Digital Retouching

Glass Retouching Issues:

Glass is always a big problem in photography. Clients want to see inside the shower without showing the natural glare from the window on the left as it gets very confusing. See photo #1.

My solution to this problem is to shoot with large black velvet cloth, in order to remove all the reflections from the window (#2). Here I also made another exposure without the white flowers as the reflections were adding too much confusion (#3) on the shower glass. You can also notice the grey card on the floor to help me with color correction later.

Then I combine these 3 images in photoshop (#4). I have left some reflection in the back corner of the shower as it helps show the glass in the shower without distracting from the overall result. Here the stone work and the view of the trees were two very important items for my client. Also notice that I was able to get more details outside when I processed the RAW file.

Lighting: Example 1

This is a sample of pictures taken with and without lights.

This kitchen is a photographers nightmare. It has very dark floor, a white ceiling and Island, as well as a stainless steel backsplash. The contrast between the natural exterior sunlight (exposure 1/320s) and the dark wood was extreme (exposure 1/2s). I needed to light the interior kitchen with the same intensity of the garden, without getting any reflections or glare on the stainless steel, and keeping the details on the white center island and ceiling. I also had to control the reflection on the floor. I will create about 10 different lighting scenes with two strobes. By changing the lights positions I will create different reflections. Later I can select only the reflections that I want from each frames. for this type of situation I end up shooting a set of 10 bracketed images per lighting scenes... that's a minimum of 100 frames to work with!

This image show the difference of the lighting between the interior and the exterior. When we have good details outside, the kitchen is pretty much all dark. When I am in the kitchen I do see details inside & outside, so I want to create a final image of this kitchen that will do that.

When I expose this kitchen properly for the interior we not only have no details outside but we also have lost the details on the white counters and ceiling.

The only way to properly expose this image is to use strobes located around the room. This allows me to balance the exposure between the inside and the outside while removing some of the reflections on the hardwood floor. In photoshop I can select just the reflections that I want. I like to see the blue sky reflected in the table with the sunflowers in the foreground. This photo taken for TRG Architects ended-up being published in California Homes & Design (see recent assignments) and was purchase by the National Association of Kitchen & Bath.

Lighting: Example 2

Note in the above that the cabinets look too dark and have no details, the green island does not look green, the under cabinet lights and the counter tops are completely washed out and the floor on the right side is green (from the florescent lights).

You can see in the second photo that, by using strobe lights, I was able to bring details in the highlights (outside through the window, under cabinet, and through the glass of the pendant lights). The dark cabinets have now very good details and the colors are correct throughout.

No matter how difficult your lighting situation may appear, through the combination of physical lighting during the shoot and digital processing after, I can show off your project in its best light. After 17 years of shooting architectural images, I have the tools and the knowledge to solve any situation.

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