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6 useful tips for photographing interiors

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In this article, we explain how to photograph the interiors of architectural spaces using a tripod. If you are one of those who don't want to bother with this useful object or if you are simply planning to visit a place that doesn't allow its use, we present below some techniques to replace it, as well as other tips to make your interior photos successful.

Use a bright lens

If you're not going to use a tripod, it's best to use a cine lens with a minimum aperture, such as f/1.4, f/1.8 or f/2. Although these cine lenses are often quite expensive, there are cheaper, high-quality lenses available, such as those from DZOFILM.

If you already have one of DZOFILM cine lenses, open the aperture to the maximum and you will see that you can already use speeds high enough to keep your camera in hand.

Raise the ISO value to shoot interiors

And if you have no other choice, remember that you don't want a blurry picture. If you only have a single ray of sunlight coming through a small aperture or insufficient artificial light, this is the time to try out slightly higher ISO values. Ideally, you should be familiar with the noise behaviour of your camera and only raise the ISO value to the point where the loss of quality is minimal. And if you are not sure how your camera reacts, you can enlarge the picture after taking it.

Bounce the flash light off the ceiling

In buildings where the ceiling is not too high, you will find that a very useful way to light the scene is to bounce the flash light off the ceiling. But if you are planning to photograph the interior of a cathedral, for example, bear in mind that the flash light will have to travel up to the ceiling, bounce off and then return. In other words, a compact flash will never give you all the power you need to keep the flash from getting lost along the way.

Use hard light to shoot interiors

If all the things mentioned above limit you (not using a tripod, not owning a bright cine lens, your camera giving you bad results with a high ISO), then you'll be left to look for more dramatic photos. Often, technical limitations are the best opportunity to make different pictures. To do this, we recommend spot-metering the highest light - a candle or a faint light coming through a window can get you out of trouble - and safely underexpose the rest of the scene. You will see that you can get some nice surprises.

Work with shapes

Make use of the geometric figures in architecture, lines, diagonals and circles in cathedral windows. If you are in a glass building, you can also play with reflections and colours. The repetition of horizontal and vertical lines is always a safe bet. Spiral staircases and arched doorways are also recurrent forms in these types of monuments.

Dare to photograph abandoned places

Photographing the interiors of abandoned buildings and places has become very fashionable, and it is both fun and exciting. To achieve this, it is best to go with someone and during the day, because on the one hand, there is less danger and on the other hand, you will be able to take advantage of the more attractive light. Don't forget that planning is essential here. First you need to find out about the locations, avoid places that are in danger of collapsing. Carry a flashlight, ask if access to the place is allowed and tell someone you trust that you are going there, in case something happens to you.


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6 useful tips for photographing interiors

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Published on October 25, 2021

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