around like a wild man shooting the views while the light outside was perfect. All this was fine and good during the summer when it stayed light late and you could work after the close of business. However it became quite a challenge to shoot and schedule say a corporate office project in the winter when twilight happened at 4:30 to 5:30 pm before the close of business.

Boy, have things changed! Enter digital photography. Specifically, HDR (high dynamic range) digital photography! The essence of this type of photography is basically the combination of multiple exposures to capture all of the light values in the scene then combine them into one image. It is a pretty complex process but it allows us to see an image of an interior space like our eyes see it. No blown out highlights or pitch black shadow areas.

Clients are sometimes surprised to see that when I shoot I no longer have to have lights set up all over the place. And when they see the completed images, they are amazed that I was able to really capture the space in the lighting that was designed for the space without additional light. And not only that, but I am able to complete the photography in a much shorter period of time with less inconvenience to the client. Ok. True. I do spend quite a bit more time on the computer processing the final images. But the results are beautiful! Absolutely beautiful!


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Interior Design Photography by Architectural Photographer Jeffrey Sauers – Images by Jeffrey Sauers

You can view all of my photography at www.commercialphoto.com!

37 thoughts on “HDR… It’s how interior design photography is supposed to look!

  1. Jeffrey, your work is beautiful! I’ve been interested in HDR for a couple of years now but use it primarily in my personal fine art work. I have a question for you: How do you get such beautiful results with people in the shot? Do you drop them in from the middle exposure?

    Thanks for sharing!
    Bruce

  2. admin says:

    Bruce:

    Thanks for the comments!

    As an architectural and interior design photographer I have the advantage of being on a tripod quite a bit. If I’m using models, I simply place the models in the scene then shoot them at a higher shutter speed/ISO setting or even light them if I need to. Then I remove them from the scene and return to my original low ISO/ long exposure setting and shoot the multiple exposures of the scene, without the models, all while keeping the tripod in the same location. I then process the main HDR architectural image then add the people shot in a separate layer and “paint” them into the scene using a layer mask in Photoshop. Since the people are on a separate layer, I can adjust the brightness or contrast of the layer to blend them into the scene.

    If I’m shooting a scene where I can’t control the people or they are moving around, I’ll shoot the main HDR sequence of shots then I’ll shoot extra exposures of the scene carefully watching as people move in and out of certain areas. I can then process the main HDR image which will have ghosts of people that have moved. Then I can go back and utilize the extra exposures to “paint out” the ghost using images that do not have people in the ghost location. I’ve used this technique on a number of occasions to “clear out” a crowded seen and only leave the people that contribute to the composition of the image.

    I love HDR. It’s a great way to work! And if done correctly (not overdone) it will render a beautifully illuminated scene using all of the light that was designed for the space!

    By the way, I took a look at your site. You’ve done some beautiful work. I love your fine art images!

    Jeff

  3. Thank you, Jeff, for taking the time to respond to my post with an excellent explanation of your technique.

    I’m inspired to go out and shoot some interiors!

    Bruce

  4. Dan Reynolds says:

    Hey Jeffrey , really neat blog and Facebook fan page. Having put away my 4×5 film camera, I’m struggling to shoot my architectural shots with digital and hdr. Wondering what camera and wide angle lens you use. Also, on the hdr interiors, are you turning off all lighting types but 1, shooting it, then doing that process for all the different lighting types present ? Shooting in raw ?

    Thanks , Dan

  5. admin says:

    Dan:

    Thanks for the comments!

    Yes, photography has really changed! I put away my Toyo 4×5 several years ago and am a “born again” digital photographer! Shooting digital has completely transformed architectural photography and thus has completely changed the rules as well. Gone are the days of spending countless hours on location dealing with multiple light sources, covering exit signs, and painstakingly lighting dark areas of a scene. I’ve had to, through trial and effort, learn what digital can and can’t do. What it can do is handle the problems of lighting, color balance, and architectural perspective with ease. What it can’t do is magically improve composition or easily remove distracting elements (like a truck in front of a building). You need to know while shooting, what is better handled by Photoshop or what would require a huge amount of digital work and is better dealt with while shooting.

