How To Shoot

We keep prices low by specializing in one form of shooting: Ambient/Flash blends. This consists of 2 or 3 shot stacks shot on a tripod so that they align perfectly in post.

  1. Ambient: The first shot is ambient exposure, shot at your camera’s sharpest aperture.
  2. Soft Flash: The second shot is a soft flash shot. The goal with this shot is to bathe the room in even light to overpower the incandescent lights and get some view out the windows. You can either bounce the flash into the ceiling – bounce it off a reflector, or use some kind of soft box.  We like to shoot these on full auto+ on sony cameras. On other brands, they can be shot on full auto on shutter priority at around 1/160th (we want the fastest shutter your camera will allow with flash before engaging hss). If you object to shooting your 2nd shot at a different aperture than the first, due to a loss of sharpness, we can talk about various alternative strategies.
  3. Hard Flash: When the view out the window is important, we need a third shot. This is what we will use to manually mask in the window. For this shot, it’s best to go back to your sharpest aperture, point the flash directly into the window and take the shot. In the event you have a large reflection in the glass, you may need to take the flash off camera. **It’s important this shot be BRIGHT . We do not cut windows (polygonal lasso every single window pane) we mask them by taking everything in the hard flash image that is darker (the view out the window) and ignoring everything that is brighter (the walls around the window and window latticework. So, if you have a big room with a big picture window, your on camera flash will not be bright enough. You need a wireless battery powered strobe (like a godex pocket flash) to get proper illumination (see below)

Here is an example of a properly exposed ambient shot

Here is an example of a a properly exposed soft flash

Here is an example of a correct hard flash (we mask this for no charge.)

Here is the final composite image.

Here is an example (below) of an INCORRECT hard flash (if you want us to cut this window it’d be $5-$10)