This photo created a little bit of discussion with Adam, a buddy and good photographer in his own right.
He thought I should add more exposure to the periphery and the countertops. To him, this was just too much tunnel vision. I replied that is what I was going for. I wanted to create a focal point, and lighting the whole scene would distract the viewer from the windows and table.
I thought the counters and fridge were implied, and that they were already well showcased in other photos from the set.
Here is the same photo with exposure added to the counters…
It looks a bit brighter overall. Available overhead light did not add much, and it was an overcast day (I prefer natural light for interiors). So more light is indeed pleasing, at first. But my eyes get lost in it, and the picture is now perhaps redundant.
In the first picture, my eyes go directly to the table and windows. In the second, I eventually get there but only after darting around.
Neither photo is right or wrong. Your eyes might go directly to the table on the second picture. You might be expecting something very different for the first.
It very often just comes down to personal preference and intuition, or what the client is asking for. If you can live with it and the client is happy (she is), that’s the most important thing.
What do you think?
I agree with you on the focal point. Highlighting the counter tops takes away from that.