We want our skills in photography to enable us to take photographs to convey a message, it could be a feeling, a sense of being or maybe desire. We need our photos to be clear, have a point and sharp so the viewer understands the message we want to come across. What we do not want is a sense of confusion.
We do not want the viewer to feel or say to themselves:
- If the photo only was in focus
- It is not straight
- Where is the rest of the shot
- Colours are a bit strange
- What is the point of this photo
- Too bright or too dark.
- or just complete confusion as to why the photo was taken
What we do want is:
- In focus to the relevant object. If it is not, do not post or use it.
- Lines straight and curves in the correct place
- Horizons straight. Not many lopsided horizons work, some do though.
- Not to0 dark and not too bright. A correct exposure. Click here for a talk about exposure.
- Have a reason, a point or meaning to the photo.
- Create a photo that is unique to us. Convey our message. If I was photographing food, I would not be focusing on a fork or the salt pot, I would be putting the food in the correct place (Rule of Thirds Post) and I would have a good sharp focus on this point.
With this in mind, let us consider Interior Photography and a few rules we need to follow to really get that message across clearly and in a positive way and not just create another photo that we pass by without a concern.
‘Practice makes Perfect’ and ‘A Picture Speak a Thousand Words’ > Very true for Photography
1: Light. The most important aspect, no light, no photo. Use all the light available. Try not to use a flash.
2: Lines. The camera needs to be level, so things like door frames do not narrow or widen in the shot. If the shot is too much for the frame, zoom out or move back, but get the camera level. Move up and down height wise.
3: Watch those windows. Dusk or dawn could be a good time, but a bright sunny day could leave the room dark and windows super bright. Maybe try closing the curtains, alter the angle, but an overexposed window is a bad look.
4: Clean up. A quick clean, a little hoover and tidy. This does not mean making your home look like a Hollywood home, it means those grubby fingerprints and crumbs on a table.
5: Look at the viewfinder. Seems obvious, but looking and seeing if you have the shot you want can make a difference.
6: Tripod. The shutter speed will be slow, you will need a tripod, or rest on a table or something.
7: Aperture. You want a lot of the room if not all in focus so start with F9 then maybe F11.
Practice. This is the key. Practice, look at the photos and keep practising. Lighting is top of my list here, lighting changes colours and tones and can really bring a photo to life, and destroy a good photo as well. Try with curtains open and closed. Experiment with a spotlight in the daytime, experiment.
Some straightforward rules here to improve those interior shots. You can apply most of the rules to flat lay, portrait and food photography. Above all, if you take one thing from this post please make it this:
If the photo is not in focus, do not use it.
Final Tip: Take more than one photo with different settings.