See this simple living room?
It was dark and the only window letting light in was the window behind me.
That wasn't even the worst part. First of all, the window is actually 1 meter away from the neighbour's wall, which meant not only was it the only available natural light source, the wall was cutting down a huge, HUGE amount of light. So what can we do about it?
If you were a real estate agent, you'd probably be accustomed to a photo like the one below.
That took an approximate 5 minutes flash on camera and snap! It's flat looking with a bit of photoshop tweaking of course, but this can't surely be a passing standard of a commercial photographer right?
Let's see if we can improve this "show everything" photo and add some emotion into it, because emotion sells.
First step: Get closer, like real close because the closer you get the more connected you feel.
So I moved the tables and bean bag close to the edge of the rug because the camera sees differently, but check that out! There's a story unfolding and then... I realised another beam of light coming through the kitchen entrance from the left as the sun drifted lower. Can you see it? It's hitting the chair.
Second step: So it's a little flat looking, so let's add some light.
Whoops! that's a bit too strong! Also I'm not convinced at this lighting.
Third step: Now since we've established the composition and direction of light, I wanted to make this a very warm and inviting scene, with some 3Dimension and through that sunlight discovery before, I know I can "recreate" that beam of light without misrepresenting the actual room.
That's a nice stream of light, but the room seems dark again and sunset light is meant to me warm so let's throw a warming gel onto the flash and add a little light to fill the dark room.
It's not bad, but the light hitting the wall on the left is too far off the image, at least the room has light now. Let's bring the sun light back a little.
This isn't too bad, but it's not quite there just yet, but see how the light hitting the wall automatically makes your brain thing there's an opening to the left without even showing it?
Ahhh that's more like it. The light seems more balanced in the image now and all that's left to do is some touch up in photoshop.
Here's the final image with a bit more warmth added to it and sure it did take about 30 minutes, but I think it's worth it.
Most of the time there isn't a need to show everything as our human brains are smart enough to fill in the gaps with a few hints here and there, but getting in close really draws a viewers attention as it's more "specific" and easy to process.
What do you think?
Styling by April from FHSA