trowal wrote in post #11684431
Firstly Scott, thanks for answering. ^^^^This is the bit I'm having trouble understanding. If you expose for the widows (or sky outside, basically the highest light levels in the shot), then add a flash to better expose/highlight areas, do you leave the camera set to expose the window or something else? How do you know what settings to have the flash on? Is this an experienced guess? Calculated and if so how? Light meter? TTL? Get close enough and adjust exposure during PP before cropping out the exposed areas and layering?
The approach is different for different people. When I am shooting a HDR shoot I shoot my full AEB bracket with the lights on. Then, I pop off several frames pointing the flash in different directions to fill in shadows. Then, I do my HDR bracketing, which is not the same as most and pretty lengthy to explain, but once I have my final HDR bracketed image I create a blend of all the flash frames. This blended image is then used as a layer in PS to bring out the shadows.
Now, with Mike, what he does is he captures his AEB bracket and while the camera is still on the tripod he goes around the room with a flash and points it at certain features (fireplace, frame on the wall, cabinets, pool table, etc.). He uses a wireless setup to control the camera and the flash. Then, he takes all those 'accent light' images and makes layers out of them in PS. Then....he does what he does. It is quite time consuming but the results are great, as you can see. Before you go jumping into that level of PP I would make sure your clients are willing to pay you for your time. Mike's clients pay a very nice price for what he does. In my market, they would never pay that kind of price. So, make sure your market will support fees between $500 and $1,000 before you start doing that kind of work. Even my HDR stuff is pretty time consuming and I have a hard time getting clients to pay half of what Mike charges. This is why I offer two types of photography, my HDR series and my standard series. The standard series is camera, lens, tripod and flash. I don't worry about window views and in most shots the windows are blown out. My clients are happy with that. Now, I do apply some Topaz Adjust features, noise reduction (if necessary), and some sharpening. I have all the PP set up into one Action I created in PS. The Action applies the effects, saves, and closes the images for me. That is my 'standard' work flow. It is still better than 90% of the photos out there in my market. It may be just fine in your market as well. It allows me to offer a package that is very affordable and keeps me very busy. Mike is just as busy as me, but he spends a lot more time in PS and I spend a lot more time at the properties doing shoots. It is two completely different approaches but both are working. So, know your market.