The Challenges for Shooting Interiors

If you’ve ever tried to shoot interior photographs, you’ve no doubt learned that it has some unique challenges. If you don’t keep the camera perfectly level, all of those nice vertical lines start to converge and the building looks as if its falling over. The spaces are tight, so you have to be creative with your composition, or you risk distorting the way the room looks and feels. The most difficult challenge in interior photography however is dynamic range. Your camera just doesn’t see light the same way as your eye. In a dimly lit room with a window, I can easily see detail in the room and outside at the same time. The camera can’t. It sees deep shadows inside and bright white outside. This calls for some creative problem solving. In this case, I used a mix of Hight Dynamic Range (HDR) photography and lighting from portable flashes. The HDR allows me to use multiple exposures to construct a photo with greater dynamic range, while the lights allow me to place accents on places where I’d like to draw your eye. Most importantly, the light allows me to keep the view from the large exterior window.

The Case For Hiring a Specialist

These challenges are unique to this type of photography. That’s why its important to hire an experienced property photographer for shooting exteriors. The technical challenges with interiors are different than they are for, say portraiture. I learned this first hand. Some years ago, I was hired to work in the marketing department for a hotel group. We didn’t have the budget to hire a photographer. But I had been trained as a photojournalist in college, so I figured I could take the photos. My first images were terrible. It took constant trial and error learning over several years before I was proud of the work that I was able to produce.

Take a look at the before and after comparison below to see just how much the dynamic range has to be reigned in for the final image.

Preserving the Window View on an Interior
before
after