    To answer your questions; I shoot with Canon EOS IDS Mark III’s and various lens. Canon 16-35 is my favorite as far as wide angle. Everything is shot in raw format and I do all of my perspective control after the shoot, in Photoshop, since it has a extremely capable and accurate lens correction feature. Yes, that means I can just tilt my camera back using my wide lenses without any worries of buildings falling or leaning! That was the first mental obstacle I had to overcome as an old 4×5 shooter!

    As far as lighting and color balance, shooting HDR allows me to control how much light is on each part of the scene, and camera raw allows me to set the color balance of the image. What is fascinating is that a raw image does not determine the color balance until it is processed. That means I can just set my camera to “average white balance” and shoot away. Then when processing the image I can choose whatever color balance I want without any image degradation at all. Additionally I can process multiple copies of an image to color correct for multiple light sources then merge them together. This eliminates the need to turn on and off different lighting types while on location.

    The net effect of all this wonderful technology is that I can actually create much more dynamic architectural photography than I was able to with film. Don’t get me wrong. For any casual readers who may think that beautiful architectural photography is now possible with mindless automated software; creating outstanding images still requires exceptional talent in composition and lighting skills and a heck of a lot of time. The only thing that has changed is where the time is spent to deal with the challenges of architectural photography; on location or on the computer.

    Happy shooting!

    Jeff

  6. Dan Reynolds says:

    Thanks Jeff. Great answer and the technical information I’m looking for. I know I can’t make the adjustments overnight to shooting long exposures with hdr versus long exposures with view camera , strobes. But it’s a start. Going out to shoot a twilight tonight of cityscape , with hdr method. Any extra tips on twilight shots with hdr ? Do you shoot many , many images from dusk to total dark and then pick low level daylight shot and blend with the night lights , without moving the camera ,focus ? Or do you shoot groups of 5 or so images as the lighting changes over 1 hr. or so.? Using any filters on twilights ?

    Nice clouds out tonight.. nothing like the peace and quiet of watching the end of the day light change and the city lights beginning to glow !

    Thanks for blog 1

    Dan

  7. Jay Thomas says:

    Hi Jeffrey,

    Very nice job keeping your hdr images looking “real”. I am a location lifestyle photographer but have an architectural project coming up for one of my lifestyle clients. Basically pre-occupation building shots and then we will come back and put the models in the building and do what I am more used to doing. While researching info and images on interiors, I ran across your blog. Do you use the CS5 hdr or another program such as photomatix for your hdr? I am not experienced in either though I have looked at photomatix in trial. I will curious to see how much control over the various exposure elements I will have in hdr. As opposed to pen tooling various layers to create my images.

    Best,

    Jay

  8. Jay Thomas says:

    Jeffrey,

    Regarding the 16-35, which I have used a lot over the years as well, do you have the 2nd version? I have the first version and it is terribly unsharp around the edges at the wider points. I finally bought a 24 and 35 fixed lenses because of the unsharpness. Sometimes it seems great and then sometimes really bad. I want a 20 as well. Would love the 17 TS as well but wouldn’t use it enough to justify the cost.

    Jay

  9. admin says:

    Dan:

    I have found that twilight photography is another area that has been greatly improved by the use of HDR. It used to be that my timing had to be perfect. If I shot too soon, the sky would be too bright. If I waited too long, the sky went black and the shot was not as dramatic. Now, with HDR, I can completely control how light or dark the sky is, and creates any look that I want!

    Although I still save my most important twilight shots until perfect twilight, I start shooting views early with sequences of 5 exposures. Of course it’s important to wait until interior lighting is fairly bright (from the outside) before starting. I normally don’t use any filters since I can apply the filter (light magenta for fluorescents) in Photoshop’s Camera Raw before processing. I find that I can make great twilight shots out of every sequence, regardless of whether it was early or late, by using Photoshop’s HDR features.

    One more note; I believe that great architecture photography (and twilight photography) in the digital age requires not only great composition and lighting skills but a very good knowledge of Photoshop. Although HDR photography has simplified the process of the actual photography and shortened time spent on location, there is no substitute for the massive amount of time working, experimenting and practicing with Photoshop. And I have found in particular that Photoshop CS5 is a huge improvement, in regards to HDR, than the earlier versions.

