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Taking great interior photographs doesn’t require a huge investment in tools or time, but you will need to spend some energy together with the following interior photography tips:
Determining the goal of your photos and setting up clean, consistent angles will make your images much more user friendly and can help you put the images to the best use.
Basic interior photography tools will help you get a steady, level photo with great exposure.
Tripods don’t have to be expensive. With a simple tripod, you can easily control your photos and make sure your camera is level and steady.
Additionally, if you’re trying to get multiple shots to compare natural light levels, you can mark the location of your tripod more easily than you can your feet. Finally, once the tripod is set and your subject is in frame, you can do a double check for cables or other distractions that may clutter up your final photo.
Using a simple bubble level camera attachment can save you having to clean up odd, wobbly angles in post-production. Additionally, if you’re shooting images from a lower angle than is comfortable for you, a level can allow you to get the subject squarely in frame so you can focus on other features such as if you need additional light.
A simple timer can keep your long exposure photos looking sharp. Once your cameras secured to the tripod and levelled, a timer will keep you from touching it and blurring your final image.
Ideally, every subject would be bathed in filtered natural light. Unfortunately, while this results in lovely photos, it’s hard to come by.
Use natural light whenever possible. If you need to add filters to avoid harsh sunlight and shadows on your subject, try adding light to the subject from out of shot light sources.
Some photography experts recommend never using flash, but not every space has enough natural light for a great photo. Fill flash, or flash bounced off of the walls and ceiling behind the camera, can reduce dark shadows and add enough light to the interior subject to allow the subject to be seen from all angles.
Table lamps are pretty but are not a good source of subject light. In addition, you’ll want to leave lit table lamps out of your photographs. They simply look better turned off.
Interior subject matter generally includes static pieces including cabinets, counter tops or heavy pieces of furniture. When possible, arrange any portable objects to contribute to the format you’re shooting.
For example, if you’re working wide shots and have a floral accent and to work with, try to match the width or height of the floral arrangement to the piece it rests on. A tiny bud vase on a wide credenza looks miniscule; setting the vase on a small decorative tray or plate will give it more presence.
Once you have your subject set up to photograph, work wide. Get several wide shots of the entire subject, then spend time on small details within the large setting. Again, keep your tripod handy so your detail images are easy for the viewer to find in the wide image.
While wide images are commonly used for e-publishing, vertical images are very effective for print magazines and can add a striking perspective to a blog or in marketing materials.
Your camera level is crucial for taking perfect vertical photos. Whether you’re shooting a staircase or a bookcase, it’s critical that your image is perfectly square in the frame. If your image is crooked, the photo will be off-putting and may cause the viewer unease.
If you’re going vertical, try and put portable objects to work for you. A bookcase is a static item, but a stack of cushions in the shot can add a burst of colour as well as a new height perspective.
For clean, crisp photos, avoid using more than two perspectives. Think of perspectives as a corner. If you’re taking a photo of an object against a wall, you’re shooting one perspective.
If your photo includes two walls meeting in a corner, you’re taking a two point perspective photo. For clean, uncluttered shots of your subject, don’t try to take a photo of more than one corner. Your images can have a closed, crowded and rather cattle chute feeling.
Depending on what you’re photographing, shooting height is critical. If you’re showing off lovely counter tops, work from a height that highlights the counter top material and gives a long view. This will make the kitchen appear roomier.
To take great photos of a living room or study, consider shooting from a seated height to illustrate the space from the point of leisure. Unless you’re going for a very particular effect, avoid working too high or too low in the space.
Finally, remember to use your tripod! Once you’ve established a clean wide shot of your subject, you can use your tripod to highlight smaller vignettes. By staying at one height for a wide shot and settling on another height for the vignettes, you can put together a clean presentation of each of the highlighted features of the space.
Post production photography corrections can fix a lot of problems, such as dark shadows and extreme contrasts. However, a careful set up of the initial subject is the best way to make sure that you get a great shot. Plan to rely on post production for simple lighting corrections and cropping.
Taking great interior photos doesn’t require you to spend a ton of money on equipment. Simple tools such as timers and tripods can be purchased inexpensively. Once you’re creating steady images with the right exposure, your photos will be easy to prepare for sharing and publication.