Hi and welcome back.
I apologize for the lack of posts but let’s get going with a post on using small light sources for real estate.
I used to do this a great deal until the market fell apart in 2008 in CT. I worked for private clients, VFM Leonardo, and 360 Media.
For this kitchen I shot last week, I used:
3 Speedlights placed around the room
Rogue 1/2 CTO gels
Phottix Odin in TTL so I had full creative control
Here’s an initial proof:
Shooting this real estate, especially kitchens in large houses, produces lighting problems. This is a galley style kitchen so it is long and narrow. I set a key light to my left and flashed it directly into the kitchen to open it up.
I then set a speed light down the opposite end next to the refrigerator to open the furthest area of the kitchen.
Then, luckily, there was a butler’s pantry on the right so I was able to add a third light out of sight to pone the area by the chairs on each island.
In this shot, you can see the butler pantry being llluminated on the right:
Setting exposure and paying attention to your lighting is paramount in these shots. So using the Phottix Odin payed off in that I could control each flash individually in TTL. With the Odin, I’ve been using TTL more often as I’ve found it very easy to understand and use.
For Exposure, turn on all the lights and set the initial exposure to the brightest spot in the room. In this case it was the under cabinet lighting. After you set this exposure, then find a good balance between this light, outside or the daylight coming in through the window, and your aperture.
For White Balance, which can be difficult to figure out on these shots, I use Rogue 1/2 CTO Gels to get my speed lights from 5500 degrees to about 4500 degrees Kelvin. This is in between the 3200 degrees of the warm kitchen light and the 5500 degrees of daylight. This works very well in balancing inside to outside when adding light to the scene.
Each of the images was corrected for exposure, saturation, and contrast but not WB. Setting my camera to 4500 degrees in camera gave me perfect balance between light sources.
Speedlights work very well for this type of work as they can be moved around the room as needed and placed very near the floor for accent lighting.
Shooting real estate is fun as you really get to understand lighting and position to effectively use and place your light.
The Phottix Odin in TTL worked perfectly as I was able to adjust power settings up or down as needed and take advantage of TTL capability when the outside light changed.
Well that’s it for now. Till next time, happy shooting!