Making high-quality interior photographs is a real challenge even for the most skillful and high qualified interior photographer. Interior photography usually requires not only good artistic skills but also the attentive attitude to the equipment and real estate photo editing. In this article, we will talk about some things that you should pay attention to when shooting indoors.
The house preparations are the basics of architecture photography that shouldn’t be neglected. First of all, you need to ask the clients to prepare a house for a photo shoot; otherwise, you will not be able to take good pictures. Here are the highlights that your client needs to know to prepare for a photo session.
The property should be perfectly cleaned. The windows and furniture must be clean and look soft. Get rid of dust and dirt.
First of all, the house must be cleaned properly. Besides, it is necessary to remove all personal items of the property owners that may attract the attention of the potential buyer. He/she should concentrate only on the house itself. Demonstrate that this property may be perfect for any client. Space should attract a buyer or a landlord so much that he will want to settle here immediately.
Leave dogs and other animals that may hinder while shooting outside. They can spoil good interior photographs and a photographer’s equipment.
Using all possible light sources for photography is a great idea. Even small lighting devices can improve the frame. Curtains on the windows should be drawn apart. Natural light significantly enhances the quality of the photography.
All photographers spend money on the real estate photography equipment that will help them create cool interior shots. Many spend large amounts of money to buy the best camera for interior design photography. But there are different available models. Full frame sensor is the necessary thing for interior shooting. It mainly affects the quality of the picture. The function automatic exposure bracketing is a huge plus for your camera for real estate photography. For professionals, we recommend Canon EOS 5D Mark IV or Nikon D750. And if you don't have enough experience, choose Canon EOS Rebel T6i. This is a budget camera options. And remember that the most crucial factor that affects the result of the photography is the professionalism, skills, and experience.
Canon EOS Rebel T6i is the best camera for interior photography 2017. Low sensitivity and high image quality and APS-C image sensor are the advantages of this camera. You can do five frames per second with this camera in the burst mode. And one more benefit is that the manufacturers have improved Live View performance.
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is one of the most popular cameras of photographers. It is chosen not only by professionals but also by newcomers, because of the convenient autofocus system. Moreover, it has many additional functions. The Dual Pixel autofocus, enhanced AF mode, LCD screen, GPS and WI-FI make it worth the high price. This camera offers the best camera settings for indoor photography.
Nikon D750 is not that cheap, but you will also get more opportunities for the shoot. Get the interior photographs of high quality making a high ISO range. Wi-Fi, advance video characteristics will be a good bonus.
Lighting is the primary factor that affects the interior architectural photography. Even if you own the latest and the most expensive camera, your images may look dull and poor if the light is set wrong. Interior photography lighting settings will help you make high-quality images. Every photographer should know the niceties of the interior architecture photography lighting setup and have their own techniques for creating high-quality real estate pictures.
The built-in flash does not guarantee high-quality images. Usually, you need extra real estate photography light sources.
The main characteristics that the flash for architectural photography should have are:
These characteristics will help you to choose the best flash, which is extremely important for awesome pictures. Here are three flashes we recommend you to use shooting indoors.
Yongnuo Professional 560 III off-camera flash supports Wireless Slave Function and Multiple Trigger Synchronous Mode. Besides supports setting are saves automatically, which is very convenient.
Godox V850II is a small, light and comfortable flash, which has max. 1.5s recycle time and 650 full power pops. 2000mAh lithium batteries will enable you to work continuously for many hours. The flash features X1 TTL wireless flash trigger.
Nikon SB-5000 AF Speedlight Radio Control Advanced Wireless Lighting. It has a Cooling System for 100 Consecutive Shots. The flash is compatible with Nikon i-TTL.
The interior photography depends on the lighting greatly. Of course, composing and contrast also play the essential role. If the architecture photographers are able to use lighting and balance correctly, they can better convey the color of the interior elements of the house and interest their clients. It is evident that natural sunlight for high-quality interior photographs is not enough. If your budget does not allow you to buy expensive and high-quality equipment, you can find second-hand tools that are several times cheaper.
Each photographer uses interior lighting techniques that will be the most effective for the creation of a good photo.
Here is the possible list of tools that must be included in the tool-kit of every photographer:
This is only a small part of the necessary equipment for the photographer, as there is a wide range of light gel to convert the temperature, various ND-filters and radio or optical triggers to make your shooting easier and more effective.
How to choose the best lens for interior architectural photography? First of all, they should be suitable for your camera.
These lenses should have those characteristics that are necessary for the photography genre you are engaged in. Here are the main criteria that you need to take into account to find a suitable architecture photography lens:
Wide Angle – preferably with a range of 10mm – 24mm. This is ideal for photographing real estate.