    Regards,

    Jeff

  10. admin says:

    Jay:

    Thanks for the compliments. Yes, HDR is very powerful technology and there is a fine line between images that look fake, like renderings, and images that look like real photographs. Don’t get me wrong, I believe there is a place in the art or advertising worlds for over processed HDR. But unless there is a particular request for the “grunge” look, or a need for an ad shot with an artsy edge, I think most clients would be turned off by an over processed looking HDR image.

    I have never really used Photomatix, so I can’t comment on it. But I do know in researching the reviews that CS5 now rivals Photomatix. I have used Photoshop since the very first version so I guess I am a little partial. I find that CS5 allows me complete control over every aspect of the HDR process. So I guess if the goal is to get exactly the image I want, then CS5 has allowed me to do that! One word of caution; I found that I get better at HDR the more I do it. Just like learning photography, the more you do, the better you get. There are idiosyncrasies that are often learned by trial and error. And whether you use Photoshop or Photomatix, it takes time to really digest everything!

    Happy shooting!

    Jeff

  11. admin says:

    Jay:

    I agree with you that the first version of the 16-35 had some sharpness issues at the edges. I use the 2nd version of the 16-35 and it is a huge improvement. And, as a matter of fact, since I am usually stopping down to F13 or greater for architectural photography, any sharpness issues are virtually eliminated. While there is still some softness around the edges when shooting wide open, I find that it is usually not a problem; particularly with the applications that are shot wide open such as some portrait photography etc. Also, I do quite a bit of aerial photography which requires fast shutter speeds and wide apertures. I find that the 16-35 II performs admirably and have had no problems with softness.

    Also, it seems the argument between using fixed focal lengths or zoom lens has intensified ever since digital has taken over film. My personal preference is to shoot with two identical cameras (1DS Mark III’s) leaving the 16-35 on one and a 28-300 on the other. Since I am often on construction sites or other dirty environments, I’ve found that constantly changing lenses created never ending “dust on sensor” issues. Now I leave the lenses on the cameras until I need to put a specialty lens on (which isn’t too often)!

    I don’t use a tilt shift lens any more. I find the perspective control in Photoshop is so complex but simple to use that I just tilt my camera back and shoot away! Yes, I realize that that may make some architectural photographers cringe. But the T/S lenses are limited to a fixed focal lengths and I just have so much more creative control with the 16-35 to be able to zoom in or out depending on my location or the size of the building, etc.

    Regards:

    Jeff

  12. Dan Reynolds says:

    Hey Jeff, wondering if you could give us a few more tips on using hdr in Photoshop … planning on getting CS5 next month.. have used Photomatrix and itdoes get a little too far from reality , too dreamy, for me.. in Photoshop hdr, are you pretty much using the hdr merge, or are you going further , and creating layers for hdr shots.. For example, on a typical interior exposure spread of 5 shots, does using hdr merge do the job, or are you going further into other areas of CS5.. Also, what’s an average time of work on 1 composition , that you have to put in to have a final master shot… 10-15 minutes? …30 minutes ?

    Thanks, Dan

  13. admin says:

    Dan:

    I find that the HDR in Photoshop does a great job and allows me to either make a surreal look or a photo realistic look. My workflow consists of a series of steps beginning with color correcting the images in camera raw. Next I’ll typically merge 5 images using HDR merge. When the Merge to HDR screen opens, I will set tone, detail and color as well as remove ghost images by selecting a single image to use as the main image. This is basically the screen that you’ll use to approximate how you want the final image to look. I will typically allow the image to go a little flat here, holding the highlights and shadows so as not to lose them. I will add the snap to the image later on. You’ll need to experiment with this screen to determine what your personal preferences are.

    Once the HDR merge process is complete, I will save the image as a TIFF, then re-open in camera raw and go to town on the image to set brightness values contract, etc. to get the image as I like. Then once again I will open the image in Photoshop and do final adjustments on contrast, color, saturation, etc., as well as remove dust, do perspective control, etc.

    As you can see it is a pretty lengthy process with multiple points to affect the tone and contrast of the image to determine how realistic or surreal the image looks. There is no set of parameters that work for every image. Although the workflow for me is the same, the setting for every image is different.

