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kriminaal
06-21-2013, 12:32 PM
Hi all. Been browsing around. Lots of great info much of which is way over my pay grade.
We're looking to take photos of the kitchens we create for customers. Of course the main issue seems to be lighting.
I've done some shots with my older Rebel XT and a Speedlight but still the darker cabinet colours are still coming up too dark.

We're looking at buying the XTi and perhaps a studio light thinking that should help.
Wondering about what would help out with this issue and what to look for in studio lights.

thanks

Mike

theantiquetiger
06-21-2013, 12:40 PM
Natural light (not the beer) would be your best friend here. If natural light is not readily available, you will want a soft light. A harsh light will bounce off the varnish of cabinets too much. A studio light with a nice soft box should do the trick and runs about $250 or so.

As for the camera, any basic DSLR will work.

If you can, post some of the images of kitchens you've taken so far, so we can see what you are working with.

kriminaal
06-21-2013, 01:00 PM
Natural light (not the beer) would be your best friend here. If natural light is not readily available, you will want a soft light. A harsh light will bounce off the varnish of cabinets too much. A studio light with a nice soft box should do the trick and runs about $250 or so.

As for the camera, any basic DSLR will work.

If you can, post some of the images of kitchens you've taken so far, so we can see what you are working with.

I'm not entirely unhappy with the painted kitchen.
But the dark shaker one is not working. I'm very amateur as you can probably see.
1736317364

Marko
06-21-2013, 01:02 PM
You could simply buy another speedlight and bounce it, no need to buy another camera imo. 2 speedlights will likely cover loads of situations for you.

The issue will be understanding what to do, but all that's required is a bit of practise.

Marko
06-21-2013, 01:05 PM
Just so you know, perfect lighting takes a while to set up - it all depends what your expectations are.

Matt K.
06-21-2013, 01:08 PM
Get a tripod, slow down your exposure and you will have all the light you need. Measuring in the right spot will guide you as well. Speed lights bounced do help, but may give you unwanted shadows. And don't forget to take your camera bag off the counter before you take the image.

kriminaal
06-21-2013, 01:34 PM
Get a tripod, slow down your exposure and you will have all the light you need. Measuring in the right spot will guide you as well. Speed lights bounced do help, but may give you unwanted shadows. And don't forget to take your camera bag off the counter before you take the image.
A keen eye you have Matt. :clap:
I know, I need to do a lot of practicing. I enjoy taking photos but lack the patience. Kind of like the difference between catching and fishing.
thanks for the help

theantiquetiger
06-21-2013, 02:00 PM
Take a look at your second picture above, simple things to make it better:

(BTW, what are you trying to showcase, the countertops, the cabinets, or do you do the entrie kitchen?)

1. close the door in the background (left side of frame). The eye is naturally attracted to light, so it is the strongest thing in the image.

2. Turn off all or most of the over head lights. Tungsten light is harsh light. The lights under the cabinets are great. The lights over the island look very nice but you lost all detail in them because they are on.

3. Find the best angle to shoot. If the ceiling is white and the kitchen is dark, try to capture as little as the ceiling as possible.

4. Decorate the kitchen. The first image above only has a coffee maker in it. On you last day of work, load a box of stuff that people have on their counters. The second one is a little better with the cookbook, cake plate, etc. It adds warmth to the image, not just a sterile kitchen.

5. Get a HDR software and process image in HDR (iphones have HDR built it) (I am going to HDR the second one for you to show you what I mean)

here is a faux HDR effect I did of the second one. This is just for an idea, it is not the greatest (I have a free version, so it stamps the water mark, but the software is $99)

http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r198/theantiquetiger/kitchenhdr1_2_3_tonemapped.jpg

Here is yours (to compare the two)
http://www.photography.ca/Forums/attachments/lighting/17364d1371830413-type-lighting-kitchen-photos-011.jpg

kriminaal
06-21-2013, 02:28 PM
(BTW, what are you trying to showcase, the countertops, the cabinets, or do you do the entrie kitchen?)

Yes we do the entire kitchen.
Very good tips. I will definitely try using those.

Downloading a trial of Photomatix now.
thanks

theantiquetiger
06-21-2013, 02:39 PM
Yes we do the entire kitchen.
Very good tips. I will definitely try using those.

Downloading a trial of Photomatix now.
thanks

You have to understand what HDR is. It is usually a combination of three of the exact same images, shot at different exposures (under exposed, normal, over exposed). It takes the three images and layers them together to highlight the darks, lights, etc. If you have a DSLR camera, you simply set it up in bracketing,to take the three shots back to back to back. You have to use a tripod to insure the three images are exact. What I did to the image above, I made two copies and lowered the exposure on one, over exposed the other and than ran the three through the software.

