Would you like to take better photos indoors, in places such as houses, party halls, stores, and art galleries?
Knowing techniques of indoor photography is great for taking better photos at special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas parties, New Year parties and other events that may happen in indoors environments.
Lighting is the most important thing for taking good photos indoors. Indoor photography can be challenging, when you need to take indoor photos at night, it’s even more difficult. But now you will learn how to solve those issues because there are some techniques you can use for capturing the best images possible in indoors spaces!
Let’s see how to take indoor photos.
Study the indoor space you’re in
To take photos indoors, the first step is to know the place where the photos will be taken. You need to check the lighting conditions before you start shooting any photo. At this point, you need to know where the lighting is available.
If it’s daytime, pay attention to where the sunlight is coming from to define the best angles for taking photos. The sunlight is always the best light source to take your photos indoors during the day because the image will have more vivid colors.
If it’s at night, pay attention to how much light comes from the lamps of the space you’re in and what are the best angles for taking photos.
In an indoor place, each corner of the room has different lighting. That’s why glass doors and windows are excellent entrances for natural light (sunlight), so search for those points in the indoors space you’re in.
Organize the photo scene
As the main subject/object of your photo will direct the viewer’s attention towards the secondary elements of the photo scene, the indoors place must be organized. Even if you’re taking photos in a simple family event, it’s important to search for harmony in the area of the indoors space that your camera will “see” before you shoot. So, remember to remove anything that clutters the background.
Organizing the scenery will enhance your photographic perspective, so search for the most beautiful architectural arrangement in the place. Move furniture around, include accessories in the photo scene, such as vases, pillows, plants, decorative pictures and ornaments that match the decor to make a beautiful photographic composition.
Know when to use flash
When it comes to indoor photography, if the camera flash directly hits the main subject/object of the photo, that can result in shadows in the final shot. So if you’re using your smartphone’s camera, it’s better to turn off its flash. If you’re using a camera device such as a DSLR or a Mirrorless Camera, you can point the camera flash unit at the ceiling (if it’s painted in white) or at any nearby wall that is painted in white.
This technique will light the environment in a natural way without shadowing the elements that are in the foreground. You can also get a silver white flash diffuser, which is great for taking photos in indoor places with darker ceilings, such as wooden ceilings.
Don’t use flash when photographing places with glass objects such as tables, windows, or picture frames. Otherwise, the light will reflect off the glass surfaces and spoil your photos. Try to use natural light for this type of indoor place.
How to set up your camera for indoor photography
Now you will see how to set up your camera the best way possible for indoor photography. Some of the tips below work on Professional Cameras only. If you use your smartphone’s camera, you can search on the Internet for tutorials on how to set up a smartphone to those specific settings because there are different ways to do that.
It’s better to sit down or to lower your camera’s angle because if you keep at your face’s level (standing position) the pictures lose aesthetics. To avoid that, take pictures of the indoors place with the camera positioned at waist level to highlight the decoration and furniture of the environment.
Attach your camera to a Tripod to avoid shooting blurry or shaky photos. Tripods also grant you stability for shooting better photos.
With the use of a Tripod you can use the flash only as an add-on because the Tripod enables you to set your camera to slower shutter speeds (better for darker places) and the flash will just fill in the environment’s light.
The camera’s White Balance settings will balance color and light for objects to appear in their original color in your photos. That’s very useful because camera lenses don’t have the same ability as our eyes to differ between colors. So, manually adjusting the camera’s White Balance will prevent objects from getting blue and orange tones in the shots.
The artificial lights of the indoor place change colors during a photo shoot, resulting in a huge color temperature difference in the photo when compared to real life color temperature, that can be neutralized with Tungsten Mode or Fluorescent Mode (inside the White Balance settings), those White Balance modes will make the warm colors softer.
Shutter Speed and Lenses
For indoor photography, the ideal shutter speed (measured in seconds) is around twice the size of the camera lens’ focal length (measured in millimeters).
Here it goes a few setups to use as example:
- 24mm lens → 1/60 sec shutter speed
- 35mm lens → 1/70 sec shutter speed
- 50mm lens → 1/100 sec shutter speed
If you are using a zoom lens, such as an 18-55mm lens or a 24-70mm lens, the best shutter speed is 1/125 sec.
You can get a Wide-Angle Lens of 24mm focal length or higher, those are great for shooting indoor photos.
Set the camera’s Shutter Priority to “Tv”, it can be “S” on the mode dial. That means Time Value and it’s a feature that allows you to choose specific shutter speeds while your camera adjusts the aperture by itself to get the best exposure.
Adjust the camera ISO according to the indoor place lighting, the recommended is to set it ISO between 800 and 160, but in some places you will have to use a higher ISO.
Shoot in RAW. This is a photo format, it’s good to set your camera to shoot in RAW because this format results in photos with more details, with higher resolution and higher quality. Shooting in RAW also gives you greater data manipulation possibilities in photo editing programs.
Tips for post-production
Post-production is editing the best photos after the photo shoot. For indoor photos, you can correct the color temperature by balancing the color of the images. You can also take unwanted objects out of the scene, add some contrast and saturation and add some sharpness. Remember to use the same editing method for all photos, this will give identity to your photo.
Great! Now you know how to study the indoors space you’re in to find the best points for photos, how to organize the photo scene, when to use flash, how to set up your camera for indoor photography and what features to work with on post-production! So don’t hesitate to put what you’ve learned into practice!
You can also share your thoughts in the comments below!