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Thread: Interior Photography

  1. #1
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    Default Interior Photography

    I am keen on interior design photography and would welcome any advise, recommendations from you, starting with equipment needed, lenses, tripods, lightings etc. Any tips would also be most welcome.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Interior Photography

    Tilt-shift lenses... Or better yet, large-format cameras...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Interior Photography

    Do you have access to good technical books in Shenzhen?

    Interior and Architectural photography is a very specific technical discipline. Look for good books covering the subject. Equipment at this point is the least of your worries, but will be a topic that would require careful thought later on.

    Or you could do what some geniuses here advocate and read less, understand even lesser, shoot blindly and delete like crazy. When in doubt, just keep on buying newer and better 'Magic Bullet' equipment.
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 4th June 2009 at 10:25 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Leong23's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interior Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    Do you have access to good technical books in Shenzhen?

    Interior and Architectural photography is a very specific technical discipline. Look for good books covering the subject. Equipment at this point is the least of your worries, but will be a topic that would require careful thought later on.

    Or you could do what some geniuses here advocate and read less, understand even lesser, shoot blindly and delete like crazy. When in doubt, just keep on buying newer and better 'Magic Bullet' equipment.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Interior Photography

    Donch lauff Leong!

    It ees master advise hor!
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 5th June 2009 at 01:57 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Interior Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by chris0804 View Post
    I am keen on interior design photography and would welcome any advise, recommendations from you, starting with equipment needed, lenses, tripods, lightings etc. Any tips would also be most welcome.
    depends how big the room/property is. Most apartments the PnS cameras are okay but for the larger executive apartments and so on, may find yourself needing a dslr with wide angle lens and around 2 flashes plus some skill in touching up photos.
    You wont see me much less remember me but i am the guy who makes you look good.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Interior Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by chris0804 View Post
    I am keen on interior design photography and would welcome any advise, recommendations from you, starting with equipment needed, lenses, tripods, lightings etc. Any tips would also be most welcome.

    You can use either a pns with wide angle attachment or a DSLR with a
    super wide angle lens.

    A tall tripod is essential, one that can go up to at least 12 feet high.
    As for lighting I prefer continuous tungsten lighting so that I can
    control reflection better. The 800 Watt Red Head will be useful.
    Depending on the interior you are photographing, two to six units
    of the red head is essential.

    Acessories wise, be ready to get a few meter of black cloth or velvet
    and a 5 foot tall ladder.


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    Default Re: Interior Photography

    Gentlemen, I really appreciate all your advise and recommendation. I manages serviced apartments for a Singapore based company. We have hired professionals to photograph the interior and exterior of our properties for advertisement and brochures and I find it very interesting. Being only a hobbyist I thought that it will be a nice speciality to go into. Currently, I own a 50D and will be buying a 5D2 next week. I have the 24-70 f2.8L and the 70-200 f2.8L IS. I know that the larger zoom is useless in such situation. I started photography a long time ago and even had a dark room, lost interest, and found the interest again only going digital. So far, I have been doing what Dream Merchant has recommended. Getting good books on interior photography is not a problem as Hong Kong is only 40 minutes away. Regrettably there are lots of good books on photography here but I cannot speak, read or write Chinese. Again, many thanks and do keep your advise flowing.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Interior Photography

    Chris, do a search on the net. There's a lot of information if you know where to look.

    Will send you a PM.

    Generally, a TSE lens is 'staple' for this kind of work. Other wide angle primes or ultra-wide high-performance zooms like the Tokina 11-16 might get you by most of the time for casual work, but once you've done a bit of reserch and try shooting a bit, you'll know why many turn to the TSE lenses, or preferably, view cameras.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Interior Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Reportage View Post
    depends how big the room/property is. Most apartments the PnS cameras are okay but for the larger executive apartments and so on, may find yourself needing a dslr with wide angle lens and around 2 flashes plus some skill in touching up photos.
    I'd think that your suggestion would be adequate for casual work, because the distortion may be difficult to correct, and perspective is of utmost importance for interior photography.

    Tilt-shift lenses are certainly not cheap, and even then, the inability to adjust the "film plane" will also limit the possibilities.

    I initiately had the impression that TS wanted to do this at a professional level. In any case, as TS mentioned that he is a hobbyist, I would think that his setup, with his migration to full-frame, will be adequate, for now.

    Oh, a tripod will be good too, along with a wireless remote trigger.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Interior Photography

    Thanks for your comments and advise. Yes, I do have a big sturdy Velbon tripod. I am doing this purely as a hobbyist and if I still find the subject interesting, who knows. Mainly, I just would like to take interiors hopefully the pictures can be used for brochures. I believe that a good main and a slave flash would also come in very handy in difficult lightings. Cheers.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interior Photography

    Contrary to other recommendations, I find that I seldom reach out to my TS-E lenses for interior work, especially so for single volume spaces. If I do use the TS-E lenses, its usually without any movement involved.

    I would go for wide angle zooms like the 16-35 or 14-24 and most recently, the TS-E 17. Until this lens came about, I just find that the TS-E lenses are actually not wide enough for a lot of interior applications.

    I'm also not too concerned about setting up artificial lightings for the shoot since my preference is usually to photograph the evnironment with the available lighting. Sometimes, a little shadowed or highlight areas can add depth to the image.