This software will as create a HDR out of two images as well.

kriminaal
06-21-2013, 03:31 PM
You have to understand what HDR is. It is usually a combination of three of the exact same images, shot at different exposures (under exposed, normal, over exposed). It takes the three images and layers them together to highlight the darks, lights, etc. If you have a DSLR camera, you simply set it up in bracketing,to take the three shots back to back to back. You have to use a tripod to insure the three images are exact. What I did to the image above, I made two copies and lowered the exposure on one, over exposed the other and than ran the three through the software.

This software will as create a HDR out of two images as well.

I tried it out after a short tutorial and was already pleased with it.
A little more work on my shots and I should see a vast improvement.
17365

theantiquetiger
06-21-2013, 06:04 PM
Your HDR above came out amazing!!!! That looks like a kitchen from a magazine.

Another free software is GIMP. It is a simple photoshop software and pretty easy to learn.

A couple things in photography you will want to learn is basic composition, rules of thirds, leading lines, etc. There are a few blogs and podcast on these subjects here on this forum and these simple basics will improve your images 1000 fold. Your image above is actually a good shot that follows some of these basic rules.

Image a tic tac toe board laying on top of you image, dividing your image in thirds horizontally and vertically. The four corners that are formed by the two horizontal and vertical lines are the places where you want the main interest to fall (or nearly fall) in your image. The above image has this, the hanging lights fall on the upper left corner. The fridge follows the horizontal line (another good thing). Make sure your image is level. The leaning of the fridge is hurting the image. If you cannot shoot it level, you can level it in GIMP.

I leveled it for you and rid some of the dead space above the fridge and left of the last cabinet (since I leveled the fridge, it threw the left cabinet out of level, so its really each their own, or split the difference)

One more thing, use the stuff on the countertops (cake plate, etc) to hide the outlets. The outlet is dead in the middle of the image, just above the faucet. It is hurting the image, it is trying to draw your eye into it because it is white.

http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r198/theantiquetiger/kitchenhelp-1.jpg

kriminaal
06-22-2013, 09:28 PM
[QUOTE=theantiquetiger;143914]Your HDR above came out amazing!!!! That looks like a kitchen from a magazine.

Another free software is GIMP. It is a simple photoshop software and pretty easy to learn.

A couple things in photography you will want to learn is basic composition, rules of thirds, leading lines, etc. There are a few blogs and podcast on these subjects here on this forum and these simple basics will improve your images 1000 fold. Your image above is actually a good shot that follows some of these basic rules.

Image a tic tac toe board laying on top of you image, dividing your image in thirds horizontally and vertically. The four corners that are formed by the two horizontal and vertical lines are the places where you want the main interest to fall (or nearly fall) in your image. The above image has this, the hanging lights fall on the upper left corner. The fridge follows the horizontal line (another good thing). Make sure your image is level. The leaning of the fridge is hurting the image. If you cannot shoot it level, you can level it in GIMP.

I leveled it for you and rid some of the dead space above the fridge and left of the last cabinet (since I leveled the fridge, it threw the left cabinet out of level, so its really each their own, or split the difference)

One more thing, use the stuff on the countertops (cake plate, etc) to hide the outlets. The outlet is dead in the middle of the image, just above the faucet. It is hurting the image, it is trying to draw your eye into it because it is white.



I see exactly what you mean. Thanks for the tips. More reading to do.

missyinmuskoka
06-22-2013, 10:23 PM
When your camera's sensor is evaluating the whole scene, and there are bright lights or bright light from windows etc your camera will want to crank down the exposure which will darken the woodwork etc. Try turning off the lights and take the picture when the light isn't so bright in the window. Use a tripod and an aperture of f11 or more and take a shot or two and look at the exposure. If it looks like the one you shot, try to bump up the exposure 1/3 of a stop at a time.

kriminaal
06-24-2013, 12:33 PM
To use my speedlight off camera do I need to buy a wireless transmitter?
I have the older canon 430 ex.

theantiquetiger
06-24-2013, 12:38 PM
To use my speedlight off camera do I need to buy a wireless transmitter?
I have the older canon 430 ex.

It should be triggered by the pop up flash on your camera. You can set it up to flash at the same time (two flashes) or the flash on your camera can flash 1/2 second early, triggering the speedlite to shoot when image is being taken. Pretty simple to set up but to long to explain. Google canon off camera speed lite video, it will show you. (I am not 100% sure your equipment will do this, tho)

kriminaal
06-24-2013, 01:34 PM
Thanks, I look it up. I was fairly sure I had done it before. But couldn't get it going this time.