Timelapse Living Room Shoot

EDIT: This blog has MOVED. You’re on the old, dead blog. Everything (including this post) has been migrated onboard my website. Here’s the direct link:


Update your bookmarks! See you there!

We now continue with our original programming….

Thanks to Mia (TulipChainPhotography.com) who tagged along on a shoot a few weeks ago and made a timelapse of me doing an interiors shoot. She put it together and sent it to me (check it out here – click “Personal Projects”). We liked it so much that we shot another one. This is an in-front-of-the-scenes look at an interiors shoot.

For what it’s worth, this is entirely un-scripted; I walked around and decided that this would be an interesting subject, but there was really no planning done ahead of time. This is really what it looks like when I shoot, the only exception being that I would normally go ahead and place all or most of the lights in advance, and then tweak them all at once. For the timelapse, I did them one at a time so it’s easier to keep track of. If you want to see a bigger version of the final, click the image below:

Melvin Timelapse Project

29 responses to “Timelapse Living Room Shoot

  1. Fantastic demo Scott and well documented Mia!!! Thank you for so generously contributing to the greater understanding of interior photography.

  2. Great seeing you work – thanks for the demo!

  3. Really great stuff. Thanks for doing it. Music really enhanced the viewing – couldn’t find the song “Do It” by Colin Willsher however when I searched Amazon mp3’s.

  4. All the kudos go to Mia – she thought up the idea, put in a ton of work to get the technique figured out, and spent hours putting this together. Glad you guys liked it.

    @Tom- it’s an RF stock music piece from AudioSparx.com – the ‘personal use’ license is about $15, I think.

  5. Great set up walk through. Words of warning though: if you use the balancing strobe technique shown at 2.45; remember it’s there before you pick up the stand !! cost me a £125 repair on an sb600 to learn that lesson.

  6. Love these. Thanks!

  7. and funny too. love it.

  8. A nice look inside your process. Thanks.

  9. WOnderful demo I was recently approached about doing some interior work and this was very helpful.

  10. bradproudlove

    Great video!

  11. patrickmeredith

    Never thought of the mirror trick with the tpaper….Very nice

  12. @ Marcus — Yes. This is why I have two SB80’s that are held together with gaffer’s tape.

  13. A really interesting insight into what you put into an interior shoot. Building the light up one at a time works very nicely too as it allows the viewer to follow what’s going on in simple steps.
    Well done for documenting it so well.

  14. Excellent video. Thanks.

    But the ‘bigger’ example that you link to at the end is exactly the same size as the one on the main page

  15. Hmmm…When I click the image at the bottom of the page, it takes me straight to Flickr, to the “View Large” version of that photo. What are you getting?

  16. Great video. This explain a lot and I realize that I need to get more flashes. Blasting a large room with one SB-600 and one SB-800 it’s the way to go.

    I notice that the mentioned tripod SLIK SVD-20 have been discontinued. What would be a good alternative?

    I have been looking at some other video tripods on line, but it’s hard to tell what there quality is compared to the SLIK as I have not seen it or the others. I am considering the Digital Concepts TR-60N at Amazon?

    Are there any resources for best practices for room framing / angles? The little half baths are killing me.

  17. Thank you so much for taking the time to put this video together!

  18. Entertaining and informative… Very fun!

  19. Thanks Scott – your technical knowledge and willingness to share is inspiring. Keep up the brilliant work.

  20. Scott:
    Excellent lighting. Love it. I know you work with the Pocket Wizard on your camera, but how do you strobe your other flashes out of line-of-site?
    You mention you use an optical sensor..not another pocket wizard?

  21. Scott the sharing of your thought process and methods are exceptional! I am picking up the camera again after 30 years to help network with builders and realtors for my interior remodel design work. Your blog is both inspiring and informative. Thank you!

  22. Thanks Scott and Mia. Very generous and informative of you!

  23. rohnn kostelecky

    Great info, Question about shooting from your knees, at low shutter speeds. was this because you were doing a demo, or testing the flash setup? was final shot on tripod?

  24. Rohnn, there were no low shutter speeds. I think I finished up around 1/20th or 1/30th.

  25. Excellent video, still finishing your book; them I’m onto the video series.
    In the last 3 photos, I know you changed the shutter speed; but there are 3 white photos on the wall of the entry(? to the right of the fireplace). On the 1st 2 shots there is a distinct vertical shadow line, on the last image that shadow is gone. Did you make another adjustment or was that shadow eliminated by simply changing the shutter speed? Thanks for sharing!

  26. Gegg, that’d be my guess. This thing is 3 years old; I can’t remember what I shot yesterday. But I very often shoot a few extra shots after I’ve “finished” lighting a room, letting the shutter drag a little longer on each. It lets the ambient “soak” in and tends to smooth things out very nicely. It’s also a good way to follow the ETTR mantra (Expose To The Right), which makes things better in post.