Interior Photography: Tips for Successful Interior Shots
|May 28, 2012||Posted by admin under Photography|
Fischer’s Restaurant, London (1933), by Sydney Newberry, official photographer for Architect’s Journal (courtesy of the British Architectural Library Photographs Collection)
Catch the symmetry
Windows, columns doorways and arches make a nice frame within which to compose a photo. Balance out details by letting the symmetry of such structures carry the composition.
Focus in on interesting patterns such as repeating tile, woodwork and other structures which would make an interesting photo. It can’t be stressed enough that focusing in on the details gives a different view and is very often more creative than just backing up and shooting from a distance.
The farmhouse of Jaime Gubbins, Capetown, South Africa – Andreas von Einsiedel
Working with interior lighting can be tricky. Off camera studio type flash is best for smaller interiors to give an overall even lighting. In large spaces be aware of the type of lighting and use the proper film or filters to avoid unsightly color casts in photos. In natural lighting, overcast of diffuse conditions cut back on the contrast and may make some features look flat. Shoot when the light is stronger for better contrast.
Think of the composition as a collection of simple shapes. Most architecture is built that way. Compose your photo as an abstract collection of shapes as in abstract fine art.
A zoom lens with a maximum focusing range of around 200-210 is great for focusing in on large details on big spaces. Moving closer to a subject with a wide angle lens may cut it off if you are aiming for a particular area within the composition. A long lens also helps to zero in on areas you can’t physically reach such as a ceiling.
Some perspective adds drama to some features some of the time. However, if you lean way back, look up and shoot a tall structure, it will appear to be leaning back as well. Try to stay on level with what you are shooting as much as possible. This works well with windows and other details. Some larger structures and whole buildings may pose a problem in that area. An attachment for SLR and medium format cameras called a shift/tilt lens can help correct for too much perspective in architectural shots.
Equipment and Exposures
Using a tripod will help photos be more sharp and prevent blurring. Some public buildings require a fee or special permission for using a tripod or may have other special restrictions. Check to be sure before setting one up. If you use a film camera use daylight film in rooms and buildings that are lit by natural outdoor lighting. If you use tungsten balanced film make sure the lighting is predominatly artificial or photos will have a blue caste to them. You will likely be using slow shutter speeds and open apertures in low light indoor conditions. This makes a tripod even more valuable. Use fast speed films of 200 or 400 or more for greater to aid in using smaller apertures for greater depth of field.
Photography books and tutorials
Professional Interior Photography (Professional Photography Series)
This highly visual, full color text is a must have purchase for all student and professional interior photographers, from residential to industrial. Michael Harris provides a complete guide through the vast choice of equipment and materials available, sharing his professional knowledge to help you improve your images.
If you are just beginning a career in interior photography this book offers a good, comprehensive resource for ideas and techniques whilst encouraging individual interpretation. Illustrated with stunning colour pictures throughout, the text is written in an easy digestible style, making theory clear and simple to understand.
The interviews with the masters of interior photography have been expanded and updated to include their views on digital, and now include senior English Heritage photographer Derek Kendall alongside Brian Harrison, Andreas von Einsiedel and Peter Aprahamian.
Interior Photography: Lighting and Other Professional Techniques with Style
Here is a comprehensive overview, written by a practicing master in the field, on shooting interior photography professionally for artistic, technical, and financial success. Solid information is supported by varied interior photography of the quality seen in advertising, coffee table books, and shelter magazines.
Clear, instructive lighting setup diagrams are provided for 30 different lighting techniques. This guide focuses on all the techniques needed to achieve success, including lighting, location, props, styling, using both traditional and digital equipment, and adding people, pets, and action to a shot.
- For serious amateur and professional photographers looking to get into interiors photography or improve upon their skill
- From the photographer of the home decor book Susan Sargent’s New Country Color
Julius Shulman‘s long career photographing great architectural works with depth, passion, drama, and an instinct for the architect’s intentions has ensured his present status as one of the world’s preeminent architectural photographers.
His eloquent photos interpreting the structures of Richard Neutra and other early modernists helped the viewing public to understand these revolutionary buildings, and brought prominence to modernist practitioners who might otherwise have been considered eccentric. Frank Lloyd Wright once said that no better photos had ever been taken of Taliesin West than those by Shulman.
Photographing Architecture and Interiors, published in 1962, is Shulman’s first book, and he still considers it to be his most genuine reflection on the profession and on his own artistic philosophy. This title is an exact reprint of that now-classic publication. All of Shulman’s famous photographs have here been reproduced from original prints, giving the images a crispness and luminosity not seen even in the 1962 edition. The introduction by Richard Neutra, perhaps Shulman’s most important client and avid supporter, has been preserved; also included is a new foreword by Shulman himself.