    You will have many opportunities during the process to develop your own style! Typically, one composition will take anywhere from 10-30 minutes depending on how much digital work needs to be done to the image. The HDR process is fairly quick, it’s the other digital work such as cleaning dust, perspective control, color balance of different light sources, etc. that takes the time!

    Have fun! Although technical in nature, it is truly an artistic process!

    Jeff

  14. Dan Reynolds says:

    Jeff,

    Thanks so much for the info.. I downloaded the 30 day trial version of CS5 and have been practicing with the HDR Merge , using raw images… I’m shooting a twilight tonight and am looking forward to trying your version.. for example, I didn’t know you could open a tiff back up in camera raw.. Do you go through all bracketed images to adjust for color correction prior to hdr merge , or just correct the normal exposure portions and leave the -2 stops and +2 stop portions of the bracket.. seems like that would really slow things down… Also, I assume your merging 5 shots with a 1 stop bracket throughout… not sure how to set a single image in the merge as the master image , but will figure it out..

    Dan

  15. admin says:

    Before I start any HDR processing I open all of the images for a particular shoot in Camera Raw and take the time to color correct each view. I will color correct the first in a sequence of images then use the sync feature to correct the rest in the sequence. It takes a little time but saves me from inadvertently merging any images that aren’t color correct. The main color corrections need to be done in Camera Raw with the raw data and then it can be tweaked later in Photoshop.

    If you’re only braketing one F stop apart, you may need to use seven images. I actually bracket two or two and a half stops apart.

    I love twilight shooting! I have one to do this Wednesday! Makes for some great photography!

    Jeff

  16. Cado says:

    Hi Jeff,

    As you had shared your HDR processing method, I still unable to achieve the kind of realistic HDR as you did. Do you kind mind share us a video tutorial showing how exactly you processed you HDR?

    Or, if you don’t mind, i can send you my raw images for you to process the HDR in your way. I just want to find out whether it was my camera setting or the way i processed the HDR incorrectly?

    cheers

  17. admin says:

    Hi Cado,

    HDR just takes a lot of practice! If you are using Photoshop, most of the important image changes happen in the first HDR screen. Beyond that it is mostly a matter of image contrast. The process of HDR basically is lowering the contrast between shadows and highlights, making the image look cartoonish. So in the end, by increasing the contrast of an image will “bring it back to reality”.

    I wish I had the time to make a video or review files of others, but unfortunately my clients are keeping me pretty busy right now!

    Keep practicing!

    Jeff

  18. Dan Reynolds says:

    Hey Jeff, thanks the feedback… so, in CS5 for HDR, when you say you’re using 5 image sequence at 2 stops bracket , is that a normal , +2,+4 ,-2 , -4 stop bracket ? It seems like the +4 and -4 would be unusable.. on the HDR merge then, I have been following your guidelines for CS5 .. getting some good results but getting blown out highlights still (neon menu boards in a restaurant are blowing out).. using normal , +1 , +2 , -1 ,2 stop.. maybe I need to go further to get a better range for it to merge.. and last question.. so you are not using layers at all ? only camera raw , to hdr merge , and then working in photoshop to tweek it ?

    Thanks, Dan

  19. admin says:

    Dan:

    Yes, many times I use a 2.5 stop bracket for 5 exposures. My darkest exposure is almost pitch black while my brightest is almost completely washed out. Then I know that I have all the exposure values covered and CS5 has no problem utilizing all of the images. You can also try using 7 images for your bracket.

    If you’re geting blown out highlights either your brackets are not covering the entire gamut of exposure values or you are allowing the highlights to get blown out in the Merge to HDR Pro screen. I usually will lower the highlights and brighten the image just enough in the Merge to HDR Pro screen to keep all the exposure values, even though the image will appear flat or over processed(cartoon-like). I will then add contrast back into the image in Photoshop to bring the image back to reality. That usually allows me to get a sharp, snappy image with out blown out highlights.

    I don’t normally use layering for the HDR process. By using the Merge to HDR Pro screen, saving them as Tiffs, reopening and adjusting in Camera Raw, then final adjusting in Photoshop, I find that I can get total control. I use layering when I need to manipulate things like adding or removing people, etc.

