Bringing the outside in – sun-drenched rooms can be a challenge…

Estate Sunroom - Sleepy Hollow NY 10591This is one of those technical blogs that can leave most people’s eyes rolling.  But in the end, its the final effect that counts.

Home buyers L-O-V-E  sun-drenched rooms.   But real estate agents often find them a  nightmare to capture on camera.  Either the windows are a blown out mess, completely over-exposed or the interior of the room looks dank and dark even though there is obviously a lot of natural light.  It can be infuriating to photograph.  Why is this?

The reason is kind of simple:  What the agent is wrestling with is the fact that two different exposures required for a single photograph.  The light coming through the windows requires a far shorter exposure than the room.

Professional photographers counter this problem, by bringing strobe or speedlites into sunny rooms.  It seems counter-intuitive, but it works.  By doing this they level the playing field between  between the darker light in the room and the bright sun coming through the windows, making the exposure time for both the same.  This is also tweaked by playing with the shutter speed.  The shutter speed influences the impact of ambient light, but not strobe or speed lights.  Since a strobe operates by providing a quick but strong flash of light, your camera sensor will record the same amount of light from it no matter what the shutter speed is.  Ambient light is different.  Its not a quick flash, but a constant. The amount of light your sensor records depends on the length of the shutter speed.

In the photo above, I wanted to show that the room was brightly lit from the outside.  So I allowed the windows to be just a tad overexposed to achieve the effect.  The end result was a bright sunny room without blindingly bright white over-exposed windows.

© 2014 – RGHicks – – All rights reserved.

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