Mixed camera job. Lots of stuff crammed into the weekend.

Penthouse. Sony RX 10.

I got up at 5:30 this morning. I packed the car the night before. I live in an area where you can pack your car full of lights and stands and tripods and leave it overnight with a high expectation that everything will be right where you left it the next morning. But I still bring the camera bag into the house and bring it out to the car in the morning. 

I made an extra big cup of coffee for the road, cobbled together a decent breakfast taco, waved goodbye to my dog (the only member of my family stirring at that ungodly hour) and headed down the highway to San Antonio. 

I was working for an ad agency that I really like. They are located in San Antonio and they call me on a regular basis with fun jobs. Today we were doing a good, old fashion project with lots of interior shots of condominiums and four pairs of people in their condominiums posing for testimonial ads. 

The first kind of shot is pretty straightforward. You just have to make interiors look good. Half the work is already done by whichever designer styled the show units. You just need to balance the interior and exterior exposures correctly and you need to pick the right place to put the camera. 

The second type of shot is a bit more demanding because you have to make the people in the shot look great, balance the outdoor and indoor light and compose around a portrait within an architectural shot. Thank goodness for good art directors. I can think of a thousand ways to compose a shot but my art director was pretty good about picking the correct composition. 

I used a full frame camera for the testimonial shots. I wanted maximum quality in case I screwed up something and needed to pull out all the post processing stops to save a shot. Which did not happen. But the images looked good and the color was nice. 

For the people-less shots of the luxury condominium unit interiors I made a very counterintuitive camera choice and went with the small censored RX10. I set the ISO to the camera's native sensitivity  (125) for highest quality. I used f5.6 because it is the sharpest aperture and also yielded a deep focus. 
I shot raw for more color control. I turned off the image stabilization and used a good, stout tripod. 

The images look good in Lightroom. Both sets of images look good in Lightroom. And the colors between an a99 and the RX10 seem to match up quite well. 

The RX10 was easy to use for the most part. The weak point for all EVFs is the situation where you have a person in an interior location and bright sunlight falling on the scenery outside their window, with the window prominent in the scene. The way around it is to turn on the (on Sony cameras) Setting Effect and then go to manual exposure and change the shutter speed or shutter speed and aperture until you blow out the background but have the right exposure on the face. That's when I do my fine focusing. Then I go back up on shutter speeds until the person is silhouetted and the outside scene is perfectly exposed or even just a little hot. Then I use flash to match the exposures.  To a certain extent, once you leave the slow shutter speeds and the interior darkens you are flying blind. 

It's one situation in which a regular viewfinder is superior. But you've just read my work around. 

It's been a long day as it's nearly 9pm. I've logged nearly 200 miles of driving and eight straight hours of lighting, cajoling and shooting. I'm still at my desk because the executive staff at the Visual Science Lab have a strict policy that all camera memory cards be downloaded and backed up at the end of every shooting day. Saves us from any errors of delay. But while I'm shepherding the images through the first part of their processing journey I'm also making sure to put batteries on the chargers and put the lenses and the cameras back in the cabinet.

I included the shot above because I loved the tall ceiling and the rich sky. It was a fun thing to shoot.

Hope the weekend is going well. I'm checking off boxes day after day. I won't complain. My memory of the great recession is too strong for that....


Richard Leacock said...

Looking forward to the images when they're available. Always nice to review another photogs recipe for an interior shoot with and without people.

andrew said...

I thought you rose at 5:30 AM every day.

Murray Davidson said...

Kirk, I love the Freudian slip of the spelling checker - small censored RX10.
Feel it's not getting a fair go among the Councils of the Wise on Internet?
Gr. Murray

Kirk Tuck said...

That is a hilarious auto-spell mistake. I think I'll leave it just as it is.

To Andrew: We generally get up at 6:30 for the 7:00 am swim or run. Anything earlier is the temporal domain of zombies and other undead sales guys.

Anonymous said...

Your panoramic view of the city would have been somewhat enchanced if all the windows were included. Was there any reason TL was excluded?
Just wonder. Otherwise it's a superb shot of the apartment and it's extraordinary vista. Where do I sign?

soulnibbler said...

A little trick with the a850 a99. You can set the AE-lock button to toggle and as a spot meter mode. That way when you are working in the aforementioned back-lit situations you can spot meter for the skin tones and then de-toggle the spot meter. The great thing about this is that you can leave your exposure compensation where you want it since spot metering the skin will meter hot.

Kirk Tuck said...

Anonymous: Back against wall, no more wide angle. Done.