How To Use Multiple Flashes To Photograph Buildings From Outside

Strobist has an interesting article by architectural photographer Mike Kelley. Usually exterior shots of homes and buildings are simply too large to effectively light with speedlights or big power packs. The tried and true method of capturing a great looking exterior shot is to turn all the lights on in the building and wait for the ambient sky light to match the build's artificial light. In the behind the scenes video below, Kelley shares his "selective lighting" technique and how it can be combined with multiple exposures from a small Canon 430EX to produce a sort of hero shot for publication. After watching the video, check out the before and after photos below.

Final Before and After Photos:

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12 Comments

Lee Morris's picture

This is fantastic! I've been waiting to see a video like this. 

J.D.M.'s picture

Pretty awesome shots and how it's done. Glad to see credit as I already read this story today and am in the process of scouting out a location to experiment with..

Damn the time put in this! Wow! Great work.. I hope the money fits the time used ;)

Id be interested to know how long the timelapse was done for. 1-2 hours towards sunset? or a few hours either side of sunset etc?

Enjoyed watching this, was awesome! :)

Sean Shimmel's picture

Like a meticulous, Amish craftsman.

beautifully done. Thank you for sharing.

Josh Hanna's picture

One of those things you'd never truly appreciate without seeing the before & after, as well as all the work that's gone into the image.  Excellent!

Very intresting!

Love it! That's basically the same technique that we used for this shot...

There is huge value in the time and effort this guy puts in to creating these shots, but in the end isn't it basically a hand-made HDR image? Why doesn't he just shoot 10 frames at different exposures in the "golden hour" he's already shooting in and let Photomatix composite it? Seems like that would provide a similar result and save hours of work.

There is a HUGE difference between HDR and his work!
Sorry Matt, but go further (just a little) on these two techniques and you will understand.NONE HDR can cover the flaws and details he does taking those 300 images!
Actually, to FIX with PS after you leave the scene will take longer (sometimes).Pay attention to the windows ... the choice of people walking ... the sky he changed ... the neons/vapor lights that will kill your HDR if you don't "cut" parts of the image.
Photomatix is good but not G*d.

Really, really amazing. Pro. Big one.
The funny part was, I start to critic the guy even though after I read his name (I'm awful for names ... could you imagine this flaw for a wedd photog?).
"Another one copying the style of the 'crane guy' and posting here as Arch.photog ... but he copy EVERY SINGLE DETAIL about the style!" ... 
:P
Thanks Lee, you linked to the previous post of ... HIS!!!