We use the term natural light in photography to describe the process of capturing an image without using a man made source of light such as a strobe. That doesn't mean we don't reflect or redirect or scrim the light to suit our needs, but it does mean that we use only the light coming into the room from outside. Since color palettes are critical to an interior designer's project, capturing the interplay and subtlety of that palette is the first requirement a photographer needs to meet to be able to satisfy a professional designer.
Consistency of the light source: Light is electromagnetic radiation visible to the eye as colors between red and violet. No matter the source, the light being used to photograph our client's color palette will affect the way those colors are reproduced. An old style typical incandescent electric bulb throws out warm yellow light, halogens go pink, florescent a sickly green, but this is only in relationship to the color of daylight or natural light. If the design being shot has light fixtures fitted with anything but 5000k daylight bulbs we turn them off or replace them with ours to prevent color casts that don't come anywhere near the designer's finished product. If those warm yellow lights are hanging from the pendants above the kitchen counters, we leave them turned on because the glow from the fixture is part of the design and the light reflecting off the countertop can be adjusted subtly in post production.
In situations where there is no natural light source we use our years of studio lighting experience to create the illusion of daylight streaming through a window with various diffused daylight balanced light sources. We utilize umbrellas, soft boxes, or hard lighting among other strategies to imitate direct sunlight through a door or window creating a natural representation of a professional design.
Post Production: No Dorothy, Photoshop cannot do everything! While photo-shop, light-room, or any professional post production software product is a powerful tool the fact remains that every time we tweak and adjust one element of an original file, another element is unintentionally affected. Capturing the truest RAW files in camera is critical when reproducing a design. This is why we bring a color corrected 17 inch computer to each design project so we can preview those captures and make corrections before we get to post production.
About Joe D'Alessandro: For 7 years I was director of photography for The Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe, NM. My job was to faithfully reproduce the colors and textures of original paintings and sculptures by artists like Georgia O'Keeffe, Frederic Remington, Magritte, Picasso, Chihuly, et. al., in large format 4x5 and 8x10 transparencies eventually transforming the 2000 square foot underground studio and lab to a digital workflow. In the days of transparencies, there was no such thing as post production; the film on the lightbox was the capture and it had to be accurate.
Reproducing a professional architectural or interior design with integrity is a time consuming process requiring experience and patience. It is also our passion. If you have a project on Maui that needs professional imagery give us a call or send and email. We'd love to talk story. 1.808.385.2247 Mahalo!