Architectural and aerial photographer located in Richmond, VA.

Exposure Blending

While HDR does some amazing things, particularly for twilight photography.   

The results can sometimes look other worldly ... with super saturated colors.  At night, the lighting often becomes more moody and directional (which can be a good thing). Additionally, the focus becomes entirely the interior, as our eyes naturally gravitate toward the lightest part of an image.  How do we still give the exterior some focus? Here we use exposure blending.


We take one photo while the sun is still slightly lighting the facade so the building exterior looks great (but the interior does not).  Then we take a second photograph when the interior lights are stronger than the outside and that looks great.

Interior photo / Exterior photo

We then merge these two photographs together so that we get the best of two different times of day.  Even better, if gives us options we would otherwise not have at night ... like the street lamp reflection on the right side of the building is omitted from being brought over.

Of course the one caveat with doing this type of photography is that only exposure per sunrise/sunset is possible.

Final image

In case you were curious, here is roughly what this building looks like during the day (as an HDR).

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