Thursday, July 24, 2008

Architectural Interiors and Photomatix: Pt 2

A few weeks back I posted about architectural interiors using Photomatix and if using it could replace the lighting of interiors and shooting with traditional methods. Although I believe that most interiors certainly benefit from artificial light to accent the interiors, there may be times when using lights are not an option.

Shortly after that post I received an assignment where adding lighting was not possible. My client builds a variety of projects in hospitals and other commercial projects and they needed pictures of a hospital and another medical clinic. These facilities were fully functioning with staff and patients and the thought of using lights was to much of a distraction and interference.

I love to light! I enjoy the challenge of using supplemental lighting to enhance and improve the scenes, no matter what they are. I think we as photographers and creative pros can do amazing things with lighting and we also have an obligation to do just that for our clients.

Some projects we are presented will require us to use other means to achieve the best result when we can do it the way we want. The clients expect us to be problem solvers. So here I am with this client; they have never used a pro shooter before, have no clue what goes into great interior photography, and want to spend as little as possible.

I was successful at convincing them that pro photographers are worth the cost and had the examples to show them the before and after, convincing them that they could not do this themselves.

I asked if we could use lights. They called the facilities and the answer was NO. Fortunately I have been using Photomatix for the last year and a half or so and my buddy at Chromasia guided me through the early stages. Well, this was clearly the answer for this assignment.

This is one of many images from that day and and shows the before and after. I will post more as I get them processed (still waiting for client decisions). It took 11 exposures to create this shot because that was the range between open shadows and the highlight from that ceiling fixture. I then took the image in PS and set black and white points, adjusted color balance, and tweaked curves. It still needs a little more work, but this is close to complete. Photomatix is clearly worth mastering!

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