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Although I encourage my clients to hire a professional photographer (and spend more on them than on us) when developing their marketing tools, occasionally I fill the gap (more on this another time). A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to shoot a newly renovated condo in Lancaster City for one of the renovating teams, ReImagine. I have done some minor interior shoots for friends, but this was my first attempt at ‘doing it right.’ I haven’t finished editing the whole shoot, but here is one wide shot and the process I used to make it happen.
1) STEP ONE: PLAN AND SHOOT 45 PHOTOS
When I first lined up this wide shot, I took note of the various elements in the room, as well as the different light sources and exposure points: room lights, window light hitting the interior, the scene outside the windows, etc. I secured my camera on my tripod, noted the various exposures I would need, and tried to keep the editing process in mind. I then took 45 photos of this scene, starting with general light exposures, and then using two remotely triggered studio strobes to highlight various elements of the room. (Thanks to my sister over at Life Story Photography for letting me use the strobes.)
2) NARROW TO 18 PHOTOS, PRE-EDIT IN ADOBE LIGHTROOM
The next step was narrowing my selection. I went through my photos and selected 18–each of which I used to highlight a specific object or area. In Adobe Lightroom, I pre-edited each photo, syncing their white balances and adjusting the settings for the object or area I wanted to use from that particular shot. When finished, I exported them into a separate folder and named them according to what I would be using them for.
Although I narrowed my selection down to 18 photos, I did end up using some of the photos more than once in the various Photoshop layers–that came next.
3) COMPOSITING 25 LAYERS PHOTOGRAPH IN PHOTOSHOP
I then took my 18 selected photos into Photoshop and started piecing them together. For each element that I wanted from a particular photograph, I meticulously clipped and brushed a layer mask so that only that portion of the photo showed through. I adjusted blending modes, opacity, and blurriness as I went, continually adjusting and touching-up each layer to try to get its element looking as good as possible: nicely-toned wood for the table, soft light on the floor, smooth walls, crisp bricks, less shadows, a little rim light here…you get the idea.
4) FINAL TOUCHES
I finished by doing some final coloring and sharpening of the entire photograph. I had to crop a few pixels off the edges due to camera shake (I forgot the adapter for my camera’s remote shutter control), but in the end I think it turned out fairly well.