Photography is nearly always a much easier beast when you can shoot outdoors. Most complaints about images that don’t turn out come from photographers learning how to shoot indoors. I often hear, “My camera takes great pictures outside, but I can’t get good pictures inside!”
Why is it harder to shoot inside?
- It’s typically darker – fewer windows, walls that block light.
- Lamps and artificial lighting cast color shadows – tungsten, halogen, LED or fluorescent all create varying light temperatures.
- White balance becomes increasingly important indoors. How often do you see blue- or orange-tinted images on Facebook or phone snapshots?
- Clouds make a wonderful, enormous diffuser and soft light. Indoor light is often harder, and casts harsh shadows.
The result can be noisy, blurry images. But you can fix that with a little know-how.
The more expensive, investment camera bodies have better sensors that allow you to shoot faster inside by pumping up ISO without introducing lots of noise. But for the rest of us? There are ways to make our indoor photos more successful.
Photo tips for making good indoor pictures
- Learn how to set the custom white balance for your camera.
- Noise is visible in dark, underexposed images. You’ll need to shoot at a slower shutter speed or higher ISO inside if it’s dimmer light.
- Place your subject next to windows.
- Open your front door and place your subject in it.
- Near french doors with windows or sliding glass doors can be the best light in the house.
- Bathrooms can be surprisingly good places to shoot because tubs are often white and make great reflectors for fill light.
- Bounce in fill light by using silver reflectors, cardboard wrapped in aluminum foil, or foam core.
- Using a tripod will allow you to shoot slower. Any flat, steady surface can be used like a tripod.
- Wrap your on-camera flash loosely in a coffee filter bubble, secured with a rubber band for adding soft light instead of harsh flash.
Today I have a photo challenge for you all!
Today’s challenge is to shoot indoors. But – I want to challenge you to try something new. This could be to wrap your flash in a coffee filter, shoot in your bathroom, make a reflector out of aluminum foil, get creative – anything you’ve never tried before in an attempt to make your good photos great. Consider taking before and afters or a pull back shot of how you set up your shot – even if it’s to take a snapshot of your camera with your phone. Inspire us!
Post about your experiment on your blog or Flickr, invite your readers to play along, and come back and link up! It’s your turn to give us ideas on how to make indoor photos look amazing. How’d you accomplish your shot? What tips and tricks worked for you?