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Techniques When Working With Flat Light

Lesson 3 from: Intro to Architectural Interior Photography with Natural Light

Scott Frances

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Lesson Info

3. Techniques When Working With Flat Light

Next Lesson: Gear

Lesson Info

Techniques When Working With Flat Light

The thing that's gonna be difficult in this room to shoot and follow all the points I've been making about shaping light and creating depth, is this wall. It's a one window room. All the light's gonna be coming from behind me, if we shoot from this point of view. As you can see, the value, which is the amount of light, is between this, and this, and this, and this is all the same. It's all equal. There's no... Even this handle is... The shadow's right behind it. All the light's coming from the front of it. It doesn't have any dept. That's a tough one. There is some light coming from down the hallway over here. It's a very small amount of light. There's no direct window. Still, I would consider completely blocking out this huge window. Completely. And that little bit of light that spills from the side hallway... It'll be very dark, the room, at that point. But it still would be enough. It might be a 30 second exposure, but that's okay. You may have to open up your f-stop, very wide open...

, to f-4, or even 2.8, but that's okay. The important thing here is to force the direction of light. Another way to resolve this possibly, is to turn this light on. That will give you a little puddle here. That might be a very good idea. I often and typically don't mix light because light from a bulb, whether it's a tungsten bulb like this, a household bulb, or fluorescent, or cathode ray, or any sorts of things, and daylight... They all have different color temperatures. When you start mixing color temperatures, you get a pollution to the light and it's not pleasant, but it can be used creatively. It's possible to use it, but you have to understand that they are different color temperatures. I do kinda like the idea of turning this light on, giving this a little area, blocking out the light from behind the camera over there that will make it less flat. Maybe we turn this into the story about that, about being here. If this all goes a little bit dark, that's okay. This is also... This isn't just a cabinet. This is a room divider. That means there's a room behind it. What do we want here? We want that room behind it to be lit. That will give this a shape, which will give this volume. So, it's not just a series of planes. This is an object. That talks about volume in a space. By turning this very difficult situation here, totally flat light... We block out all or most of that window. We turn the lamp on. It give you a little puddle of light. It's a natural, logical motivation for the light in the photograph. I think that's something to always think about, is logical motivation. We're not gonna supplement light. Light's gonna come from either a window, a lamp, a fireplace. We're not gonna do that shot today, but I think it's a good thing to talk about.

Ratings and Reviews

chris cooper

This class was great! I think some of the reviewers are too inexperienced to realize the value of the information that was presented here. This is not an overly technical course but instead a course that helps you create a vision as an architectural photographer and that is priceless information. You can learn the techie stuff elsewhere but here you are getting into the mind of how one of the best interior photographer thinks. His years of experience are distilled into a great course. I have taken week long courses $$ with other architectural photographers and they were great too, but at $39 this was the best investment I have made into my career. To me as a working architectural and interior photographer with 15 years experience I was able to review my workflow and create a better and clearer vision for my work. It was inspiring. Thank you Scott!!


I really enjoyed watching the Great Master give some of the insight of his craft. Scott's thoughtful commentary and relaxed but very professional presence made this course captivating from start to finish and inspired me to continue a great deal. I saw a couple of glitches here and there and a few seconds of blacked out screen where Scott was talking about a 10 hour shoot day in order to capture a program of images. It would have been great to see what was meant to be showed instead of black frame. I wish there was a little bit more and Nicole would expand on correcting Selective Perspective as this is very interesting to me. Other than these minor points I thought it was a great course and well worth it to me.

Melissa Lind

Phenomenal class. This answers so many questions that I've had for years. I feel like I've been working in a vacuum and this reassures me about the perfection I seek in a shot. I could feel the minute adjustments with styling bringing each picture's refinement to the level of fine art that many people may be able to appreciate but are unable to achieve on their own. A well honed skill set. So thankful for the unveiling of industry secrets that have been developed over a lifetime career. Stunning work Scott, the human element that you craft is inspiring; your eloquence is inspiring.

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