I absolutely love photographing interiors; we have some incredible National Trust venues here in Somerset, where the rooms provide superb natural light and the furnishings bring back the memories of the Victorian or Tudor times, a favourite of mine, as a professional photographer in this beautiful Somerset area, it’s a photographers dream but also if you just love photography as a hobbyist, Somerset is the place to try your interior photography skills.
Shooting interiors can be a highly technical process, experienced photographers use complicated technical cameras complete with tilt and shift capabilities to ensure the perspective is correct and ensure there are no converting verticals.
The lighting can be equally as complicated some tricks use by experienced interior professionals include cutting hole sheets of coloured gels to fit perfectly inside the windows so that the light coming into the room from outside is a certain colour or even using lots of different exposures in post processing to create a photo with the highest possible dynamic range, this is one of my personal choice when shooting interiors.
Sometimes the room can be lit in sectors with every part exposed to perfection and the whole lot stitch together later on in Photoshop, interior shooting is an art and science mixed into one however with a few small flashes a tripod and understanding of light it’s very possible due to make good quality shots of building interiors, they’re not perfect but even editorial clients now a days prefer shots that are more realistic in atmosphere rather than an overall lit, a highly manufactured look and I must admit this is something I prefer with my photography when taking portraits, wedding photographs, I prefer to capture the natural ambience the natural light of the setting.
It’s been said that 90% of interior photographer photography is moving furniture and that’s not far from the truth once you’ve chosen your viewpoint ideally somewhere where your cameras aren’t tilted up words to avoid converging verticals.
It’s best to tidy everything up as best as you can move those bits of furniture to make the photo more aesthetically pleasing tidy away phones electric cables and even move sofas that prevent the view.
As with all flash photography the key to a successful picture is balancing the ambient light with natural light that you introduce yourself into a room, in most cases the time of day you choose is crucial to the feel of the photo, picking the right time of day or even the right time of year to help you produce the photo that your clients are looking for.
The chances are with aperture settings you need to select a narrow aperture to get a wide depth of field so slow shutter speed will be the order of the day and to shoot at low ISO for best quality, take a test shot and check your settings to evaluate the frame, check the lighting ensure that your photo looks as natural as the scene that you’re looking at, you may need to introduce gels on your flashers so that you balance the ambient light with your flash, try it it’s great fun.
There are some fantastic interior photographers out there, check them out online, you’ll be amazed at their skills and how using HDR, taking many exposures and tying them together in Photoshop, produces some incredible images, and they earn big money too!