Importance Of Interior and Exterior Lighting In Architectural and Real Estate Photography

Importance Of Interior and Exterior Lighting In Architectural and Real Estate Photography

In photography, light plays a key role in creating a balanced ambiance for interior photography, and it should be considered as the central element. Lighting for architectural interior photography can be very demanding because light illustrates the space or structure of the building. Lighting for interior photography is controllable by use of proper lighting equipment, such as flash and appropriate light modifiers. Exterior photography is a bit easier, but in both cases controlling the shadows and highlights is crucial, as in both circumstances, the architectural photographer must be able to deal with the sunlight.

Working as architectural interiors photographer in Los Angeles and Orange County for many years, I have learned and mastered the art of lighting, especially working with the Magic Light or Dusk and Dawn shots to produce natural sunset and dawn shots. In my practice, I focus on interior photography in unpredictable weather conditions, where sunlight is crucial when photographing architectural exteriors or interiors, as any professional photographer must be able to control the light at all times. This is one of the challenges for the architectural photographer. Best light to shoot exteriors ranges from the 30 minute window of the sun setting in the horizon to right before the dark sets in (Magic Hour or Golden Hour).

I always suggest to take advantage of and work with light, because without proper light there is no “photo”. In an interior setting be sure to turn on all light fixtures, big and small. The interior lights help to visually warm the space and add to the appeal of the architectural interior design. When lights are off, interior spaces have a tendency to feel a bit cold and empty.

I would like to suggest several things to keep in mind that can create significant and remarkable changes in your photography:

  • Be sure to use a flash unit that permits for adjustment of the flash strength. And then adjust as needed.
  • Especially when the flash is on-camera, it always bounces it off of a reflector. This means that the flash is never pointing directly into the space, but rather points towards one of the walls behind me or to the sides. This helps to further diffuse the light, lessening the harshness and increasing the natural look of the space.
  • Be aware that different light sources do create different light temperatures. Depending on the client, the space, and the use of the photos, this may or may not need to be corrected.
  • White Balance is important and each space will require you to White Balance it.
  • Post processing and editing of images is crucial part of architectural photography. Software such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom are a must-have combination for creating beautiful interior and exterior photos.

Twilight (Magic Hour) Exterior Photography