How to Balance Overexposed Natural Light Indoors with Digitech Richard Cook

Posted by: on Mar 10, 2021

How to Balance Overexposed Natural Light Indoors with Digitech Richard Cook

Richard takes us on-location to Cape Town, South Africa where he’s shooting for Stonewood Lodge, a spa and resort. Commissioned by Stonewood Lodge, the goal is to capture the lavish lifestyle of this resort by capturing photos featuring makeup influencer Maya Mia while she enjoys the lodge’s many luxuries. Throughout the shoot, Richard’s main goal is  to portray the presence and lifestyle the Stonewood Lodge has to offer and what to expect when visiting. Richard then demonstrates how balanced lighting, and his setup played a key role into achieving this shot—plus the challenges that were present throughout.

Setup and Lighting

Keeping a simple setup was critical to this photoshoot simply because of the layout of the shot. The area of the shoot was very open and with a copious amount of natural lighting. Richard utilized a Profoto Softbox, a Profoto Reflector, Profoto B1 Head, and kept everything battery-powered to avoid excess cables and extensions. The natural lighting helped keep the number of lights needed to a minimum.

Biggest Challenge

Because this photoshoot took place in the middle of summer, there was a lot of natural light that seeped through the indoor location Richard and his crew were at. The issue at hand, however, was that there was too much natural light that overexposed the outdoor area of the shot causing the area to become overly white and burnt-out. By pushing the light power Richard was able to find a good balance between the inside and outside to evenly spread out the lighting. Richard actual settings were the following: 

  • ISO 320
  • Shutter 1/640
  • Aperture f/2.8
  • Focal: 42mm 


Because Richard was tethering, post-processing was at a minimum. The biggest amount of post-processing that was done for this shoot was color grading, fixing small imperfections, and a bit of retouching. Because Richard was tethering directly to his MacBook using a TetherPro Cable, he was able to refocus and modify shots that needed slight adjustments in real time.  

All in all, natural outdoor light when shooting indoors can be a challenge for any photoshoot. Richard took the necessary steps to maintain a well-balanced light setup that took advantage of the outdoor light while also adjusting his indoor light to capture an evenly exposed shot with the same level of details indoors as well as out. With his tethering setup, Richard was able to capture the shot efficiently and carefully with little post-processing in the end.  

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