Yesterday I was forced to take photos of a home during the middle of the day. I always try to make an appointment to take photos in the evening, but sometimes it just doesn't work out. The biggest problem with taking photos in the middle of the day is dealing with direct sunlight. The light comes right though the windows and turns them bright white. If you try a shorter exposure time, you end up with a great view out the window, but an all black room. Here is a technique that you can use to get around the problem of daytime interior photos.
First, you are going to have to use a tripod. The reason that you are going to use a tripod is so you can take 2 photos of the room. Below is an example of the room I shot yesterday. The first photo has a low shutter speed (longer exposure). The second photo has a high shutter setting (short exposure). You can see that both of these photos have the problem that I described above. To the left, the room is clear and in focus, but the windows are washed out in white light. To the right, you can see the beautiful view of the valley out the window, but the room is black.
To make this work we are going to combine the 2 photos, so we get the best of both worlds. To begin, take two photos like the one above. Make sure that the photos are taken exactly the same with the exception of the exposure time. In Photoshop, open the photo to the left add a "New Layer". (See Below)
Now open the other photo with a longer exposure (black photo) and highlight the "Marquee" tool. Use the Marquee tool to crop out the window. (See below)
Now you can drag the window onto the new layer over the longer exposure photo. When you do this, make sure that you drag the window onto the "Layer" and not the "Background". (See Below)
Now you can see the new window is over the old window in the good photo. You can zoom into the photo to clear it up. To "clear it up", you can use the eraser tool and or the blur tool. I typically use the eraser tool to remove any black that I accidentally brought over with the window. If there are hard edges, you can use the blur tool to smooth out the edges. Now, repeat the process with the other window and you are done. Below is an example of my finished photo.
Ryan Martin, e-Pro®, Realtor® - 360-319-0040