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Professional Lighting vs Natural Light Single Exposure Images

A question I often get asked is what is the difference between a professionally illuminated & retouched image (Platinum package) and basic image editing (Silver & Gold packages).  The answer is simple, for a basic image edit we work with a single image which has some limitations compared to the professional lighting and retouching we blend many (perhaps as many as 20+) shots together to create the final image.

The differences are best demonstrated with examples.  In the following example before and after shots you can see the difference between a single exposure (before) versus an image with professional lighting and post production (after).

Dynamic Range

The most notable limitation of working with a single exposure is that the information recorded by the camera in a single shot in many situations there simply isn't enough to be able to show all of the details in the scene such as when we are shooting a room with a view.

With a scene such as the example below the difference in brightness between the outside view and the inside of the apartment is too much for the camera to record all the detail.  We are able to make adjustments to a single image changing variables such as brightness, contrast, shadows, highlights, sharpness, but if the information is not available there is only so much we can do.  In this case the only way to show both outside and inside the apartment is to shoot multiple images at different exposures and to blend the images manually using editing software such as Photoshop on the computer.

Drag the slider left and right to see the image with and without professional lighting and retouching.

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Creative Lighting

Sometimes the natural light in a house or apartment is just perfect to create the mood and atmosphere we want in our images in which case there is no need to use additional lighting.  However, as is often the case the light is far from perfect, the room is too bright or too dark or the direction of light is unfavorable, or simply the light is uninteresting.

By applying professional lighting techniques the photographer is able to control the direction, quality and quantity of light  and create the mood and atmosphere that the clients is looking for.

The image on the right is the photograph our client was using before hiring us to photograph her property for the holiday rental market.

The bedroom is small and has very little natural light (it is an internal room) and the design is clean and simple with 4 white walls and a white bed.

We really wanted to give this room a cozy and inviting feeling and add some depth and dimension to the image.  We decided the best way was to be creative with the lighting so created our own rays of sunlight using our professional lighting equipment.

Drag the slider below from left to right to see the before and after professional lighting.

Want to see more examples of creative lighting?  Visit our creative lighting examples gallery.

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Aint no Sunshine?  No Problem, we will make it shine!

We were unlucky to have an overcast day for this photoshoot of a townhouse with stunning views from the terrace over Alicante old town towards the Mediterranean sea.  As the property photoshoot was for the vacational rental market we really needed this shot to look like a sunny day as is a typical day in Alicante

This was a case where we had to pull out all the stops and make this look like the gorgeous sunny terrace so our only option was to imitate the sun with our professional lighting equipment and replace the sky in a subtle way that looks believable.

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