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Shooting interior photography might seem easy, but it takes a lot of consideration and thought for the perfect photo. As with any type of photography, there are specific rules that photographers follow to get the best shots.
We look at five guidelines for beginning to shoot interior shots.
Natural lighting is the best source of light for your photographs, as colours come out fresher and shadows are cast more naturally in the space. To use natural lighting, make sure you shoot your photographs on a cloudy day, as the clouds act as a natural soft box to evenly distribute light within the room. Use your eye to make sure that blown out windows and doors with lighting coming through them do not create distracting photos as well. The set up of your camera should be on a tripod in the location you want it to be. Then, set your camera’s shutter speed to a very low number. This allows for a long exposure, letting in all the natural light in the room into your lens, decreasing the need for artificial lighting sources.
For perfectly balanced and composed photographs, following a grid to align your room can lead to the best results. If your camera has a grid feature, use it to align the walls, floors, and ceiling to make sure things are properly positioned and the camera is not at a slant. Aligning your photos by a grid also makes it easier to crop photos later, without compromising the size or look of the image. Shooting your scene from a straight-on angle with a tripod removes the risk of misalignment. Also, levelling the camera at the height of the light switches in the room or your belly button gives a fuller frame. Shot at height level can potentially distort the size or look of furniture. Being especially aware of vertical lines is important in order to not have a skewed perspective. When a lens is tilted, vertical lines can converge, creating a “falling backwards” affect. Paying attention to a grid, and possibly using a tilt-shift lens, gives you better control over the photo’s perspective.
The composition of the space is as important as the technical composition of your photograph. Make sure to inspect the room and get rid of small imperfections. Straighten rugs, fluff up pillows and arrange them neatly, straighten hanging portraits or photos, and remove trash or cluttering items (like a remote control, tissue box, or piles of magazines). The smallest details in arrangement are important to fix, as they can show up and disrupt the beauty of the show. Rearranging furniture, books, plants, or other things should also be done carefully. Feel free to move items in order to take advantage of the lighting of the room. You can also arrange items so that they are placed neatly within your camera’s grid, creating a dynamic feel.
What you want to focus on in the room is the next important feature for your photograph. To set the depth of field for your photo, or how much you want your composition in focus, you will need to set the aperture. A small aperture number increases the size of the hole that lets light in on your lens, making one element stand out with a blurred background. The higher the number for your aperture-therefore the smaller the aperture hole- maximises your depth of field. For shots including the entire room, or a close-up of an element without a blurred background, set your aperture on high.
Having a wide selection of shots with various angles and frames gives you more to choose from in the end. Play with your settings, whether it is aperture, shutter speed, lighting and framing, to give a diverse pool of photos to choose from. If your focus has been on the entire room, also remember to take more detailed shots of the materials in the room and the designs involved, which can make a project and the collection of photos more interesting. With these guiding tips, you can shoot a great array of interiors with professional quality.