Indoor photography can be hard to master. Unfortunately, photos taken indoors don’t always turn out wonderful, especially if the photographer expects the camera to figure out the correct lighting on its own.
Here are some tips that will help you take jaw-dropping photos indoors, especially in problematic lighting situations. After you become a pro at capturing the best lighting and angle, make sure you print your spectacular photos at the best online printer.
1. Go Manual
If you always shoot auto, you will always have a hard time getting consistent results. If your camera allows enabling manual settings, it’s time to take advantage of this feature. Especially in difficult lighting conditions, you will need complete control over your settings.
2. Use Natural Light
Natural light is always more desirable than artificial lighting. Before shooting, inspect the surroundings and look out for natural light sources like windows.
3. Position the Subject
A simple but effective tip is to position the subject next to a window or an open door so the light hits it directly. If you shoot people, make sure the light illuminates their face in a pleasing way.
4. Bounce Flash is Sometimes Necessary
When natural light is not available, you can rely on flash. Usually, built-in flash does not look too great, and using it is not advisable. External flash, even when mounted on the camera, will work much better. You can bounce the flash off white walls and ceilings by swiveling its head in all directions to create a softer light source.
5. Diffusers Can Help You Out
When there are no walls or ceilings suitable for bouncing flash, diffusers can do the trick. You can attach diffusers to your flash unit to spread out light and create very satisfactory results.
6. Reflectors Create Better Lighting
Another way to open up shadows is using reflectors. Reflectors are great to bounce back light from your main lighting source. There are many cheap reflectors on the market, but you can also make your own with a piece of white foam with another clear (white or silver) surface.
7. Manipulate the Shutter Speed
Lowering shutter speed is one the easiest ways to maximize your available light. Especially in low light situations it can be a real life-saver. Be aware that low shutter is not advisable if you are hand-holding the camera or in the presence of moving subjects.
8. Use a Tripod for Crisp Photos
One way to avoid blurry photos while lowering shutter speed, so more light can reach your camera sensor, is to use a tripod. The right tripod for the purpose is the one that will support your camera and your lens properly. If you have no tripod at hand, you can also steady the camera on another stable surface.
9. Raise the ISO speed
High ISO increases digital noise in pictures, so it’s usually better to keep its value down. Most of the time, however, you have no control over your subjects and thus more noise is preferable to blurry photos.
10. Use Spot Metering
By default, most cameras determine the best exposure by gathering information from the entire scene. In difficult lighting situations, though, you will end with your subject either looking too bright or too dark.
Spot metering is very useful to assess the right exposure for a specific area of the scene you’re shooting. By switching to spot, you can be sure to nail exposure for what’s really important.
11. Add Filters If Needed
Many filters are quite affordable and can come in handy both in indoor and outdoor photography. For example, polarizers can reduce glares and reflections of shiny surfaces, while gels can alter the color temperature of your photos to achieve highly creative effects.
12. Check the White Balance
To avoid undesired color casts, check your camera’s white balance settings. Adjust the white balance to match your actual lighting. Are you shooting under fluorescent lights? Tungsten, perhaps? It doesn’t matter: Most cameras have options for either of them. If you’re shooting in RAW, you can make some further adjustments in post processing.
13. Avoid Clutter in the Background
Before shooting, survey the scene and its surroundings and remove any item that is not necessary so no distractions will end up in your final picture.
14. Backdrops Add Depth
Setting up or finding a nice backdrop, colorful or neutral depending on the situation, is another simple way to improve indoor photos. Without the need for professional equipment, a suitable wall or a piece of cloth held at reasonable distance from your subject can do wonders and they are quite easy – and cheap – to conjure up.
15. Blur the Background
If no clear background is at hand, you can always raise your aperture and throw anything besides your subject out of focus. Higher aperture values will not only minimize distracting backgrounds, they will also increase the amount of light that you will let in, helping to keep shutter speed and ISO down.
Practice Makes Perfect Photos
To sum it up, the kind of equipment you’re using isn’t actually all that relevant. The best suggestion, and the only way to become great, at taking great indoor photos is to keep practicing. Even if results aren’t perfect at the very beginning, you’ll definitely improve the more you keep at it (and can even learn how to touch it up like a pro).