Photographing a twilight interior

Twilight —the space of 15 to 20 minutes that occurs after sunset, is one of the best times to photograph interior spaces with windows using continues tungsten lighting. It's the time of day when we can beautifully match the intensity of the interior lighting with that of the outside. 

How it’s done, naturally

The goal of lighting an interior space for a twilight photograph is to make it look and feel as real as possible. Here’s how we do it:

  • We use as much of the existing lamps and overheads as possible, and add our own continuous light sources to supplement. Balancing the intensity of interior and exterior light is what allows us to photograph windows without forcing them to go dark or having their views blown out.

  • We tastefully light the space to the point of what the human eye would see, which is more than the camera would see on its own. The lights we add compensate for the camera’s 'blindness'.
  • We position our lights to amplify existing ambient light sources, and give us the desired highlights and shadows with careful attention to keeping a realistic look and feel.   
  • Our lighting also focuses on separation between the different elements of a shot thereby creating depth and helping with the three dimensional feel of the image.

Twilight shots typically require two to three hours of setup time, and once twilight arrives, there are only 15 to 20 minutes available for shooting. This typically means only one evening twilight image can be shot each day. 

Why we do it this way

The majority of our work happens “in the camera”—not in Photoshop. This promotes the most realistic looking images, and allows us to share our work with the client while we’re still onsite. Digital tools certainly have their place–we use them to make minor adjustments after the shoot–but we don’t advocate them as a substitute for what can be achieved with proper lighting, setup and technique. This is the craft of photography, and it's much of what sets us apart.

Twilight spaces...
a place for illumination.

If you have interior spaces to capture at your hotel or resort property, let’s talk. Experience makes all the difference in showing your property at its best.