EOS 5D Mark III, TS-E24mm f/3.5L II lens, f/11, 1/40sec, 24mm, ISO 1600 by Todd Beltz
You’ve seen the photos – bars with perfectly displayed glassware and brightly lit cafes that look oh-so inviting. While the idea of photographing a space might seem easy to some, there’s plenty more to consider than just releasing the shutter.
Lighting is key when photographing interiors. The best source of lighting would be natural light; the best time is during dawn or dusk as you’ll have nice soft light enveloping the space. For starters, open up all the windows and switch on every light in order to properly illuminate the space. After that, move the lighting around to make sure there are no dark corners or overexposed areas.
A good sturdy tripod is important. Invest in a good tripod and not those flimsy ones that you get free with a purchase of DSLR. I prefer a carbon fiber tripod as it strong yet lightweight, and its prefect for traveling and day-to-day photography jobs.
With tripods, I prefer a geared head over a ball head for interior shots as you have more control over the movement of the head with the former.
I would also suggest using a wide angle lens. Canon’s EF16-35mm f/2.8L II lens is perfect for this. I usually shoot within the 28mm-32mm range to avoid lens distortion, and to keep the lines straight.
EOS 5D Mark III, TS-E24mm f/3.5L II lens, f/11, 1/5sec, 24mm, ISO 1600 by Todd Beltz
Interior space can’t be shot as is, no matter how gorgeous the interior design. Little touches add character to a space – even something as simple as adding a basket of fruit on a side table or adding a human element.
The devil is in the detail, and with commercial spaces, it’s important to capture all of that in order to entice potential customers. Subtle details like the gleam of leather couches or contrasting textures on furniture are part of what determines the ambience of a space. Hence, I prefer using a higher f-stop (like f/22), a low ISO and a longer exposure in order to ensure every element in the image is sharp.
EOS 5D Mark III, TS-E24mm f/3.5L II lens, f/11, 1/40sec, 24mm, ISO 400 by Todd Beltz
Always shoot more than one angle of the room, and play around with various perspectives. This would ensure you’re capturing all the space has to offer, and also result in more interesting shots that might set your work apart from others. If you’re shooting a smaller room, angle yourself from a corner as it helps creates the illusion of space – even just 2 inches of added space captured can make all the difference.
Profile of photographer
Vanan M is a Singapore-based food and lifestyle photographer and nightlife aficionado. He is either behind the camera or behind DJ booths at nightclubs.