View Full Version : Interior Shooting Tips
Sorry to post this message in the large format forum, but I think here are the p eople which know the answers.
I have to photograph an apartment about 50m2 in total size, bathroom, kitchen, l iving room, sleeping area, worker. the slide are needed for a brochure. as a portrait studio photographer I am not experienced in this type of work, i am using a Bronica 6x6cm SQAi, 80mm and 200mm, Polmagazin, up to 4 self-contai ned flash units (about 1000 WS). hopefully someone can help mi with some of my questions:
1) because i don't have any wideangle lens for this camera i have to rent one: w hich one should I rent, 40 or 50 mm
2) I have to shoot on slide film, which type brand should I get , should I rate the film differently? 3) which polaroid film should I use (mainly to check lighting), with the film ty pe you recommend? 4) what is the longest exposure time i can use with the films you recommend, to I have to compensate with longer times?
5) could you recommend any camera hight for e.g. "living room" to shoot from, sh ould I angle the camera slightly down or should I level the camera in both directions? 6) should i bring always something very close to the camera in order to show dep th?
7) should i stop the lens completely down f16, f22 if so i probably have to pop the flashes up to 4 or 8 times ? 8) anything else you think would be very important no to forget?
1. Get the wide lens, you can always move closer, but not farther away and your client can crop if needed!
2. Get any well respected slide film that is matched to your light source(s) and , since you haven't worked with it nor are familiar with it, bracket like hell!!
3. Any color material will work as long as you know the speed difference.
4. Try not to use too long of exposure times if you don't want a color shift (i. e. longer than 1 second or so). If you need longer exposures, there are many tab les that give corrected exposure and filtration suggestions, consult them.
5. Eye level is "most natural", but use your creative instincts!! Maybe even tal k to your art director or client first!
6. Up to you.
7. If you need the DOF, then stop down.
8. Buy some slide film and practice on your own living room! Once you get it dow n then you will have the confidence to do the job for real. Nothing replaces exp erience!!
9. Get to work!
8. take care that the windows are not over-exposed, e.g. with lace-curtain it's always nice to have still some strucuture in it. Place it on zone VI and a half (i.e. do not overexpose the lace-curtain more than 1 and a half stop) and choose the exposure-time which matches F11 for a 40mm (is enough DoF). Use Kodak E100VS, so that you do not have to bother about reciprocity above 1 second. Use your flash to fill in the room with indirect light, e.g bouncing. Use the part of the ceiling as a reflection-shield as far away from the lens as possible or use soft-boxes but take care of their reflections in granite, marble or glass (like in the kitchen or the bathroom). Use 'natural' light-sources, i.e the room's own lamps etc. and take long exposures to give some sphere and different colours of light in the room.
Do not worry about color shift, except with TL and PL light, it's a worry which is 10 years too late: any DTP-professional can scan your slides and manipulate the colors to perfection. What he cannot manipulate is visible structure in over- and underexposed parts, so that's what's really important on slide.
If you still have enough time before shooting, I recommend you to read Professional Interior Photography (2nd ed.) by Michael Harris. It's a famous book and it'll teach you how to get your work done like yours. I think you have to be careful about a mixture light condition (e.g. daylight and domestic incandescent light, daylight and fluorescent, incandescent and fluorescent, and could be all mixture of three.) The bottom line is to use a fluorescent tolerant negative Fuji NPS ISO=160 if filtration attempts for slides are unsuccessful. All answers are on the book. If you don't want to reshoot and do have enough time, a preshoot visit with a 35mm camera (loaded with the same film you're going to use in the final shooting) gives you a overall idea of compositions and how a scene is going to be on the film without any filtration. Of course the preshoot is meant to be a preparation so snap shots without tripods are good enough for its purpose. Above all, a preshoot visit is essential if you have never been to the site so that you can shoot interiors at the best time on the final shooting. Otherwise you should ask the client to fax you the site plan.
Here are my suggestions.....I am not an architectural photgrapher but I am an architect and a photographer who has professionals shoot my projects on a regular basis. So these are just my observations. I hope they help.
1) because i don't have any wideangle lens for this camera i have to rent one: which one should I rent, 40 or 50 mm In MF 6x6 format you should use the widest lens you can get for interiors. I have a 50mm on my Hasselblad and it is sometimes not wide enough. Rent the 40 and you should be ok. Remember to keep the camera level to minimize distortion. The 40 will distort verticals that are above and below the horizon line. Always keep the camera level and raise and lower the tripod. 2) I have to shoot on slide film, which type brand should I get , should I rate the film differently? 3) which polaroid film should I use (mainly to check lighting), with the film type you recommend? 4) what is the longest exposure time i can use with the films you recommend, to I have to compensate with longer times? Fuji Astia 100 is a lovely film for architectural interiors. Sharp and very lovely color. I use Polaroid tyoe 55. This has an ISO of 100 and matched the film. Of course it is black & white, put does the job on exposure checking. Fuji provides a chart on reciprocity failure. However with 4 strobes I don't believe you will have a problem with long exposures, especially in a small apartment. 5) could you recommend any camera hight for e.g. "living room" to shoot from, should I angle the camera slightly down or should I level the camera in both directions? 6) should i bring always something very close to the camera in order to show depth? As I mentioned above, it is important to keep the camera level. Architectural photography looks best for interiors taken at or just abobe eyelevel. If you shoor too low the perspecive will feature the lower side of furnishing and the such. Look at the room as if you were viewing it from your own height. I believe this is a much more pleasing perspective for interiors. 7) should i stop the lens completely down f16, f22 if so i probably have to pop the flashes up to 4 or 8 times ? 8) anything else you think would be very important no to forget? As you do not have camera movements as on a 4x5 view camera, DOF may be an issue that will require a small aperature. I find out of focus elements in architectural photography completely unacceptable. Therefore, you will need to do some test shots and check for DOF sharpness. If your strobes are not very strong and you need to "pop" them than so be it. Also remember to watch ambient light from the exterior windows.
I usually will make multiple exposures. First I shoot the room just before dusk exposing for the window light only. This provide a lovely deep blue soft light with exterior detail coming in through the windows. This is done at dusk so that the exterior does not overpower the interior shot. Next after dark, shoot the room with the lights on. This will expose the room and you do not have to worry about light from the exterior. Remember to gel all fluorescent lights, otherwise you will have a greenish cast to them. Take your time and your efforts will be rewarded. I would also suggest that you practice in your own home to get the techniques down.
Make sure that all surfaces are clean and that there are no distracting elements sitting where they can be seen. Straighten up bookcases and countertops. Look under tables, etc. for loose cords and papers.
Michael J. Kravit, AIA Kravit Architectural Associates, Inc. 1200. N. Federal Highway Suite 215 Boca Raton, Florida 33432 (561) 394-6607
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