Tina and I recently photographed a butler's pantry, a kitchen and a breakfast room at a home in Lincolnwood for one of our favorite designers Joey Leicht.
I couldn't be happier with how these turned out. The contrast and elegance of darks to lights are something to really admire. It's fun lighting dark colors, which absorb light in a way that can be, well, frustrating. Without light, there's no detail. But with light, it changes the appearance of dark. The eyes are more capable to see how dark things are, but cameras are mechanical and less forgiving.
When I photograph spaces like these, it's difficult to shoot medium format at least for me. Our Hasselblad doesn't perform well when exceeding ISOs of 200 to 400. I need more low-light sensitivity from higher ISOs. So in these cases, I use our Canon 5D Mark III fitted with a 24mm TSE lens. I also do some close up shots with a macro 40mm or a 50mm.
Another approach we take on projects with Joey is that like to balance lighting fixtures with available sunlight. These two light sources generate two very different colors of light. If we let the lighting do its own thing, we'd come away with mediocre photography. Mixing light makes the gray of the cabinetry look grayer in the sun and bluer in incandescent light.
This also affects the whites in this space as well. Whites appear yellower the further you get from the windows and bluer closer to the windows. So unless I turn all the lights off, I get improperly balanced lighting. So it's incredibly important to use photography tricks, multiple exposures and photo retouching to deceive the viewer and achieve these kinds of results.