It’s been a busy week here, with eight, possibly nine shoots in five days. I’m still up in the air about that last one, hence the possibly, but without question, my life has basically been “eat, take pictures, eat, edit pictures, take pictures, eat, edit pictures, sleep” for the last few days. And more is on the way. Not that I’m complaining! It’s good to stay busy and I’m doing what I love for a living. As always, I’m fooling around with new techniques in my real estate shooting. I’ve been doing a lot of work in the village at Northstar recently, mostly smaller rental properties, however they’re quite often tougher than the bigger properties, given the tight quarters and copious amounts of ‘stuff’ everywhere! Regardless, if one thing is for certain, I am probably the best in the world at the game of “navigating a tripod with an enormous camera on top through small passageways without touching the walls.” If this were an Olympic sport, I would have the gold medal.
So these images are a minimum of seven photgraphs combined into one. To put it simply, I’m exposing each frame differently, because our cameras can only capture so much of a difference between light and dark. I make a few exposures for the highlights, including the lights, windows, shiny things, and so on, and a few exposures for the shadows, such as behind doors, the ceilings, under couches and tables, etc, and I combine them all in Photoshop, masking out different parts of each photo, then going over and dodging and burning to bring it all together appropriately. I also use a flash in some cases to bring out specular highlights and to add contrast on leather, deep recesses in corners and behind doors, and on countertops to get some of that rock to shine and sparkle a bit more.
And lastly, in total contrast to all of the above, this shot was one single exposure with no flash or anything of that sort. There is about a 10 to 15 minute period at twilight where the intensity of the tungsten and fluorescent light on the inside of the house matches the intensity of the ambient light outside. Then it all just clicks, and all it really takes is one shot to get a great photo. The lights are a tad hot on the inside, and some people might point that out, but I feel that it really adds to the warmth and brightness of the scene. I also love the play between the blue and orange here. A favorite of mine, to be sure. (And a quick note on the title: there are dogs coming in this blog. Many, many dogs. Stay tuned…)