Monday, March 28, 2005

Tips for photographing interiors

An acquaintance asked me today how I approach photographing interiors. I emailed him with a view tips and thought that you may also be interested. So here goes.

  • Obviously it's vital the room looks presentable and there's nothing distracting lying in view. A bouquet of flowers, a colourful cushion etc, can lift the room and provide a good focal point.
  • Think of leading the audience's eye through the image from one point of interest to another.
  • Unless you're using it deliberately to create an effect make sure walls are perpendicular and the horizon straight. A door frame or wall at an angle can be quite disoreintating.
  • Putting all the electric lights on enhances the atmosphere and creates a warm image. Table lights etc, usually look better even in daylight when they're lit.
  • Candles should also be lit if they are present.

I use a variety of techniques. Here are some:
  • Studio or off camera flash for fill light balanced with daylight.
  • I generally always try to photograph during the day as window light is very important to the character of a room.
  • Sometimes use tungsten lighting to fill in but if you correct for it you have to watch out because any daylight will be too blue.
  • ND graduated filters used vertically are a great help in coping with balancing shadow and window areas.
  • You can also try double exposures. First expose for the room with the outside of the window covered with black velvet cloth. Then take a second exposure for the window. This works well when you've got a small window and a large room, and you want to show detail outside.

I hope you find this useful. Please let me know and see my previous post in search of feedback. Many thanks.

Paul Indigo

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