Prime and Zoom – choosing between these two options, first think of your budget. If it allows you to purchase the prime lenses – do it. Though they don’t offer any zoom and you will have to move around to change the range – they are still more versatile. Prime lenses provide better focusing, but they are more expensive than Zoom variant. Zoom does not have a primary focal length, in contrast to Prime lenses, and at the same time, Zoom lenses cover a range of focal lengths within one lens. This makes Zoom a universal lens, so if you are tight with your finances – opt for this one.
Interior and Exterior architecture photography setup – your settings depend on the size of the property you are working with. Perhaps you will need additional lenses for taking pictures of the landscape design of the yard, pool and other peculiarities of the property.
Focal Length – 14-24 mm is the ideal focal length to achieve the appropriate field of view, as we know the less the focal length you choose – the wider the field of view you get.
Manual and Auto Focusing – Manual focus takes more time, but it allows you to correct the picture to the ideal state.
Every company can claim to produce the best lens for real estate photography 2018. So why do Canon and Nikon still remain more popular than other brands? One of the reasons is that they can be used with much older equipment. What about the quality of these two brands? One can say that they are totally equal. The main difference between them is the autofocus. Canon provides all of the EOS lenses with autofocus, and Nikon has it only with AF-S lenses. The Canon lenses tend to be cheaper, as usual, but it does not make them worse, comparing to Nikon.
EF 17-40 mm it is an excellent wide-angle zoom lens designed by Canon and equipped with three Aspherical lens elements and ultrasonic focus. Its 17-40 mm focal length is perfectly suitable for architectural photography, to show all the elements of the property.
Stigma 12-24 mm f/4 lens is designed for Canon photographers. It will enable you to do the quick and sharp focusing. The 12-24 mm focal length coupled with zero distortion will give you a chance to take the flawless photos.
EF 20 mm is quite reasonable fixed wide angle lens designed by Canon. It can require a flash when there is low light, but in general, this lens can be a good choice for Canon photographers.
Photographers who shoot Nikon bodies have a wide range of quality architecture lenses to choose from. As with the Canon options above, these lenses all produce beautiful images in a variety of settings. These are some of our favorite lenses for Nikon shooters.
NIKKOR 16-35 mm has fast and sharp focus and length, which makes it an excellent architecture photography lens. You can shoot the interior using 16 mm, and enlarge it when taking exterior pictures.
NIKKOR 18-35 mm lens may be considered the best wide angle lens for interior photography in the category of quality + price. It will be great for real estate recording. The lens focuses quickly, what is suitable for shooting all the wide angles of the room.
NIKKOR 20 mm ultra-wide angle lens features an improbable sharpness and capacities of ultrasonic focusing.
If you're a beginner and have no idea how to use photography equipment, it may be difficult to take high-quality interior pictures. Of course, you should start with a camera and its settings. Now, let’s review the main elements of the interior photography camera settings.
You can refer to auto settings and don’t bother with tuning each option, but you will hardly get the perfect image this way.
Using the auto mode, you get the pictures, which are rather dark and dim. You can clearly see it if you look at the first picture. To avoid such problems, pick the Manual regime.
|Focal Lenght||Varies, but better shoot the longest possible|
Aperture is one of the basic elements of exposure. This relates to the expanding of a diaphragm of a lens, which transmits the light. Aperture can be compared to the pupil of an eye. You must know that our iris tends to expand or shrink, depending on the dark or bright environment. In the photography sphere, the aperture acts like an iris. The size of the aperture can be expanded or shrunk to add more or less light. To take all the advantages from the natural light try to make the photo session coincident with the daylight hours. F1.7 - f9 aperture will give you a bright and beautiful photo regardless of whether you have huge or small windows. Talking about the interior architecture photography, the aperture settings range, and you can capture and emphasize the necessary element.
|100||Full Sun, no shade|
|200||Lots of sun, could be in partial shade or an overcast day out in the open|
|200||Inside on a sunny day, directly by a large Window|
|400||In the shade on a sunny day or under a covered area on an overcast day|
|700||Inside on a sunny or overcast day(near a window)|
|640-800||Sun is starting to set and less light|
|800||Inside, quite a distance from a Window (sunny outside)|
|850-1K||Inside, quite a distance from a Window(overcast day)|
|1250||Inside during the evening, light bulbs are the only source of light|
|1600||Inside a dark room where there is a light source (theatre, school production, etc|
How to photograph interiors to keep the light balanced? Adjust ISO settings. If you'd like to accelerate your shutter speed, think about raising the ISO. Don't forget to regulate the noise level, keeping the ISO below 400. In order not to suffer a setback at the important photo session, we recommend you to experiment with the ISO and some other settings to understand how everything works.
