In a previous post, I wrote about using black flags in interior photography. In this case, I did something similar to block light. That’s me up there holding a reflector to block light from a small bathroom window. Without it, harsh light was spilling into the bathroom.
You can see in the image above how light from the window is hitting the left side of the frame and even parts of the sink. By cutting out the harsh light I was able to get an even exposure for the bathroom and blend it with the final image.
I’ve seen a lot of theme rooms in vacation homes. In fact, I’ve written about them before:
Homeowners Get Creative With Interior Decor
This is How a Theme Room is Done!
But in the last year or so, I’ve seen homeowners really stepping up their game and pushing the creative envelope. With the renewed popularity of Star Wars, that franchise is popping up more and more in bedrooms. But I’ve never seen anything quite like the room above. Check out some more angles and note the R2D2 trash can in the bathroom.
In another home the theme was Pirates. Think “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride at Disney World. I actually heard someone from Disney did some of the work in this room.
Of course Frozen theme rooms are still going strong. This one was unique with the changing LED light display.
I can’t wait to see what designers and homeowners will come up with next.
In one of my recent posts I featured a home where the designer really got creative in some of the theme rooms. Well, I was equally impressed by a vacation home I photographed this month where the owners themselves added some very unique touches to the home. Take the New York City inspired loft complete with a taxi-cab pool table, subway signs, brick floor and full-sized wall mural of the skyline.
Then there’s the outer space room. I don’t think I’ve ever seen silver sheets!
In the bathroom, the cabinets look like control panels made by adding computer parts.
This is the “Around the World in 80 Days” room. Notice the sandbags on the bed to complete the hot-air balloon motif.
Then there are the treehouse and drive-in movie rooms with artificial grass.
And finally, who doesn’t need a boat in their room?
It’s fun to shoot rooms where a designer or owner has clearly put thought into the details of the decor. From what I’ve seen in recent months, more vacation home owners are making an effort to get creative and have fun with their designs.
My last post was about how a homeowner and designer came together for some fun and creative theme rooms. I recently photographed a home where the homeowner added a unique feature to the game and kids room.
Before I get to that, I want to point out what the designer did with the interior. For a long time I have noticed how the decor and paint palette of a home can affect the way I feel about shooting it. When a home has dark paint and dark furniture, it makes the room feel small and drab. Never mind the challenges of trying to light a dark interior! I find myself trudging through the shoot and not really enjoying it. Contrast that with bright colors or even neutral colors with accent colors thrown in. I find it puts me in a good mood and I really enjoy photographing the home. It almost makes it easier to light and that frees up my mind to get creative.
Now check out what they did with the game room. It has a nuclear bunker theme complete with four gaming stations where the kids can play each other in multi-player games or individually if someone wants to play a different game.
Upstairs on the kids room is a Frozen theme (very popular).
The design in the ceiling is actually fabric connecting to the light fixture. But the coolest feature is this castle:
It doesn’t look like much until you open it up and find a little hide-away where kids can play.
It actually connects to the Harry Potter themed room next door.
That closet door opens to the hide-away which connects to the Frozen room. Pretty cool, right!?
I’ve really seen designers steeping up their game and getting more creative. It certainly makes my job more fun. Check out the rest of the pictures here: http://bit.ly/1ugay0d
I photograph a lot of vacation homes and many feature theme rooms that might appeal the children in the families who are visiting. They can range from Disney themes to Harry Potter. Sometimes, it’s stuffed animals or wall murals or even the bedding. Often times, it seems like an afterthought and the room isn’t really tied together.
Just before Christmas, I shot a home where the designer clearly put a lot of thought into the theme rooms. Check out this Lego room where everything is awesome!
Then there’s the Frozen room:
I don’t know if you can tell in the second picture, but the carpet actually glistens with a glitter like material adding to the “snowy” effect.
Check out the entrance to the theater room:
Now that’s how a theme room should be done! It was a lot of fun to photograph this home. You can see the full gallery here: http://bit.ly/1KjtjVw
In case you don’t know, a black flag is used in photography to absorb light and keep it from reaching your subject. It is the opposite of a reflector which bounces light onto your subject.
Interior photography is not unlike other types of photography in which you have a main subject, must compose carefully and place lights in the correct location. But it can present challenges too. Take a look at his picture:
See that window? Sunlight is streaming in and bouncing off the floor which then reflects up into the bathroom. It’s typically bad practice to light a portrait of a person from underneath. It gives them that scary camp-fire-ghost-story look. Well, the same applies here. Look carefully at the shadows and you can tell the light source is coming from underneath. Even with flash, I could not make it looked balanced or pleasing. Here’s another look:
You can see the sun bouncing off the floor and wall. I did not want to leave it as is and have people think that I lit the bathroom from underneath. I was stumped until I remembered that I always bring my 5-in-1 reflector with me. One of the sides is black. So I draped that over the spot where the sun was hitting:
The black helped absorb the light and let me balance the ambient with flash for a more pleasing look. Here’s the final image:
Notice the shadows cast by the bathtub faucet and light fixtures are less noticeable. The glare on the cabinet is reduced as is the brightness of the tile on the bathtub.
Most people may not think of using a 5-in-1 reflector for interior and real estate photography, but it’s just another photographic tool which helps to control the light.
I was discussing my style and photographic vision with a homeowner recently. He complimented my work and I explained my goal is to translate what I see with my eye. That process is not easy. Behold what the camera saw in this scene:
That’s about 1-to-2 stops overexposed. In other words, I had to disagree with what the camera thought was a “correct” exposure. That’s nowhere close to what I saw with my eyes. Here is the editing process I went through to get it to look natural:
You can see it took 6 different layers to massage the image and get it to look like this:
The room has a lot of dynamic range; from the brightness outside the sliding glass door to the dark furniture. As they say, when you get lemons, make lemonade.