Capturing Interior Windows in Real Estate Photography
Photographing rooms with windows is probably one of the most challenging aspect of real estate photography. There is such a difference in exposure between the window and the room interior that it's impossible to expose for both. Now a day, the camera's dynamic range is pretty amazing;however, you still need to know a few tricks to get that perfect view.
There are many different ways to handle this high dynamic range situation and there are a lot methods available and some are better than others . It all depends how you work and what works for you.
The most popular options we came across are HDR, Flash, Window Pull, and Exposure Blending.
a) HDR seems to be the fastest and easiest method in high dynamic range situation. However, the biggest drawback is it starts to look unnatural , noisy and creates halos.
b) Flash can look flashy, requires more time,knowledge and experience to make it look more natural.
c) There are a few ways to do a window pull, the one we have used is the "Darken Mode" window pull. the most difficult part is to have other things in the room reflected in the windows. You have to be careful how you flash. Otherwise, it is a great way to make those windows look natural.
d) Exposure Blending is an excellent option for controlling these blown highlights during retouching. The results look much better than HDR, free you from the constraints of using strobes or shooting only at the golden hour, and can be used in conjunction with those other techniques as well. It is time consuming and colors can shift.
e) In rooms that don't have an attractive view, you don't need to have perfect windows. It's a trend to have an overexposed window for some properties.