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Lighting For Interiors


Well-known member
Any suggestion on lighting Interiors? I am getting started in doing Real estate interiors and Exterior. Main concern is Interiors. Thanks


Well-known member
There are many variables with interior real estate lighting to consider. Things like reflections, shadows and perspective control. Many use extreme wide angles which imo, is deceptive when representing square footage. Some use HDR to get the most in apparent exposure , which also can be distracting with over saturated colors and way too sharp details. The use of soft boxes, grids and umbrellas should work nicely to diffuse the light to keep the shadows at a minimum. Thoughtfully placed strobes behind furniture or doors and walls can create dimension and character. You can even place a light with a warming gel outside a window to simulate a warm sunny day with dapples of light on the interior. Placing the lighting on either side of a room should mitigate strong shadows, but diffusing the light is key, imo. The use of a tilt/ shift lens could also be used in tandem by simply "shifting the lens" for a series of images in either a portrait or landscape orientation and stitching together with an app. Or try just panning using several images and stitch in post. Continuous lighting is also an option for interiors, but imo, strobes have more power to control ambient light outdoors. Clean, higher ISO also can get you good images too, with a minimal amount of lighting.
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What seems to work best for me is to take a series of shots (camera on tripod) with all light off and then one with FLASH where the room is lit with the flash bounced off the ceiling tipped slightly into the room. Using Lightroom, the images are brought into PHOTOSHOP as separate layers, are aligned,Den 3.jpg and then are blended together into one finished picture using Blending Modes and masks.
You basically have to decide how much you want to do on location and how much you're doing in post (or outsourcing, if you're doing your post at volume). There are some fantastic lighting for interior RE photography tutorials out there--check out .

In particular, Scott Hargis's video series and books are useful if you're taking a "get it mostly right in camera" approach. If you're doing things that are a bit more post-heavy, check out any of the "flambient" tutorials (which is Jerry's approach, above), as well as Mike Kelley's stuff on CreativeLive. I've heard good stuff about Rich Baum's editing tutorials--see .