Shooting indoor pictures can be quite demanding, especially in low-light places like casinos. This can sometimes be frustrating sometimes, especially to new photographers, who will just in general try avoid such settings. Luckily, we have gathered the eight most important tips and tricks to make sure you take amazing shots indoors.
1) Get to know your camera and investigate it’s settings.
This is the first most important step here and is necessary for any type of photography, not only indoors. You should learn the ISO limits of your camera and at what point the picture turns grainy. This will let you use the ISO capabilities of the camera in the best way possible. For example a camera with a T2i, will do best with a ISO 1600, or 3200.. For a T5i, you can increase to ISO 6400 without a lot of noise. Please note that not every camera model is the same and some might have different noise tolerance. You can take your camera for a spin if you are not sure. The ISO capabilities of the camera are very important, especially with inside photography as it can fix the low-lightning issue in places without natural sunlight.
2) Use the manual settings of your camera
If this isn’t a thing that you’re already implementing into your photography routine, then it’s time to start! If shooting inside, it might be suggested to shoot on shutter priority mode with a shutter speed no less than 1/60 to 1/200. Adjusting it to over 1/200 may gain interference from any artificial lighting supply you have as the artificial lighting sources could have fluorescent “tube” lights for example. This is often a result of the light bulbs operating at a higher frequency rate than visible, and if you shoot at an identical frequency, you will see different colour bars caused by the light.
1/60 to 1/200 is a very great setting in low-light places, and lets you capture sharp images free of any motion blur. Setting your camera on aperture priority or manual mode inside is very useful as it lets you to better manage the depth of the field. Indoor pictures typically have terribly busy backgrounds, thus reducing the depth of field will create a sharper and better looking photo.
3) If you can get some daylight in, go for it!
This might not be applicable everywhere, as places like casinos, or night clubs usually do not give you the option to let sunlight in. In any case, when possible try to shoot at places which can allow the sunlight in: windows, hallways, doorways and e.t.c. Not only because the daylight looks more natural (as it is), but because it is much brighter! Daylight is considerably brighter than even the most powerful flash.
Shooting with daylight coming from a window also gives some lovely soft light that provides your subject a nice, even lighting. If you don’t wish to use the daylight as your source of light, you can still use it in various ways to make your shot better. Our advice here is simple, when you have the advantage of sunlight, don’t miss it.
4) Get a reflector!
Seriously, this can be not only one of the most affordable items of gear that you’ll probably ever purchase, but additionally it is very helpful with setting up good lighting and easy to use and master! Here is how to create one:
Step 1: Get a blank piece of white board or paper.
Step 2: Have somebody mirror it onto your subject!
Step 3: That’s it!
Need an even bigger space covered? Purchase a bigger paper or board! Using a reflector will compensate for any shadows that might be cast on the subject, and will in general make the photo look more professional. The white paper gives the shots a nice soft fill, however if you want need something stronger you can use foil together with the paper. Reflectors can be used for daytime and nighttime photography, as they can compensate for poor lightening in most settings.
5) Don’t use overhead lighting directly
Yes, this is valid for any type of overhead lighting. This is a very important advice to remember, as overhead lighting casts these candid shadows that exaggerates wrinkles and really any type of imperfections on the subject when taking indoor pictures. This makes for a bad shot, so to avoid this just have your subject take some steps back from the overhead light, so that the light could bounce from the ground and onto the your subject instead. The only time where we can see shooting right underneath the light as a good idea is for a Halloween photoshoot.
6) Play with the flash settings
If you’ve got a SpeedLight flash available, or if you need to shoot with a pop-up flash, modify the settings in order to avoid washed-out faces from the strong light. For instance, if you’re shooting with a SpeedLight, turn the flash towards the ceiling or a close-by wall to bounce the flash onto your subjects! Doing this will provide a soft and even light. If you have to use the pop-up flash, a simple and foolproof trick to change the light is to use a thin white tissue cover the flash with. In this way even though you are using the direct flash, the light remains softer and you can even use a piece of paper if you don’t have a tissue. As most cameras have different settings, there is no universal flash setting which will fit all scenarios. Just play around with your camera and find what limits it offers and what settings will make your photos look better.
7) Get a tripod
When shooting indoor pictures and in any location for that matter, it’s very useful to shoot using a tripod whenever you can. This is because if you need to shoot with some of the up-mention lightning suggestions, you’ll will be able to exposure longer than 1/60, because the camera won’t be shaking to cause motion blur. However, this might not be true for your subject. If you’re shooting static subjects inside with a tripod, you can use a longer exposure setting of about a quarter of the light bulb’s frequency to magnify the light available.
8) Try on the Auto Mode
Sometimes, at a busy photoshoot we don’t always have time to change the lighting setting for every shot. In such moments you can try using the Auto Mode of your camera. It might not always make a great picture, but sometimes you will just have to trust your camera. We have seen some really great shots coming from Auto Mode.
9) Organise the space
Another important practice for making better indoor pictures is to prepare the setting. Think about creating some changes before shooting. This could be as straightforward as moving around furniture, setting your subject in a certain position, or re-organising the space so that you can get the best lightening possible.
10) Try a Mirror
Does this sound crazy? Using a mirror can actually provide you more control over the subject lightening. You can use the mirror instead of reflector, position it at a certain point to provide light in a certain spot, or use it as a part of your composition. There are many fun ways in which you can utilize the mirror.