So you have mastered the tricky art of getting a good photo outside but you head indoors and it all goes to poop?
If you are shooting on manual here are a few keys to remember:
>>> Find some natural light. If you are taking a picture of a person, a plate of food or some object get as close to some natural light as possible. If you don’t have much light coming in you can also create more dramatic shots – utilise the shadows and contrast. A reflector on the opposite side of the light will also help create a little more light to reduce shadows if that is not what you are going for.
>>> If you don’t have natural light use whatever other light is available. Overhead lights are one option but also consider the light of a candle, table lamp or similar which will spotlight what you are shooting. Remember though that if you aren’t using natural light make sure that you have your white balance setting to the type of light that is predominant. Just change it to the next one and take test shots until you get the right tone (ie not weirdly blue or yellow). If you don’t get it totally right in camera this can also normally be fixed in post-processing.
>>> Shoot on a higher aperture (that is a small number). The higher your aperture the wider the ‘eye’ and the more light can come in. This will narrow your depth of field so consider carefully where you want the focus to be.
>>> Push up your ISO. Most cameras are still able to take very decent photos with higher apertures. If you are inside near a window you could probably still work with ISO 100 but if not push it up. Start at 400 and head up to the point where you can bring your shutter speed up to a hand hold option. Just note that the higher it goes the grainier it will be.
>>> If you don’t want a narrow depth of field or a lot of grain you will need a tripod or a still surface you can rest your camera on to keep ISO at 100 but allow the shutter speed to be slow. You can pick up a fairly cheap tripod which is absolutely fine if you aren’t planning on using the tripod in windy conditions or uneven ground where a sturdier tripod will be necessary.
>>> A great way to ‘deal’ with overly grainy pictures is to make photos black and white. This is also great if you can’t fix the colour caste (say you are shooting a band and they have a red light on them).
Camera settings: 1: f4; ISO 100; 1/320s | 2: f1.4; ISO 640; 1/80s | 3: f1.4; ISO 8000; 1/100s (shot outside but it was dark and a very small amount of artificial light was available) | 4: 3: f1.4; ISO 6400; 1/80s
Do you have any other questions or tips about shooting inside?
If you are looking for personal tips I’m in London on 12 April for an Eat and Snap.