ARCHITECTURE PHOTOGRAPHY IN LOW LIGHT


I recently had the fantastic privilege of running an architecture photography workshop at Chatham Historic Dockyard. The trust granted us access to areas normally restricted to the general public, including the Spinning Room, Tarred Yarn Store and the Cock Loft of the Ropery.


The Ropery

The Ropery pictured above was built in 1791 and is a 1/4 of a mile long. It's very low lit which brings many photographic challenges. A narrow aperture is ideally required to capture depth of field, but in turn this means less light passing through the lens. This is one scenario when a tripod is really a "must have" to get a good quality image on a low ISO.


For the above image I used the following settings:- aperture of f16, ISO 100 with a shutter speed of 20 seconds. Taken with a Canon 17-40mm lens on a Canon 7D mk 2 body.


When using slow shutter speeds on a tripod it's important to use either a remote trigger or 2 second timer delay to avoid camera shake.


To enhance the above image more I used multi bracket exposure to merge three raw files as an HDR image in Lightroom. This was so I could keep the highlights from the windows down whilst at the same time not losing any detail in the shadows.


The Images below were taken using the same technique. Aperture settings vary depending on depth of field requirement. For the Machinery and Tarred yarn Store I used an aperture setting of between f8 and f11.



One of the machines in the Spinning Room


Spinning Room

Cock Loft of the Ropery

Multi Exposure HDR processing is an excellent way to compensate for extreme highlights and shadows. However great care does need to be taken not to over process the image if you want to keep a realistic look. Try keeping the colour saturation down and keep in some shadow and contrast in post production.

The Tarred Yarn Store with overdone HDR Processing

Above is a classic example of how a multiple exposure HDR image can sometimes create an artificial look if over processed.


Below is a slightly less processed more natural look, but with less detail.


Tarred Yarn Store with less HDR Processing

Which image you prefer is very much a matter of personal choice.


To learn more go to https://www.louiseehubbardphotography.com/workshops



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