How I Took This Photo #1

A fair amount of planning goes into the most important compositions. Daylight conditions, adding or subtracting light, camera position, choice of lens focal length, staging and models are all considered aspects. 

The open living space that spans the width of the ground floor is the most notable feature of the house. I scouted around at the beginning of the shoot to find a suitable standpoint that illustrates the architect’s design intent. 

Hand-held test image during scouting

Once I decided upon the perfect position, there were several challenges to overcome to create the final image, that I had pictured in my head:

  • The scale and depth of the space were challenging to comprehend and subsequently to appreciate.
  • The right-hand side of the scene received insufficient daylight to illuminate the kitchen and stairs with natural light.
  • A significant reflection on the floor was an unwanted distraction.
  • The kitchen island top was an expansive and dominant area in the scene.

To accomplish the photograph in a single shot is perhaps possible, however, unnecessarily arduous. The method I undertake is to capture multiple exposures, each to tackle every issue, then manually blend in Photoshop. This approach grants me the flexibility to build the image without compromise. If this sounds complicated, which it very well may, I have included all the single exposures that made up the final image, along with the solutions to the above, to help explain. 

These were the steps to create the image composite. The stages that follow include colour correction, tonal enhancement, sharpening and ensuring everything aligns. 

House designed by Domo Architektur, München. Click here if you would like to read more about photographing this house.

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