In a case, you take pictures in a place with poor lighting, set a higher ISO, which will allow you to have light images, using short exposure time. To avoid grainy images, regulate the ISO lower than 400.
The shutter speed is changed due to the volume of the natural light available to you. Having made some researches with the professional architecture photographers, we found out that the clearest and the most beautiful images are taken within 1/60 and 1⁄2 shutter speed.
Usually, the color balance is based on the sources of the warm light, and the white balance should be set from 3000 to 4000 K. It would be better to take the RAW photos to facilitate further photo editing and get many opportunities for this. Keeping the color temperature between 3000-4000 K will add the bluish shade. This style is thought to be a fashionable trend nowadays.
Taking the shot of the room doesn't mean the end of your work. You have to enhance the photos, open them in Lightroom or Photoshop and decide what should be done to create an incredible photo. Let’s see how the interior photography retouching can change the photo, making it more appealing.
Here are some steps and Lightroom / Photoshop interior photo editing tutorials that can be taken to enhance the images:
The interior Photoshop tutorial above shows how flattening the lines can improve your picture at once. This photographer knows how to edit interior photos in Lightroom and Photoshop easy. But your strengthening will be minimal if you shoot at the height of approximately 5 feet and keep the camera straight. To utilize this tool in Lightroom, you should find Lens Correction in the Manual Mode.
Before you start setting the exposure or brightness, you should first remove the lens vignetting that may have occurred. This effect often happens when utilizing the wide lenses, and you can distinguish it by the darker edges of the picture. You can find this tool in Lightroom below the Lens Correction; then go to the Manual section and select Vignetting.
Photo color correction is the basis of all photo enhancements. If it's needed, you can regulate the temperature of the whole picture. But remember, that yellow color doesn't always mean the warm temperature. Also, think about increasing the Vibrance a little instead of adjusting the Saturation. The last one can easily turn the photo into an awesome one while the Vibrance is more delicate and it'll help you to highlight the right colors. Feel free and explore all these tools and decide what result you like the best.
Increase the Clarity slowly. It's a great tool to enhance the image, avoiding adjusting the contrast. In addition, it makes the whole photo sharper. You can also experiment, by making the blacks darker at the same time. Watch the next interior photography tips and techniques tutorial for proper understanding.
If you notice some unwanted elements, you can easily remove them with the help of the Spot Brush tool or Photoshop filters for interior photography. In Lightroom you will meet 2 variants of this brush: Heal and Clone. Healing will suit better for the correction of tiny spots due to its soft structure, and Cloning will allow you to delete some reflections or glares. Moreover, you can also utilize this tool to take away such things, as an address number, when the situation requires.
In case you do not want to spend much time retouching the photo, and enhancing its every detail, just apply the Interior Design Lightroom Presets. Just a few clicks are needed to better the shot. Besides, you have an opportunity to set your own adjustments of every preset.
Of course, you can take the photos, holding your camera in hands, but you’d better use a tripod. Interior architectural photography can require long exposures. As you already know, high ISO will provide your photo with noise, so using a tripod seems to be an excellent choice. It’ll also help you to concentrate more on the photo, as you'll be able to check all the details and then take a picture.
In fact, almost all architectural photography tips for beginners include at least one recommendation about light. And it is not surprising, as the light is probably the most essential thing in a shooting. Before you start taking the photo, you should first switch on all the light sources. They will not provide you with the full lighting, but this will create the warm and pleasant atmosphere in the room. While shooting your kitchen, remember about oven light as well.
Many cameras have the function of Live View. It means that you have the opportunity to see the photo first, and then decide whether you're taking it or not.
A wide shot can reflect your room from the best angle possible, but in such cases, it is very important not to overdo. Focus on the 16-24mm range on full frame, and you’ll get excellent interior shots. It’s also unnecessary to shoot every element of your room, while, for example, half of a table will look quite appropriate, and our brain and eyes will ensure that we see the other half.
Be very careful with the angles. If you don’t want to spend your time fixing this, it would be better to take the interior shots at the height of about 5 feet. Remember also to hold the camera straight, and not to move it. Make sure that all verticals are perfect. Remember, that you should show the room in a favorable way, and not to show a completely different place.
Real estate photography is a real art that has become very popular now. Improve your skills to stay on top of the wave and use these tips to create your masterpiece.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.