Better Looking Interior Photos

Better Looking Interior Photos

The photo below of my studio office was shot on a tripod on Aperture Priority: f/16, ISO 100, shutter speeds: 1/30, 1/8, 1/2: three bracketed exposures merged in Adobe Lightroom to create the HDR photo. When you combine multiple exposures into one HDR photo, your create better looking interior photos.

better looking interior photos
HDR 3 Bracketed Exposures

The light through windows is much brighter than the inside the property. When you do not use exposure bracketing part of the image will be overexposed or underexposed. When you shoot your digital camera without bracketing exposures, you will get:

Overexposed window when the camera correctly exposes for the light in the room or
Underexposed room when the camera correctly exposes for the light in the window

How To Correctly Expose For Room and Window

High Dynamic Range (HDR) are created by using Exposure Bracketing on your DSLR camera by shooting multiple photos at varying shutter speeds. Use your camera’s menu system to set your camera to exposure bracketing. For example, when you set bracketing shots to 3 and increment to 2, the camera will shoot a sequence of three shots with Exposure Values (EVs) of 0 EV (correct exposure), -2 EV (two stops under 0 EV), and +2 EV (two stops over 0 EV).

How To Determine Increment Value

You can determine exposure values by Spot Metering the brightest and darkest spots in the scene. With camera on tripod in Aperture Priority mode, choose aperture based on your desired depth of field (f/11) and set ISO to 100 (base ISO) and set metering mode to spot metering. Position the focus point on a bright highlight outside the window. Take a shot and camera calculates correct exposure (1/30 second). Then change the focus point on a dark shadow inside the room. Take a shot and camera calculates correct exposure (1/2 second). You have just calculated the exposure values: 1/30 and 1/2. What is this exposure range? The number of stops between these two exposures: 1/30, 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 equal 4 stops. Then divide 4 stops by 2 so increment values are +2 and -2.

Below are the three exposures used to create the office studio HDR photo:

better looking interior photos
-2 EV correctly exposing for window (under exposing the room)
better looking interior photos
0 EV correct exposure (balancing exposure of window and room)
+2 EV correct exposure for the room (overexposing window)

Tip: Use a tripod so all the exposures align when you merge them into one HDR photo.

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