    I hope I’ve been helpful.

    Good luck!

    Jeff

  20. Rachel Gage says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Your photos are amazing. Do you use a white balance tool (such as ColorRight) or a light meter (such as Sekonic)? I shoot in Aperature Priority and usually AWB, but find I get a yellow/orange hue in my photos.

  21. admin says:

    Hi Rachel,

    Yes, I occasionally use a light meter, and I also shoot with the AWB mode set on my camera. However, the only reason that I use the AWB mode in my camera is because I shoot my images as RAW files. The beauty of shooting RAW files is that it dosent matter what your color balance is set at while shooting because the color balance of the image is set in Photoshop AFTER the image is taken. So if you’ve shot the images as a RAW file, you can manipulate the color balance of the image any way that you want without affecting the quality of the image. If you are shooting JPEG’s, unfortunately you can’t change the color balance of the image without ruining the quality of the image.

    A digital image, just like a piece of film, it is very sensitive to the color balance of light. Tungsten(incandecent), flourescent, daylight, overcast all burn at a different color. And unfortunately the AWB setting in the camera is usually not totally accurate. And a JPEG image, although fine for delivering a completed image electronically, is abosolutley terrible if you have to change or manipulate the image in any way. So to get control of your images, you’ll either have to start using a color balancing tool/meter, or set to AWB and start shooting in RAW format!

    Good Luck,

    Jeff

  22. Rachel Gage says:

    Jeff,

    Do you shoot in Apeture Priority or Manual Mode when shooting interiors? I typically shoot in AP Mode (F11 for interiors, F8 for exterior) and keep my ISO at 100. Do you mind sharing your methods?

  23. admin says:

    Rachel,

    Since shooting interiors is a slow and fussy process, I always shoot in Manual at 100 ISO. Typically I’m shooting at the higher f-stops for increased depth of field, F13 or F16. Of course that also creates another problem that many portrait or wedding photographers don’t consider; dust on the sensor! Shooting at the higher F-stops, particularly when you have a smooth surface in the shot like a wall or something, will really show how much dust is on your sensor. So to eliminate a ton of extra digital re-touching, you’ll have to make sure you have a clean sensor.

    Happy Shooting,

    Jeff

  24. Dan Reynolds says:

    Hey Jeff,

    Thanks for the teaching.. on your long exposures , specifically in an apartment with tungsten light bulbs, the long exposures are giving me halos , to the extent that they’re unusable when merged.. how do you deal with interiors with light bulbs and the effect of long exposures on the lighting..

    Thanks, Dan

  25. Dan Reynolds says:

    Hey Jeff,

    To go further on the long exposures in an apartment/condo setting with tungsten bulbs throughout, I’m getting lens flare when merging , and being able to see it on the shoot , when looking at one image replay, or through the lens.. have you had similar problems ?

    Thanks, Dn

  26. admin says:

    Hi Dan,

    Regarding the lens flare, that is a definite problem. If you see lens flare in the image, all the HDR in the world won’t really remove it. Only time consuming digital work. So you want to try to avoid lens flare. Here’s what I do; If the light source is not in the image, I just shade the lens with my hand to remove the flare. If the light source is in the image, I use a tricky little multiple exposure technique. I can use this same technique to shoot an exterior with the sun IN the shot. First shoot a sequence of shots with a finger or pencil or something hanging down in the frame blocking the light source. This removes the lens flare. These are your main images. Then I shoot a sequence without blocking anything. And after I’ve processed the main images, I use a shot of the unblocked view (balanced to match the main set) to stack behind and erase just enough to bring in the light source(removing my finger!) without the lens flare into the shot. Voila! Beautiful image with no lens flare! Hopefully I’ve made this understandable!

    As far as the halos, unfortunately they do occasionally show up in shots. This is a case when I will let the light source start to wash out a little in the image, which usually minimizes the halos. Additionally you can try using the color replacement tool to bring colors in the halos to white light. Again, this is another issue that you’ll have to experiment with. Have fun! If I was easy, we’d be out of a job!

