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I work for a company that do office refits / furniture installations and have been asked by my employer if I could take some images of completed furniture installations for some case studies they will be doing. I am generally set up kit-wise for landscapes so interior photography is going to be a bit new to me and I really dont have a clue. The kit I use is an Eos 400d, 18-55 kit lens, and a Siggy 10-20, a tripod and a remote switch. Is there anything else that you think I will need, such as a flash unit, I know the built in flash is pretty harsh. Next week I am going to go in early and get some practice in our showroom, but any pointers in the right direction before I have a go would be appreciated.
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dont use the on board flash mate, you will need an off camera flash. something to bounce the light around. or, HDR it.
Need any staff at your place? I fancy a job change, ha ha.
I do a lot of showroom and real interiors, sometimes using proper Bowens lights, other times using Photomatix. I always use the exposure blending option, which gives more realistic results than the HDR option. Most of these shots (but not all) were done using Photomatix exposure blending. I often use an off-camera speedlight for detail shots or fill when otherwise using natural light, but not generally for lighting a whole room. I either bounce off walls and ceilings, or use with a brolly or softbox from the studio kit.
I used to use a Sig 10-20 on a D200, now use a D700 full-frame, but although I have a 12-24 for it, I try to stick to 35mm or 28mm for wide, or if possible getting further back and using a 50mm. I use the wider angles when in small bathrooms etc., but generally find very wide angles too extreme and a bit 'estate agent' looking. The less wide angles give a more natural, 'magazine' like perspective, which is what I normally want. Try and suss out the style they would prefer.
Excellent, thanks guys, so its looking like maybe an external flash, definitely not the in built one, as I thought. Steve, thank you for your help, I will do some test images next week and will put them to the chap who asked me, see which type he prefers. Had a look at the link, and they look great. Thanks for your reply Chaps, Anthony - unfortunately, like most companies, they are not looking for any staff at the moment but if anythin pops up I'll give ya a shout Thank again for the replies
Get a sync lead for the flashgun too so that you can use it off the camera for better results - you'll need a hotshoe adaptor to go where you would normally fit the flashgun, this then provides a socket to attach the sync lead.
You'll then be able to move your light source about to create the effect you want - to the side to look like window light, etc.
Have a look on the strobist website for info.
Judging by your portfolio, you'll be more than able!!
You will need to watch the white Balance as Canon Auto white Balance is incredibly painstakingly ineffective in incandescent light and will leave you with yellow stained dirty pictures.
I would shoot on the tripod with the switch, the camera will work out the shutter and shoot jpeg + RAW and use the software that was bundled with the camera to white balance the shots, Raw will also give you a bit of play up and down on exposure.
Some top tips above. Stevecharles - like your shots.
Now for my two penn'orth on colour temp! Feel free to ignore though! (Cos this did my head in when we covered it at college in the architecture module) Check what light is available. Is it fluorescent? Tungsten? Daylight? Or a combination. They are all different colour temperatures so you'll need to work out how to balance them/what you can live with. Which predominates and which can be switched off without ruining the image/effect. For instance, if you have mainly fluorescent light but there are some tungsten bulbs too and you would prefer to have them on for the effect, then you could always get an assistant to switch them on then off quickly during the exposure, so the image of them will be captured lit but it will have minimum impact on the colour temp. Or if it won't ruin the shot by turning them off completely, then turn them off completely and set WB to fluoro. If you use flash, then you may need to gel the flash to match the predominant colour temp (and set your white balance to the predominant colour temp, of course!). Of course, you may find you like the different colours produced (fluoro = green, tungsten = orange) and decide to live with it!
You could always try Zero Noise software technique??
look at these two examples taken only with the available light you see in the images.
You can make a custom white ballance using this setting in the camera and an 18% grey card ( white sheet of paper will do if you have't got a card)
Follow the instructions in the manual and you should be ale to balance the white accurately to the ambient light and flash.
Shoot in RAW as I'm sure you do being a landscaper. When exporting the image have the curves set to linear so you have the lowest contrast and thus retain as much detail as possible. Easier to blend exposure and tweak contrast up where necessary. Maybe a combination of methods will be needed sometimes.
You (or your employer) may want the different hues from the different light sources. They may not have thought about it.
Discuss exactly what is required first, that's the most important thing.
Another option with flash (or any strong light source used for fill in) is to bounce it off a board or reflector - yes you'll lose a stop or two but the result will be softer and more even. I'm sure you'll find a willing colleague to help out!
Interesting comment from Steve as HDR was supposed to be 'the thing' for this situation when it first appeared.
Thank guys, the replies are much appreciated and some really good advice here. Not been to the place yet where I have to do it but am going to do some practicing in our office before anyone gets in to see how it goes. Really appreciate the advice folks, thank you very much!
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