S.D. Ayres Photography is based out of Reston, VA and services clients in the Washington, DC area. His corporate headshots and portraits are designed to fit brand messaging about an individual or company.
Usually, I try to hide all signs of my handiwork in my images. The focus should be on the space, not the effect. Here, however, I would like to show the difference that framing, lighting, retouching and perspective correction makes in the final product.
On the left is a standard photo, one frame out of many that I use to build each composite. On the right is the end result after compositing and retouching. Each image in the composite is carefully lit to bring out detail, volume and texture in a different part of the room.
ABOVE: This is a panorama created by stitching two images together. The use of a tilt-shift lens guaranteed a seamless merge. It was important for the client that the full design of the room was shown.
BEFORE: Light painting helps to bring out the details in key areas of the room such as the objects on the table runner and the color of the blue cushions on the chairs.
ABOVE: It was important for the client to include the dining room on the left because it called attention to the unusual design of the home. Here, strobes were used to pull the windows and create volumetric light on various planes in the room.
ABOVE: The client wanted a super-wide shot to encompass both the book shelf and the fireplace. Instead of using a super-wide lens, which would distort everything, I used a tilt-shift lens to create a panorama which avoided too much distortion of shape. Each plane in the room was lit separately and then composited by hand in Photoshop. The kitchen area alone consists of about six different shots.
ABOVE: This kitchen was dark and the background was cluttered. There was mail on the stair steps and black garbage bangs just below them. Directed light was used to bring out the warmth in the cabinets and the shine in the oven door. Retouching was used to remove the distracting objects from the background.
ABOVE: I used a handheld hot light to paint light on various surfaces to bring out the warmth of the cabinetry. I also used directed light to illuminate the dining area on the right.
ABOVE: Perspective distortion is common when using wide angle lenses. It can cause the room to appear to tilt inwards or outwards. Here, I not only corrected the distortion, but alsoI used a handheld hot light to punch up the contrast on the bookcase and wall hangings. The same hot light was used to simulate the lit lightbulb and to illuminate the desk and chair.