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Interior High Dynamic Range

Matching the light outside to that inside a property

Interior High Dynamic Range

Q.

Interior High Dynamic Range

I am in my office at work and I've got this hatch/window that opens out. I'm doing this because this is about the best place where I could practice exposure lock. If I point my camera directly at the hatch/window the outside is perfect, blue skies, warm rich colours etc. But the inside, the wall and the edge of the hatch is way too dark. Fill in flash kind of works but I get some bright reflection off the panel of the hatch.

I’ve tried taking a reading from inside (somewhere darker) then pointing it at the hatch but it totally overexposes the outside.

A.

I see. This is where photography becomes more pro I guess (if there is such a line that we cross). If it was that easy to get a perfect shot of what you describe, then everyone would be a pro photographer. Some shots (many shots) take a little more effort to get. No (current) camera can get that shot completely right without a little help. The dynamic range is just too great. It is all about using extra lighting and the right set up.

Note: There are cameras that offer pretty good HDR features but they still don't quite get it right.

I have come across your situation/example many times during my property photography shoots. I.e. By trying to get a nice, well lit interior with well exposed views to the outside. Basically, I used to have to use 2 studio lights placed where I could see no reflections in the glass/surrounds. Then I would expose for the outside and adjust the lights to brighten the interior.

Now I just use one of these (see following link) pointed directly at the ceiling to diffuse the light. I use the clear softbox (luminescent).

So for your situation, I would:

  • Meter and set the shutter speed for the exterior like you have done
  • Point the speedlight upwards
  • Play about with the light output and aperture until the interior looks good

The shutter speed determines the exposure outside and the aperture determines the brightness inside for most of these scenarios.

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