Interior photography – the importance of post production and editing
I recently likened professional photography to an iceberg. By that, I meant that three quarters of the work happens under the surface. Editing and post production techniques are a vital part of creating the final look of the images that I shoot for you, and you don’t see this behind-the-scenes side of photography. In truth, you don’t need to – you want to see the finished item, and how it was made doesn’t matter. A bit like me taking my car into the garage. I don’t really know or understand what the mechanic’s done. I’m simply happy that the car works properly.
Anyone who is familiar with my business knows I shoot a lot of portraits, and there’s a lot of post production involved in creating the final image. But I shoot interiors and buildings too, and you might be surprised how much editing is involved in them too. Here are some examples from a recent shoot for a client, Sustainable Energy First, after a rebrand of their offices. The most frequent edit necessary when shooting indoors is balancing all the different light sources in a location. There’s usually a mixture of windowlight and artificial light – often from several different sources and of different colours. The shot of the reception area is a good example of this. The blue neon behind the desk can, if not handled correctly, overwhelm the rest of the lighting and make it look too artificial. Post production work is needed to make the scene resemble what our brains see when we enter (our brains are very good at neutralising different coloured lights and making things look natural, even when they’re not).
The second photo in particular required a fair bit of work. I wanted a shot showing the entire open plan office, but no lens was wide enough to fit it all in. The solution? Shoot a series of four photos and stitch them together afterwards as a panorama. Shooting panoramas (or panos) can be quite tricky, as everthing has to overlap and match up, otherwise the stitching simply won’t work. There’s also the need to balance the different exposures of the four shots. If you look at the room, you’ll realise that the left hand side by the windows is (obviously) far brighter than the right hand wall, which is furthest from the windows. But the exposures must be balanced to make the pano work.
See what I mean? Just like an iceberg.
There are plenty of other things too – like removing green exit signs if they are a distraction. That also applies to AC ducts, sockets, and other small things that our brains simply look past, but which can stand out too well on the photograph.
If you’d like more information about post production, feel free to subscribe to the mailing list to receive updates on future blog posts. And, of course, if you’d like a quotation for a possible commercial photography assignment, please do get in touch.