On the Inside

In Digital

Over the years I’ve found myself doing all different types of photography.  I’ve photographed families, events, graduates, newborns, weddings, products and everything in between.  But nothing holds a candle to the difficulty I find in photographing interiors.  At one point in my career, I worked with a contractor that had several remodel projects happening the area around me.  He would call me up and give me a proposed end date for his project and I would look at my calendar and budget an extra week to give the homeowners time to move their belongings back into the space.  I would show up at the home never really knowing what to expect.  Sometimes, the area would be staged perfectly.  Sometimes….  let’s just say it wasn’t.  Over the years, I learned a few lessons about photographing interiors:

  • If you’re photographing a bathroom, always put the toilet seat down.
  • Bring glass cleaner.  There are always spots on the mirrors and countertops that inevitably show up in the photos.
  • Don’t be afraid to rearrange the furniture to better suit the camera angle.
  • Get as much clutter out of the frame as possible.

Lighting is so difficult for me with interior shots.  Trying to balance the ambient light coming through the window in addition to the lamps or fixtures in the room is hard enough, but then when you add an off-camera flash, it’s tough to keep all those color temperatures from competing with each other.   In fact, looking back at the photo I took years ago of this bathroom, it’s obvious to me that the shower has a cooler feel than the rest of the shot, which is because I had my flash set up on a tripod inside it.

After a long hiatus of photographing interiors, I recently had the occasion to photograph my own living room.  It was a just as frustrating and time consuming as I remembered.  My first attempt, I tried photographing near dusk so that the incandescent light inside would fall more in line with the amount of light outside.  In theory, it worked great, but looking at the photo below, you can see that outside and inside color temperatures don’t match.  I tried to edit the image in Lightroom and Photoshop but still –  all my colors were off.

I tried again the next day (armed with my Google search knowledge of interior photography) and I attempted a new-to-me approach.  I would photograph the room from the same spot twice – one with a proper exposure for the room and the other with the proper exposure for the exterior, and then I would photoshop them together.

Here is the final result:

It’s clearly not perfect, but it suited the needs that I had and I learned a lot in the process.  One thing especially – I prefer other types of photography much more than this!

From the inside looking out – Angie


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