• Jay

HDR Architectural Photography

I fell into a couple photography gigs recently. Both commercial jobs for new businesses that went in. Pretty simple shoots and both fun projects. As many of you might remember, I've spent the last 12 years working in film production and cinematography using the latest, greatest Reds, Sonys and whatever else I use.


For these shoots, I used my Fujifilm X100F (on a tripod with a 2 second timer to eliminate any motion from button pushing) at ISO 200 and either F/5.6-8 but no faster. The images in HDR lose some precision at faster shutter speeds IMO (interestingly, that precision loss isn't as apparent when taking single exposure pictures). I find these settings yield the best HDR results. My exposures were two stops on both ends- the limit on this camera. I did my combining with Aurora HDR and then any additional adjustments in Luminar 3. Here are a few selects.


The first project was for a friend's recent move and update to an established Billings, MT restaurant, Commons 1882. I wanted the images to make people want to be here.

Commons 1882 interior. My primary goal was making sure the image was warm and welcoming while grabbing all the various textures and a sense of scale.


The Commons 1882 bar. I took this at night wanting the accent lighting to really pop and add the character it was intended to.

This second job was for a friend's architectural firm that designed this gas station. My particular philosophy behind exteriors is how they fit in the surrounding landscape so made an attempt to have additional features in foreground and the background. Anyway, kinda hard to make a gas station look cool but I think I pulled it off.


Everytime I see this, I think of the "double-tap" gas station scene in Zombieland. Not sure why.

These were all taken at dawn. Again, I wanted the drama of the accent lights and knew they automatically shut off at some point.

At the end of the day (like most any work), these are designed to sell. Either sell to a customer or sell to a potential client. As such, my goal was to make sexy. I can always de-drama if needed but that eye-catching wow factor is always a goal.

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©2019 by Jay Friesen.

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