I’ve recently had a lot of people ask me about how to use their digital cameras and how to take better pictures. So I decied to put it all together in a nice little package in the form of an eBook called “How to Shoot your Family & Friends and Get Away With It”. Then I decided to give you a teeny tiny little taste of what you can learn from my eBook. Here’s how to make your indoor photography go from drab to fab in just 5 easy steps!
1. Turn off your Flash
Yes, that’s right, I am telling you to turn off your flash indoors. Flash is evil…I mean, it even gives you red eyes and dark scary shaddows. Your subject will be so much more flattering if you just turn off your flash and place your subject next to a window. You be the judge, which photograph do you like better?
2. Find the Light
Now that you’ve turned off your flash you need to find some light. Look around and see what rooms have the best light. Or even where the “pretty light” is in each room. Stay away from harsh afternoon light. Try to find soft diffused light next to a window. You might even be surpised where you find the best light.
3. White Balance
Are you tired the of orange and blue images you get when photographing indoors? Setting your white balance could possibly be the most important step when shooting indoors. This might just change your life. When you set the white balance on your camera, you are simply telling it what color the light is that you are shooting in. Different light sources give off different hues or temperatures. For instance, tungsten light (or regular lightbulbs) give off an orange color. Our eyes can adjust to this and we don’t even notice, but your camera is very sensitive to this. This simple remedy is to simply set your white balance.
Almost every DSLR has white balance presets you can set. They are displayed as icons you can choose from to match your lighting:
4. Use the Biggest Aperture
I have a confession, I love big apertures. Huge, wide open, let – in – a- bunch- of- light apertures. This makes a depth of field to die for. I really need a whole other post to really get into apertures and depth of field. But, basically, the aperture is the size of the opening of the lens. Having a big aperture will let in a lot of light and make the background blurry. Both of these things are perfect for indoor shots. Try setting your camera to the aperture priority setting. On a nikon it’s A and on a Canon it’s AV. Get your aperture to the smallest number possible (they’re fractions, the smaller the number, the larger the opening) I think I will definitely have to do another blog post on this later.
5. Use A Higher ISO
Use at least 400 but go higher if you’ve got it, 800, 1600, or even 3200! Yes, it’s true that higher the ISO the more noise, or grainer the image is. The newer cameras don’t have as much problem with this now. Just play around with the ISO and see how it can make your images lighter.
To sum it all up, try this when shooting indoors:
- Aperture Mode (A or AV)
- f stop 2.8
- ISO 400 or higher
- next to window light
- and set your white balance