Room interior with sunlight windows

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    • #37037

      I shoot homes for real estate marketing websites and am looking for help in lighting a room with sunllit windows. Graduated Neutral Density filters work well on a still camera, but are not too effective in a video pan with a family room and a large glass slider. Are there any effective solutions out there?

    • #164216

      Sorry, I’m not sure what problem you are trying to solve.

      Does the sunlight look extra blue, or the interior lights extra yellow? If that is the issue, then your problem is the discrepancy in color temperature.

    • #164217

      Put a large filter on the outside of the windows (yes, these cost $$$) or place some sort of poster board outside [maybe have ladders between the windows and have the posterboard on top] so that you can block some light, or shoot at high noon so the least amount of light bleeds in, or just light up the room as much as you possibly can and stop your iris down.

    • #164218

      a very pale (bleached) orange/yellow bedsheet over the window (use green painters tape to secure, preferrably on the outside), add large silver reflectors to bounce that light around the room, or add halogen lights. (lower overall brightness, and warms sunlight to match interior lights)

      get blue gels for your halogen lights, and use diffusers to add light to your shadow areas, to bring the light up to within a half stop, of the window light. (lowers contrast by increasing overall brightness, and corects artificial light to match daylight)


      get some big mirrors, or silver reflectors (make from car window shades, or cardboard and tinfoil) mount them inside and/or outside the house and angle them to reflect sunlight into every corner of the room to cover your shot. (uses all daylight, reflected where you need it).

      in all circumstances, set exposure and color balance manually.

    • #164219


      (I wrote the bottom section before my research. Have now read the above input and looked at some of these web sites. First, the above advice is great if you have rented someones house for a project and are paying them $500 or $5000 per day to park there and make a movie for a day or a week. These are the types of approaches that the films production designer will consider and use. The actuality is that many of these videos are done fast in a shoot and run mode, more like reality TV without being finicky about exposure or other production values. It is easy to criticize the sample that I saw. (Jerky and firehose pans to sell a $997,000 house; COME ON !!!) But I wont. Typically, windows are blown out, and rooms are too dark; although I saw some effective compromises where manual exposure was being used and was set to capture some detail in the room, as well as some accentuation of blown out windows. It appears that many of these videos are shot in auto exposure, so you do get the visual shock mentioned below; you could go with that and really be OK, even thrive in this business it appears. And you know what, none of this video is stinging to the eyes. Clearly, its the subjectmatter/content that counts, not the style, or the quality of the video.)
      This is what I knocked out last night before reading the above forum input and before surveying real estate videos on web sites. Dont care for the professorial tone, but I cant always get what I want.

      Here goes: What does everybody else do on the realty websites? You are wanting to look like your competition? Would something slightly different (i.e., better) provide a marketing edge, since that is the bottom line. Would better even be noticed?

      Sounds like you want to avoid the visual shock of cam (in auto exposure) hitting the glass and the rest of the room going dark?

      Essentially, since this is for marketing, as opposed to reality TV, the varying exposures need to express the window part of the pan in the best light and the non-window parts of the pan in the best light. A conclusion from this is that you will need more than one exposure setting for the 360 degree pan. This can be done automatically, leaving it up to the cam; or you can control the exposure precisely to bring out the wood tones, texture of the marble, nuance of the pastel paint job, etc.

      (Idea #1; didnt see this approach in my survey:) A quick approach, keeping it simple, might be this: Manual exposure the window, start there and when window is out of frame, during continuation of your smooth pan, flip to auto exposure for an obvious but not shocking adjustment in exposure. Might be a pleasing effect.

      (Idea #2; dissolves and fade to blacks/whites seems to be popular technique for these videos, so this idea is not terribly different from the norm:) Another simple approach, in post, dissolve from a manual exposure window to adjusted manual exposure spin around the room. After a few tries, this will be so smooth, the dissolve will barely be noticed.

      I bet you can make good money doing this. GO FOR IT!

      REGARDS … TOM 8)

    • #164220

      Shoot during night hours to avoid the conflict with the daylight. It’s fixable at high cost, like putting neutral density gel on every window, but it may be just easier to make video after the sunset.

    • #164221

      Here’s one more idea:
      pan real slow!
      if you’re filming an empty room, set your exposure to auto, and take a good two or three minutes to pan the room.
      give your meter plenty of time to adjust to the changing light, and speed up the playback in post.

    • #164222

      Looks like you got some good tips. For color balance, it’s usually easier and cheaper to gel the interior light sources to approximate daylight. Gelling the windows is laborious and expensive.

      For the other issue, exposure. You need to either increase the interior illumination or decrease the exterior. Shooting at night, like faqvideo suggested, is a good idea, but you will lose the exterior. Shooting at dawn or dusk might help.

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