This image was shot using nothing but the light that is cast from the fixtures seen here and the can lights in the foyer seen in the mirror.
Use of a tripod is critical for this technique.
When shooting HDR a photographer will take multiple exposures of the same scene and, using special software will seamlessly blend the different exposures together. I used ten different exposures for this shot and through careful manipulation of the software I brought together the best exposure for any particular point of the image. I combined the best exposure of the lights with the best exposure of the floor and created a single “perfectly” exposed image that my client used I their winning awards submissions and publications.
The trick to creating the exposures you need is to ensure you have each particular part of the image exposed the way you want it to look in the final image before blending. so, I shot an image where the dark floor looked the way I wanted it and then bracketed my exposures going darker and darker each time until I finally got a single exposure that showed the detail I wanted in the light fixtures. When doing this it’s important to remember to only change the shutter speed of your camera and not the aperture (F-stop) of the lens.
There is a wealth of programs that do tone mapping and each on has a different user interface and I’ve seen wonderful results from all of them. I personally like Photomatix and have invested the thousands of hours needed to develop a degree of mastery of the technique and can now call upon it to create wonderful images any time it is appropriate, or lighting a space is not feasible.
You can see some of the other articles I’ve written on the HDR technique at the links below:
(photographs in this article: NKBA & NARI Award winning Powder Room, Private Residence, Los Altos, CA for Harrell Remodeling, Jamieson Simpson Designer)