My latest work, modelled with Blender and rendered with YafaRay. I hope you like it. Outdoors scenes were rendered with path tracing and caustic photons, indoors were rendered with background direct lighting.
Well it is just a single color background with IBL enabled. The color used is white with a little bit of yellow tint to set the white balance of the 3D render according to the white balance used in the real photos.
Lighting work on the scene starts by using clay renders with a dark grey (darker than gray 18) to light for the shadows. This will give me the correct lighting power I need from the IBL single color background. Since in real life these walls reflect little indirect lighting (compared to the light coming from the background) with IBL in direct lighting you get more or less the same result than path tracing in much less time.
In the 3D scene I have sorrounded the bridge with dark grey walls more or less like in the real photo to stop light passing in. One of the things I work on a lot is getting a fine relief mapping by using several layers of increasingly dense bump map combining image textures and procedurals. It gives a lot of "shape" to objects. I have used this tecnique as well on the boat indoor seats.