Do you expose for the window?
Do you expose for the window? This is a debatable subject. However, I’m not here to be debating. For years there have been variations of the famous phrase written by Fred R. Bernard. The original quote; ‘A picture is worth ten thousand words’ (Fred R. Barnard, of Printers’ Ink, 10 March 1927), has been altered over time and regularly I hear people using ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ instead, even within the photography industry.
As a professional property photographer I stand by this every time I pick up the camera, and this stems to everything in that particular frame no matter what you are capturing.
Yes I am in doors taking images of the interior, but from a potential buyers vision. Their vision when browsing potential properties is not only the interior, the layout, floor plan but also what they will be looking at through the windows if they buy that particular property.
From a photographers view the over exposed window can be a tricky situation to master and in the height of summer, even the UK can sometimes hit somewhere near 5 stops. Which is more than most camera sensors can handle. Lets take a look at a couple of images and ask ourselves do you expose for the window?
This shot was taken at an apartment in the City Centre of Kingston Upon Hull. The interior of this new property development was stunning, every detail was high quality and very finely planned. The view from the windows was just as amazing; nine floors up with a sunset just coming to light and one of Kingston Upon Hull’s most iconic buildings in the background. Exposing for the window was not an option, it was a must. It would have been almost wrong not to capture such a view.
The buyer would want to see this and the picture would speak a thousand words. Expose for the window we’d say.
However don’t get too involved over windows!
Exposing for the windows is good practice, however there is a but, the UK weather doesn’t always play ball, so use your own initiative on this and don’t get too hung up on it if it isn’t a possibility. If you are dealing with a decent background, nice blue skies or a beautiful garden to look at then expose for it. If not, then don’t sweat it.
If the window is located far away at the other end of a large room then put your concentration on getting the room evenly exposed and correct. As long as the highlights coming through the window aren’t spilling over the window frames then don’t fret too much.
In short the answer to “Do you expose for the window?” is that it must be judged on each individual property. Use your own discretion based on circumstances and lighting conditions, below is two examples of when to expose for the window and when not.