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Lettusbee said:
I am primarily a door & window contractor, and most of the time when I try to photograph my projects, they turn out like this. How are you supposed to take pictures of windows, when the sun is shining in all the time?
The only way I ever figured it out is to get as much light in the room as possible. I use a couple of 400w metal-halide lights
 

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diplomat
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In order of increasing complexity:

  1. Wait until the brightness inside and outside is about the same
  2. HDR
  3. Photoshop composite two different exposures
  4. Strobes
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What is HDR?

Photoshop? I still haven't figured out sketchup, and that's supposed to be easy. Computers hate me.

I'm seriously considering taking a photography class this summer.

I don't have a lot of control over what times of day I can photograph.

I could theoretically coordinate with homeowners to come back at optimum times, but I would rather not if I could help it.
 

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The issue is the dynamic range of your camera. Many low-end cameras simply lack the ability to capture a wide range of bright and dark areas in the same image.

Solution: Look into HDR (High Dynamic Range) imaging.

You take a series of photos, all at a difference exposure, then combine them with a computer to create one image.

For example:

One 'over-exposed' image to expose the shadows correctly:




One 'correct' exposure for the mid-tones:




and one 'under-exposed' to capture the highlights:




Put 'em all together in the right software, and wala!

 

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diplomat
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Google is great for unknown terms. Being an ass aside, it's High Dynamic Range. It's now built in some cameras, even the newer iPhone. It helps balance the bright and dark areas, but it's not perfect.

Photoshop isn't either, plus it's expensive and there's a learning curve.

Strobes (flash) isn't that hard if you have the right equipment. Manually expose for outside, then meter off inside for the flash. Some cameras might have an automatic version of this technique that may work with mixed results.

If you mostly do windows and doors, why can't you just photograph them from outside?
 

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480sparky said:
The issue is the dynamic range of your camera. Many low-end cameras simply lack the ability to capture a wide range of bright and dark areas in the same image. Solution: Look into HDR (High Dynamic Range) imaging. You take a series of photos, all at a difference exposure, then combine them with a computer to create one image. For example: One 'over-exposed' image to expose the shadows correctly: One 'correct' exposure for the mid-tones: and one 'under-exposed' to capture the highlights: Put 'em all together in the right software, and wala!
That's a good example in them pics. Mine never comes out that good when using HDR but its prob user error with the exposures.
 

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diplomat
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On the other hand, what's wrong with it just being really bright outside the window?

with an iphone, aim at a medium toned area of inside and press and hold on the screen until it says af/ae lock. Then recompose and shoot.

On most point and shoot cameras and slrs, aim at a medium toned area inside and half-press the shutter. Without letting go, recompose and then fully press the shutter.
 

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Sometimes it takes just the right software, and knowing how to use it.

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am revamping my website, and have just finished scrolling through about a thousand pictures, came up with about a hundred that I thought would work.

Submitted them to the web guy, and he replied that he couldn't use any of them, as the quality was too poor. Especially in regards to color. Most of the pics were taken with a canon point and shoot, or my HTC Evo phone. Never had an iphone, but could look into it.

Web guy wants me to steal photos off the web, which I don't think is a good idea for representing what my company has to offer. It also seems dishonest to me.

But, I still don't have much in the way of decent photos for my new website.
I do have enough exterior pictures, but the interior pics are lacking for the above reason. I would like to showcase some interiors, because there is more opportunity for attractive photos with some of the nicely finished and custom trim projects that we've done.

I will try the above suggestions, and look into getting a better camera.

Thanks
 

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Talking Head
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Talk to someone that really knows how to do image manipulation. Your existing images might be bad but you might be able to work with some of them until you can build up a portfolio of good shots. Using stock images is pretty crappy and it usually looks like......stock images. What do you say when someone says, "I really like that deck you built! How much did it cost?" about a deck you didn't build?
 

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I use an Nikon d300 with an sb900 flash. That or bracket for an HDR. There really isn't any other way to get the shot besides lights, good flash, or HDR. Or of course wait for a gray day or night time.
 

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I fancy myself a semi pro photographer. Love true hdr's. A few of my favorites.
.....

Given the fact there's no official or legal definition of HDR, there is no such thing as 'true' HDR. Personally, I hate the over-cooked stuff like that.

To me, HDR is successful when the viewer can't tell if it's HDR or not.

 

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480sparky said:
Given the fact there's no official or legal definition of HDR, there is no such thing as 'true' HDR. Personally, I hate the over-cooked stuff like that. To me, HDR is successful when the viewer can't tell if it's HDR or not.
i would tend to disagree. A true HDR is formed from bracketed exposures joined together. Then there's what it call a fake HDR which can be formed from 1 photo by manipulating saturation, shadows, and exposure levels. Also, I could go either way on how an HDR is displayed. There's definitely something to be said for hdr's that you can't tell are hdr's. But I also love some of the "over cooked stuff".
 

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i would tend to disagree. A true HDR is formed from bracketed exposures joined together. Then there's what it call a fake HDR which can be formed from 1 photo by manipulating saturation, shadows, and exposure levels. Also, I could go either way on how an HDR is displayed. There's definitely something to be said for hdr's that you can't tell are hdr's. But I also love some of the "over cooked stuff".
Then perhaps you could A. guide me to the recognized governing body that makes such decisions as well as B. point out where they HAVE made such a decision and C. codified it.

Otherwise, it's just your opinion and nothing more.

What you are calling 'fake' HDR is nothing more than tonemapping.
 

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480sparky said:
Then perhaps you could A. guide me to the recognized governing body that makes such decisions as well as B. point out where they HAVE made such a decision and C. codified it. Otherwise, it's just your opinion. What you are calling 'fake' HDR is nothing more than tonemapping.
really not sure why you're so hostile. And I don't need a photography governing body to tell me what my opinions, along with a lot of other photographers I know, are on high dynamic range. Lol, not sure what you're trying to prove here. That you know more than me? Wtf, get a life. U win, I quit.
 

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diplomat
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Web guy wants me to steal photos off the web, which I don't think is a good idea for representing what my company has to offer. It also seems dishonest to me.

Thanks

You should fire him for this. What an idiot. Not just for misrepresenting, but also copyright issues.

My website is no example, it's old from when I just started out because I turn down 90% of my business so I don't need something better. However, I believe you only need a handful of really good photos for a good website. A bunch of mediocre ones with good ones interspersed will only hurt you.
 
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