    A nice sturdy tripod is a must have accessory, together with a tripod head that allows more precise adjustments. I'm using an Arca Swiss C1 cube gearhead. Cheaper but bulkier alternatives are the Manfrotto 410 or 405 gearheads. Gearheads allow you to make precise adjustments in all 3 axis which is extremely useful for lining up your horizons and vertical lines. If you don't like eyeballing the VF checking for your alignments, a hotshoe mounted bubble leveller is useful.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Interior Photography

    Hi Kit, many thanks for the info. I have recently bought the 5D2 and it gave me a new perspective of my 24-70 f2.8 lens, never seeing it so wide when I am using the 50D. I will try working with this for the time being. You got a very good point in mentioning that some pictures are best in it's natural light because interior can look very 'artificial and make over' with lightings. Cheers

  14. #14

    Default Re: Interior Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Kit View Post
    Contrary to other recommendations, I find that I seldom reach out to my TS-E lenses for interior work, especially so for single volume spaces. If I do use the TS-E lenses, its usually without any movement involved.

    I would go for wide angle zooms like the 16-35 or 14-24 and most recently, the TS-E 17. Until this lens came about, I just find that the TS-E lenses are actually not wide enough for a lot of interior applications.
    Hi Kit

    This is insightful. You mentioned you rarely utilized your Canon TS-E lenses. Is it primarily because you find them insufficient? If so, then may I know how you overcome distortion and other perspective issues with wide angles lenses then? If I am not mistaken, you would be forced to shoot perpendicular to the ground, thereby limiting your possibilities, right?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Interior Photography

    compare your work with come experts and then see how you would gane.
    brochures printing
    http://www.printingblue.co.uk/brochures-printing.asp

  16. #16

    Default Re: Interior Photography

    Most of the residential interiors here are low-ceiling and really TS-E is not exactly necessary. Out of 10 residential interior jobs, I think only 1 would require TS-E.... and how often does one get the chance to shoot high ceiling interiors = rich man house... lol. At least not for me. Oh, of course different if you're shooting places like malls, hall etc. Exterior architecture shots too would require TS-E more often than interior.

    compare your work with come experts and then see how you would gane.
    I work with commercial photographers on a very frequent basis for our projects, none of them own TS-E... only one who only shoots a lot of product shots and that is not even 17/24mm but 90mm. All of them gets the job done. TS-E is a specialized lens, if you don't maximize its usage or don't see yourself using it very often, you'll end up wandering around looking for things can you can use your TS-E to shoot with. Generally, a wide angle lens should suffice even if you encounter a high ceilings, of course TS-E is a better option, but achievable with your UWA anyways... I believe one should make use of whatever he/she has, from there you'll gain better understanding in knowing what exactly your current lenses can/cannot do. Lust for better equipment is always there.

    And something everyone seems to have put aside, composition, composition, composition. Beats to having TS-E... and lighting would be second priority for me.

    I am keen on interior design photography and would welcome any advise, recommendations from you, starting with equipment needed, lenses, tripods, lightings etc. Any tips would also be most welcome.
    Am not sure how exposed you are to photography but try and shoot round your house, void deck or something and see if you find your equipment lacking in anything. Or whether it's limiting you from doing certain things. Cuz technically, interior isn't exactly the hardest genre for photography if shooting with available lights and if you're been shooting (not just interiors) you'd prolly have known what you find lacking.

    Have fun.
    Last edited by rendition; 22nd July 2009 at 10:00 AM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interior Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Blur Shadow View Post
    Hi Kit

    This is insightful. You mentioned you rarely utilized your Canon TS-E lenses. Is it primarily because you find them insufficient? If so, then may I know how you overcome distortion and other perspective issues with wide angles lenses then? If I am not mistaken, you would be forced to shoot perpendicular to the ground, thereby limiting your possibilities, right?
    Sorry, just saw this today.

    Like I mentioned before, TS-E lenses were not really wide enough for interior applications until the 17mm f/4 came about(at a price too). So I usually use UWAs for general/documentary interior photography.

    Few instances where TS-E lenses are useful for interiors.....

    1) Where you have a lot of foreground which you can do without or vice versa, where you need to show more of the ceiling.

    2) Multiple volume spaces.

    3) When you need to do stitching to capture the entire interior space.

    Perspective distortion will always be present in wide angles Its inherent in the design and I don't worry about it in most instances. In cases where these distortions had to be minimised/controlled (usually client's requirement), there are ways to overcome it.

    Not placing large objects nearer to the camera, especially around areas nearer to the frame. Perspective distortions can be minimised visually.

    Taken with 20mm lens on 135mm film (ages ago)


    But when you let perspective distortion work for you, it can add interest to an otherwise rather featureless space like this.

    Taken with 16-35mm lens on FF digital body


    So it really depends on what you want to achieve.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Interior Photography

    Hi Kit

    No problem at all. Thanks for the insights! Appreciate it!

  19. #19

    Default Re: Interior Photography

    I hope the original author doesn't mind me asking this newbie question here - I read that some members are suggesting tilt-shift lens. Can I ask if there is a difference in the picture taken by the tilt-shift lens compared to another one using normal lens kept leveled with spirit level on the cam and tripod, and doing stitching on the computer? Not in terms of the angle of view, but in terms of the lens distortion (trapezoid effect) on a lens without shift capability but is leveled. thank you.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Interior Photography

    It's good for the interior photog to go look at architect/interior designer's perspectives and see how this can be translated into print.

    I see a lot of interior photogs fail because they did not do justice to the architect/interior design's creations eg did not capture artificial ambient light, blown lighting, ackward perspectives/angles, no understanding of eye-level perspectives, inappropriate choice of lens, do not know how to complement existing lighting etc.

    My 2 cts.

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