Real v/s Hyper-Real secret No.1 revealed :: true colours


With this article I am starting a series of four chapters explaining some of the techniques used by marco joe fazio photography to enhance the photographic services for our clients and - as I like to describe it - to transform our imagery from “real” to “hyper-real”.

Each week a small “secret” will be revealed; the first one addresses the rendition of true colour in dark ares.

Here is a photograph of a stairway taken recently on a private dwelling in London:

It is a properly exposed image, shot balancing the strong highlights coming from the skylight with the deep shadows on the stair risers. This is the best we can get from a professional DSRL camera (Nikon full frame with about 5.5 stops of dynamic range). Many people would say that this is a good picture, representing the real view of this stairway. Do you agree?

Now take a look at this second image of the same stairway:

hyper-real image
hyper-real image

Oh… some of the stair risers are pink, some yellow and some ochre in different colour gradation!

Did you notice it in the first picture?

And it is also much more evident that the wall on top of the stairs is blue, with the passage under the barrel vault painted white.

Well, this is not a “normal picture” as the one before, but it describes the reality in a more accurate way… the way that the human eye - which is much more performing than any camera - is able to see colours and adapt instantaneously to light and shadow.

This image has been made combining something like nine different pictures, taken from a static point of view (camera on tripod) using both ambient and flash lighting.

In my opinion, the second image shows the true architectural elements much better than the first “real picture”; as I like to say - it is an “hyper-real view” or the scene.

Compare again the two images in this sequence, which one do you prefer?

real v/s hyper-real
real v/s hyper-real

Ah, forgot to mention that the silhouette on the top landing is me taking one of the composing frames!


Please stay tuned to read more about mjf’s Real v/s Hyper-Real secrets in the next chapters…