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Avoid the Cold by Perfecting Your Indoor Photography Skills

February 19, 2015 8:00 am

If the idea of shooting outdoors in weather that ranges from sub-zero wind chills to snow to freezing rain makes you shiver, it’s time to perfect your indoor photography skills. Knowing how to achieve the perfect indoor photography is a talent that serves you well through all seasons. Taking the time to learn all the tips and tricks involved with great indoor photography is worth it when you can utilize your gear no matter the weather.

Know your gear

Understanding the full capabilities of your camera, lenses, flashes, and other gear is vital for obtaining quality indoor photography. Finding the best settings for different lighting, composition, and subject matter involves experimentation and that means taking numerous shots. Don’t be afraid to play around with ISO, shutter speed, exposure, and anything else you can adjust because the more you know about your gear, the less time you waste tinkering during an actual shoot. With digital photography, it’s easy to delete unwanted pictures after you’ve made notes of what works best for each shot you’re trying to achieve.

Avoid auto mode

While the auto mode on cameras has a place in time, it’s not a good idea for indoor photography shoots. Auto mode works well on point and shoot cameras when you’re goal is to snap a photo quickly without having to make adjustment. However, adjustments of shutter speed are best for professional-looking indoor photography. Use the shutter priority mode on your camera and don’t shoot any slower than 1/60 to 1/200 or you risk the possibility of artificial lighting sources such as speedlights and fluorescent lights causing interference. When you’re out of auto mode and shooting on manual or aperture priority mode you control the depth of field in your shots, which eliminates distracting backgrounds and makes for a visually pleasing image.

Use a tripod

No matter how steady you think your hands are, there’s always a chance your shots will have motion blur when you hold your camera to shoot. Use a tripod whenever possible to avoid unwanted motion in your photos, to create consistent shots, and to give you the ability to use exposures longer than 1/60 if you don’t have proper lighting. A tripod won’t keep your human subjects from moving, but it does help create steady, appealing images by holding your camera still.

Utilize light

When you’re shooting indoors during the day, take advantage of whatever daylight exists at the location. Daylight is the most natural source of light and is brighter than any flash. Photograph your subject matter by windows or doorways to achieve even lighting and obtain attractive, soft light in your images. Amp up natural daylight during the day and artificial light sources at night by using a reflector for your indoor photography shoots. While there are a variety of reflector styles and sizes available on the market, you can make one with a blank piece of white poster board, which creates a soft fill source of shadows with a professional effect. Avoid overhead lighting sources when you’re photographing people because it casts shadows that are unflattering and that emphasize unwanted area.

Get the flash right

Using a pop-up camera flash or Speedlight flash often has the disadvantage of creating shots with harsh light and washed out-faces. To avoid these problems, aim the flash at a nearby wall or the ceiling so that the flash bounces back to your subject matter with a soft, even light. If you absolutely must use the pop-up flash on your camera, soften the light by placing a thin, plain white tissue over the flash.

Sometimes indoor photography also requires that you just be in the moment and capture those unexpected shots when they present themselves. With a working knowledge of correct indoor photography though, even those quick point-and-shoot photographs can possess amazing quality and clarity. Staying warm inside as you develop another aspect of your photography is a productive and interesting way to pass the time until spring arrives. Once you have a great collection of images, contact Baboo Digital for digital printing and professional framing and mounting.