Do you want to drastically improve your images with one simple tweak and without a fancy camera upgrade? Please believe me when I tell you, “It’s all about the light.” Simply turning your subject towards beautiful natural light will greatly improve your image. With these 5 foolproof tips you will know exactly how to find the perfect light and shoot beautiful pictures indoors.
1. Let ALL the Light In
First things first, let’s scope out a spot. Walk around your space and look for the largest windows or doors. Your best bet when shooting indoors is to open the blinds on a big window or open the doors to let all the natural light come streaming in. BUT, be careful. You are looking for a soft, diffused light, not bright light where the sun is streaming directly in.
2. Be All Natural
Turn off all overhead lighting and lamps so you are working with 100% natural lighting. Mixed lighting can cause weird shadows as well as color issues from the unflattering yellow color from ambient light sources.
3. Get Correct Color
Ever take a picture and everyone in it looks like an oompa loompa or maybe a smurf? This is because your white balance setting was not correct. Adjust your color settings by changing the white balance option on your camera. You can choose from several preset options (automatic, shade, bright sun, etc.) to match to your lighting conditions or use custom white balance.
Don’t forget, if you move to a different light source or your lighting changes (ie. sun goes behind clouds), you will need to change your white balance again.
Want a trick for knowing if your subject is in the best light? Look into your subject’s eyes and move them around until you see catchlights, the reflections of light in the eyes. Typically you want to see the catchlights at 10 or 2 for best lighting.
5. Open Wide
Indoor lighting is often dark and as you become more familiar with your camera and start shooting in manual mode, you will quickly realize you want a lens with a wider aperture (lower number) to let more light into your camera and as a bonus create more background blur. Most consumer level cameras are sold as a kit, which means that you get the camera body plus a lens. Typically this is a zoom lens with the widest aperture value of f/5.6 (translation: this lens won’t work well in low light situations). Learn what lens does work well in low light, and won’t break the bank.
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