Every now and then someone will ask "how did you do that?". Usually, that answer starts with "WHY did I do that".
More and more I do not get to pick my locations, subjects, wardrobe or the time of day that I am working. I am presented with this canvas, half filled in with other things and I get to turn that into something that both me and the client will love.
When I take a photo I am looking through the image that I see in front of me to what the image will look like when I am done with it.
Here is an example of taking a space that I had and making it match the image in my head.
The setup for the shot is seen here. I am using a Nikon D700, a Nikon 35mm f/2 lense at f/5.6. I have light coming through the window on the left and I have an additional light setup on the left of the camera (an AB800 with a 3ft softbox for diffusion).
This was the only "blank wall" that I had to work with and as you can see, it is cramped and pretty tight... but that doesn't mean the image has to reflect that feeling.
Here is our source image. This same setup was being used to composite in all of the family members so to maintain perspective we are forced use a wider lens that I would have preferred.
Here is the the finished version. The photo has been cropped and enhanced for detail. In addition to those refinements certain elements needed to be removed and a few elements needed to be added to complete the look I was going for.
In total, about 3 hours were needed to setup, photograph and process this photo.