  27. Kerri says:

    Hello

    I seem to be getting blown out lights some times (mostly the ones in the bathrooms and the dome lights in bedrooms) and I don’t know if it is an issue of my bracketing or the post processing? I am using Photomatix “fused” Natural image or default setting for tone mapping. I use the spot meter to figure out the dynamic range of the room from the position of my tripod … maybe I am not getting the correct range. Should I be measuring the range with the lights in the room on or off? Sometimes, I don’t have the option to turn them off depending on the location.

    If it is a home, I was thinking of using the trick to flick the lights on an off quickly when I take the picture ….. but I don’t know if I should take all the bracketed exposures without the lights and then have one shot at the end to have this “flick” shot to use for compositing in photoshop or if I should take the bracket shots with the lights on and then also do this “flick” shot as a final shot? If it is a bathroom that is dark then I guess I have to have the lights on. Also, at what exposure would I use to take the picture of the lights using this flick trick? Any suggestions, I think I am making this way to complicated.

    1. I am taking anywhere from 3 shots at 2 EV apart (no windows ex. half bath) and 9 shots at 1 EV apart (if there are windows involved)
    2. Using RAW files
    3. ISO 100
    4. Aperture F8 to F13 (constant for the bracketed images)
    5. White balance = Auto. I find often that I still have to do compositing in Photoshop to deal with the different WB which I hate doing. I guess unless I fix it on sit and make everything the same WB I have no other choice.

    How do you go about removing color casts from your photos? I know you said you start off with color correcting all the images but I assume this means just for the primary light source? Then at what point and how do you correct for the secondary source?

    6. If you want a slight pop to the photo (some may think this is starting to have a cartoon edge to the photo) but sill want your whites to be white and not grey or even black/muddy …. how do you achieve this?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Kerri

  28. admin says:

    Hi Kerri,

    There are some nuances to HDR processing that take quite a bit of practice and experimentation to get right, and even then there are still certain shots that cause problems. Color casts are unfortunately one of the most difficult areas to master.

    Unfortunately I have never used Photomatix, so I have no idea how it works or how to use it to minimize the effects of blown-out lights. I can tell you though that I have evolved over time to actually like an accept some slightly blown out lighting because it looks more natural and more like classic architecture photography. Regarding white balance, I have found over time that it is more advantages to take white balance readings on location and use that setting rather than auto. The truth is, if shooting raw, the color balance that is used is not as important as all of the shots in a sequence having the same balance. That way when you process them and set the color balance, they will all change together. The problem with auto color is that there is a possibility that each exposure may have a slightly different color balance. If you are working with different color balances in images, the best way I’ve found to eliminate a color cast in an image is to use hue/saturation in photo shop. Choose the color of the cast you are trying to remove and either change it or de-saturate slightly.

    Now for the bad news! As I mentioned, I have evolved regarding HDR over the years and have found that if you want your images to POP, you need to break out you lighting and light the space along with the HDR. I know this is hard to digest for us HDR diehards, but in my quest to produce some of the finest architectural photography possible, I have come to realize that HDR is a good way to get proper exposure throughout the space, but it does nothing for dynamic lighting. HDR achieves proper exposure by basically increasing available light in the darker areas, i.e., increasing frontal “fill” lighting. Frontal fill lighting is flat, boring lighting.

    I realize that this contradicts the title of this blog post, but as soon as I started lighting the space (like I used to in the old days) my images really started to come alive and “pop” off the page. Mostly because proper lighting will creates 3-dimentionally in the space by side lighting and adding texture to all of the surfaces. So now I use HDR to “fill” my images while using my strobe units to light the space. Yes, it takes more time and is more work, but wow, does it make a difference!

    Good Luck!

  29. Dan Reynolds says:

    Hey Jeff,

    Glad o know you’re using a little strobe lighting in there sometimes because, even with hdr merge, sometimes the shadows aren’t opening up enough,and adjusting too much makes it look strange, “noisey”. Sometimes I can’t seem to get where you get on your interiors using hdr merge/raw adjust/photoshop. You’re the master , so we’ll all keep trying :)

    Just wondering if you’ve upgraded to CS6 and what you may be finding in the hdr merge in cs6 that are new (better?) processes from Photoshop. Also, Wonderful new shots from the D.C. library.

