Call to all photographers!

Hey you, yes you! Are you a photograher? I’m looking for advice and wisdom for an upcoming series of shoots. A close loved one is an interior designer. She has challenged me to shoot several of her finished homes for her portfolio. I am growing rapidly in my photography skills, however, I have limited experience and knowledge for shooting architectural photography.

So, do you know how to shoot interior shots? Have you dont architectural shooting before? Well, let me know what you think. Here’s my equipment list:

  • Nikon D40
  • Nikkor 18-55mm (kit lense)
  • Nikkor 55-200mm (no, not the VR)
  • Sigma 30mm f1.4
  • only one, 2gig SDcard.
  • cheap-o aluminium tripod.
  • borrowing a 12-24mm wide angle

Now, I planning on getting a few things too:

  •  two more 2gig SDcards
  • wireless shutter release
  • a light kit from B & H, w/ 3 lights

My lighting plan consists of using the light kit to fill in for what the natural and existing lighting doesn’t supply. I figure that many of the existing light fixtures will over expose, so I plan to bring along a few of my own 20 or 40 watt bulbs, just in case.

I also know that shooting when the light is coming in, but not directly in, the windows will help me get good natural light.

What else? Please help? Comment away!

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Author: TREVOR

Leukemia survivor. Son of The Most High. Father. Man.

5 thoughts on “Call to all photographers!”

  1. Hey Trevor,

    I hope this is not too late for you… I happen to shoot many interiors for some of the top 5star hotels in my city, Chennai (formerly, Madras) in India.

    Raol had many valid points. Ambient daylight will be your biggest friend and foe… Choose the time of day with care if you are looking to capture the surroundings through the windows. If you’re using only the lights in the fixtures, you may want to supplement it with a couple of external flashes with tungsten balanced gels or just use 1000 watt hot halogen lamps (make sure they’re bounced off the ceiling or white paper). This will prevent the existing bulbs from flaring out.

    I prefer to shoot with blinds closed because that’s the kind of ambience that I require for my photographs (most 5star guests don’t really want to see sunny India in their shots but do want to see the plush interiors in all their splendour).

    About lenses, I’ve done a series on lenses for different applications on my blog, Photography Tip. You may want to read the post on lenses for architectural photography. Now, I’m not going to tell you about this tip outright, but you can get an idea by looking at this picture of mine… http://flickr.com/photos/susheel_c/92967407/

    or you can mail me if you want to know more details.

    I hope you have a great shoot.

    Cheers!

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  2. Raoul: Thanks. My D40 won’t accept a wired shutter release. My only option is the wireless. I’ve tried shooting with the timer and that just frustrates me. I also like the longer exposure idea. I read once that some interior design photographers like to shoot with the window treatments closed, and lit from outside. A little to Hollywood for me.

    Keith: I just may rent a lense or two. I’m going to do a test shoot at my parents’ house. We’ll see if my lenses and RandyMan’s loaned lense does the trick.

    Richard: I have heard of the Strobist. I love that blog! It was one of the first genuine photography blogs I started reading. Thanks for that reminder, though. I should go back and read some past articles.

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  3. Trevor,

    What Raoul said 🙂

    As far as a lens recommendation is concerned: I’ve found that my 28-135mm is actually great for all but the shallowest of rooms. It allows me to take a wider shot, then a couple of detail shots at varying focal lengths (without a lot of lens foolery). After we had our house painted, I used it to create some “portal” style shot sequences, to give the effect of walking through a floor.

    That said, my house isn’t the house you’re photographing. If I had to do it (which I probably wouldn’t at this point, due to my relative lack of experience!), I’m guessing that I’d be at Penn Camera renting at least a few lenses for an afternoon of experimentation.

    Best of luck on this project, and I’ll look forward to hearing how it turns out.

    Cheers,

    Keith

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  4. Hi Trevor. Sounds like you’re headed in the right direction. Wide lenses are needed for interior shots, but beware the lens distortion. If vertical likes get too curvy because of lens distortion, that’s not right. Sadly, ultra-wide lenses that do not distort (or distort very little) are few and far between, and they cost a pretty penny. Experiment with what you have, and see what sorts of results you can get.

    The wireless remote is good, but I like cable releases better, because you can stand behind the camera and know that when you press the button, the camera will take the photo. Wireless remotes are meant more for being used from the front of the camera.

    Light coming in through windows will be your biggest friend and foe, so you’ll need to find out how to use it to your advantage. Shooting into it will give you blown-out highlights, and shooting away from it will work great, although you’ll have to watch out for shadows (including yours).

    Don’t get stuck on wide lenses. Sometimes a lens in the range of 50 to 100 mm will be just what you need, because you’ll be able to focus in on particular details or spaces.

    Beware of glare from the lights (windows or light fixtures). Don’t be afraid of longer exposures that let you capture the detail from poorly lit or shadowy areas.

    Hope this helps.

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