Using Daylight for Indoor Photography
If you follow these tips, your photography doesn’t need to stop just because the weather or lighting conditions outside is poor. A skilled photographer can shoot indoors using available daylight or household lighting. In general, the light levels will be much lower when shooting inside a building. Simply use a faster ISO setting and a tripod and can keep on firing away.
Here is a guide to many of the many different effects you can achieve in your images.
One simple trick to start photographing indoors is using window light. Most locations will provide you with a choice of rooms. Chose the one you use with care. The main issues that will affect your lighting conditions are the number of windows, their size, and the direction they face. The largest area of glass will give you the softest light. A bay window or patio is a good choice for a soft photography lighting effect.
Subjects like still-life, portraiture, and close-ups are the best suited for indoor photography. Of course there will be some practical limitations to the images you can shoot indoors.
Experiment with lighting positions when taking images inside. The light will be even and soft with the window behind you, producing some beautifully illuminated portraits.
Stand sideways and you will get more contrast. The intensity of the contrast effect can be controlled by holding up a piece of white paper on the shaded side to provide better balance.
Tungsten Lighting Indoors
A great advantage of digital photography the ability to compensate for different lighting sources. This allows the photographer to take pictures using household tungsten lighting without the pictures coming out orange. Most modern cameras can simply use the auto setting to adjust . Don’t be afraid to experiment with the manual setting to achieve the results you are looking for.
Avoid shooting with illumination from a bulb on the ceiling. The effect is nasty shadows ruining features in your photograph; similar to results you get from lighting at noon on a sunny day . Lamps are a much better option. To get the best results , you can move them around just like a professional photographer in a commercial studio . A couple of table lamps positioned on each side of your subject can produce great results. Be sure to have them at the same height as their head, about a yard away.
The most flexible method is an anglepoise lamp, which the photographer can position precisely for best effect. Place it so that it is just above the subject’s head and tilted down. A sheet of white card at waist height will bounce light back up to give a more even result. This is a simple way of replicating a classic fashion lighting setup for indoor photography.
Use great care with your focusing regardless of what you are photographing. Low light levels indoors will limit the depth-of-field ‘” the zone of the picture which will appear sharp in the finished image. This is due to the large apertures your camera will have to use in these lighting conditions. If you are unsure of your focusing skills, use the focus lock on your digital camera to ensure that the important part of the subject is kept sharp and in focus.
One method to help counteract the low light levels you’ll be photographing indoors is to try increasing the ISO rating of your digital camera. Up to ISO 400, image quality is usually a good place to start. You may find that shooting indoors results in some relatively long shutter speeds. Exposure times long as 1/15sec, 1/8sec, or even 1/4sec sometimes need to be taken. Shoot some trial pictures and examine the test exposures carefully. It is likely that you will need to support the digital camera under these lighting and exposure conditions. A simple stand can be improvised with a table or a stack of books, but there is nothing to beat the versatility of a quality photography tripod for this method.