    Dan

  30. admin says:

    Thanks for the comments Dan. I hope all is well!

    Yes, I been using CS6 since the day it came out! I figured since I spend hour upon hour in Photoshop, I might as well get the updates as soon as they come out. It has some pretty neat stuff, but it is not a hugh differnce over CS5. It has an auto save function that will back up your work. I’t has already saved a considerable amout of work when I had my computer freeze one time. Fortunately my work was safely saved by Photoshop. HDR seems to be more acurate in processing the images.

    Jeff

  31. Dan Reynolds says:

    Hey Jeff, really looking good on your work. I’m enjoying seeing your dailey fb posts. Thanks for sharing your master techniques. Just wanted to ask a few questions on your techniques. I know you said earlier that you were adding a little lighting. Are your latest shots involving strobe or just the HDR. To refresh, on the HDR, photoshop cc ? How many in the bracket at 2 stop increments. Still can’t seem to pull my highlights down to balance the outside and the interior lights. On color correcting, I know you correct in raw before processing, but how about a refresher on what you’re doing ? Are you selecting certain lights somehow to correct, or just globally adjusting colors ?They are perfectly correct. Awesome. You can check my latest at http://www.danreynoldsphoto.com. Any feedback appreciated. Thanks, Dan

  32. Jeff says:

    Hi Dan,

    Sorry for the delayed response. I have been pretty busy.

    Almost all of my interior photography now includes both HDR and strobe. Although I used to do exclusively HDR, it is a little ironic because of the title of this blog entry, but I have found over time that the images are more dynamic with strobe added. Maybe I just started to get bored of the look, but I realized that strictly HDR images were just good, evenly exposed lighting, but not necessarily dramatic lighting. And in order for the images to be great, the subject or space had to be exciting. With added lighting, one can create much more exciting images out of not so exciting space! So I guess I’ll need to update the title to read “HDR/with Strobe, it is how interiors are supposed to look!”

    For the HDR portion, I’m using 5-9 images, and normally will take a raw image from the group that is properly exposed for outside and layer that in to the HDR so that the windows looks good,(and light fixtures if you need to). Same thing with color correcting, just make a copy of the final HDR image(tiff) and color correct that in Lightroom then layer that one in with the other shots to correct color balance in certain images.

    Your work looks great, as usual!

  33. Dan Reynolds says:

    Hey Jeff,

    I bought a 27inch iMac a few months ago and am really making progress with photoshop cc and using raw pre-sets, multiple image editing. One really needs a powerful computer, and the windows system was way too slow. Thank goodness i over to Apple. I wondering how you set your computer screen to brightness and color correcting levels. Do you use tool to calibrate(colormunki,etc.) or go through Apple display setting adjustments ? Also, when you layer in a shot for a correct window exposure or color adjustment into the HDR tiff, is that after you’ve edited the HDR tiff or before editing ? My shots are on my website are looking over-exposed on windows based computers, but good on mine, to some up the color settings/brightness question.

    Thanks, Dan

  34. Jeff says:

    Hi Dan,

    Good luck with trying to get your images to look great on all platforms! No matter how good your system looks, a client viewing the final images on their lousy, un-calibrated monitors will still have issues! Fortunately monitors are steadily getting better. I use DataColor Spyders on my system and yes, I am windows based but that may be changing soon as well.

    Regarding the window exposures, I always merge in a window exposure after the HDR process. Also a little over exposure in the windows is a good thing if you want your viewer’s attention on the interior of the space. However if the exterior view is an integral part of the image, then of course, you’ll want it exposed well.

  35. Dan Reynolds says:

    Ok Jeff. My windows system was always a mess. I highly recommend 27Inch iMac. I was about $2,000 but life is great now. I’ve discovered the “quick selection” tool in cc. Do you use that a lot. It is very accurate and I can adjust parts of images very quickly in an amazing way.

    Dan

  36. Dan Reynolds says:

    New website looks great Jeff !

    Dan

  37. Jeff says:

    Thanks Dan. As you know, it is always a lot of work to do, but the new year is a good time to do it!

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