Question 1. What kind of difficulties does the photographer solve while working with the interior?
Answer. When photographing an interior, a professional solves three types of difficulties: aesthetic, semantic and technical.
Question 2. What do you mean by semantic complexities?
Answer. Analyzing a specific interior, the photographer is obliged to think about the tasks that the customer pursues.
Question 3. What tasks can a customer of interior photography have?
Answer. The tasks depend on his activities. I will list the main possible positions.
A) If the customer of the survey is an architect or designer, then the particular features of this project should be reflected. These features include both architectural factors and the quality of their implementation.
B) If a decorator acts as the Customer, then separate zones and compositions of furniture and household items within these zones can take a significant place in the shooting. The details are important to the decorator.
C) If photography is ordered by a hotel, realtor or private person for the presentation of real estate for sale or for rent, then the photographer must display each room as fully as possible. Windows, doors, different zones and their composition should be visible. Every functional item is important for the customer: TV, fireplace, refrigerator, pool, etc.
D) When ordering interior photography of an object from construction firms, the photographer should be especially careful because photography should tell about the quality of the work performed.
Question 4. What unites all Customers of interior photography?
Answer. Whatever the specificity of the Client, he wants to see as a result harmonious compositions that look natural.
Question 5. What is reasonable to consider natural in interior photography?
Answer. Interior photography achieves naturalness if the final photograph shows the interior as a person sees it, as a person who is present in this real interior sees it.
Question 6. What methods can a photographer use to maintain naturalness in interior photographs?
Answer. There are only two methods, and they are often used together. The first method in interior photography is taking shots with different exposures and manually stitching these shots into a natural image. The second method in professional photography with supplemental lighting.
Question 7. What are the problems of working with photography with different exposures and manual gluing?
Answer. There are two problems. The first is that it is easy to “lose” the natural spread of light in the interior. In this case, you can get a room that looks like a bad 3D. In such a picture, the light comes from “nowhere.” The second problem is that when shooting against a light source such as a window, the image quality in the area of the transition edges between the light source (eg the window facing the camera) and dark objects (eg the curtain edge) will deteriorate.
Question 8. How can an interior photographer solve these problems?
Answer. First of all, the photographer may try to block light sources (lamps, windows, etc.) in the frame. This can be done with any simple object. This object can be one of the photographer’s fingers, or another part of the body. In addition, the photographer can use the second method of work, and highlight those problem areas, which are mentioned above, with additional light. This light can be flashes or electric lamps. The photographer can use colored flash attachments to balance the colors.
Question 9. Can a photographer illuminate the entire interior with additional lighting?
Answer. A photographer can do anything, maybe that. But in this case, he will make an image completely different from what a person who gets into this interior will see. The light in it will spread differently than in reality. Such a decision will violate the principle of naturalness of the image.
Question 10. Are there any cases when the violation of natural lighting in the process of photography will be a professional and high-quality solution?
Answer. Yes, if the Customer has applied for photography of furniture or some part of the room (windows, for example), then he is interested not in “natural lighting”, but in the natural appearance of his items of order. In this case, the photographer can safely work with any sources of additional lighting, he can modulate everything that will be aesthetically pleasing and meet the objectives.
Question 11. What problems does a photographer have when working with additional light sources?
Answer. The main problems with light are physics problems. The light intensity falls as the square of the distance from the light source. This will be the problem for anyone trying to illuminate a deep interior with a source from behind a camera.
Question 12. Explain the work of the photographer with the additional lighting fixture “from behind the camera”.
Answer. If the device (s) are in line with the camera, then the illumination in front of the camera at a distance of 1 meter will be significantly higher than the illumination in front of the camera at a distance of 3 meters.
This problem will be less, the further from the fixture (behind) the lighting fixtures are. Of course, this is rarely possible. most of the areas photographed are not palaces.
Another part of the difficulty of doing professional photography is that the larger the angle between the light flux from the fixture and the lens axis, the more shadows are formed that were not there. The smaller the lighting fixture, the sharper the edges of these shadows.
It follows from this that it would be convenient to use a large soft-box (or even a light wall) with focusing attachments of the “strip” type. But from practical value such reasoning does not have since rooms with dimensions that allow you to operate a light wall are very rare, and when they do happen, more convenient solutions to a specific problem are found.
Question 13. What optics (lenses) are really required for interior photography?
Answer. Small spaces require wide-angle lenses with viewing angles of 95 ° to 120 °, which roughly corresponds to focal lengths of 14 mm to 20 mm for FF cameras. The larger the room, the more zones it is formed from, the more “narrow” lenses the photographer can operate with.
Question 14. What does a professional photographer need besides optics for most of the interior work?
Answer. I will list in descending order of need. For interior photography 100% you need a camera, a set of optics from 14 to 70 mm and a tripod. Then, the photographer will need a remote shutter release to keep the camera still. the photographer will not press the shutter button. This is the main thing.
Further, an on-camera flash may come in handy. It is advisable to take several attachments to it: an annular, a ball, a color-correcting plate. The likelihood of their need is not great. It is possible to bring 2-3 lighting devices to the shooting, take soft boxes, strips and a couple of assistants for collecting and disassembling these sets and pulling electrical cords to them. If the Customer wishes to have a beam of bright sunlight from the window in cloudy weather, then it is possible to rent a cinema light and a team of technicians who will mount ramps and so on. We can handle any budget, just tell me.
Last question. Tell us about the aesthetic challenges you mentioned at the very beginning.
Working with aesthetics is something that the photographer gradually forms. Watching other people’s work, facing different options for premises, the photographer also masters other people’s techniques, and alters them. Obviously, after 10 years of work, you take pictures differently from the beginning. This is the formation of professionalism.
Afterword. Different customer needs dictate appropriate solutions for the photographer.
For example, I will give close, but different in implementation, options for tasks:
The interior of a premium hotel should literally enchant you with hospitality.
The interior of the hostel presents its level of convenience and comfort.
The interior of a house or apartment for rent should show both the actual state of the premises and its pleasantness in the details of moderate decoration.
And most of the creative work will take place in the interior photographed for the portfolio of an architect or designer.
They say that “photography, like art and business, is dying.” But as long as there are interior designers and architects, we photographers will live. The reason is that the interior photography clearly states that the project has taken place, while the 3D visualization only speaks of ideas.
Interior photography for designers and magazines is a very peculiar genre of photography. First of all, the photographer must understand the ideas inherent in the room, be able to identify them through angles, lighting, post-production.
It turns out that the tasks that the interior photographer saw determine the result of the shooting.
For example, it can be an artistic set of details (subtleties) or photography aimed at the functional characteristics of the interior, or segments (separate zones) of individual decorative elements or a portrait in the interior.