This post is full of quick and simple indoor photography tips and tricks that will help you get awesome indoor shots. So if you want to improve your indoor photography shots, and are looking for some hints to do this please do feel free to check out the indoor photography tips below:-
1. Indoor photography tips - Use a wide lens
typically tight on space, although you may encounter situations where there is lots of space (such as an event hall, museum etc.), and with this in mind the first of my indoor photography tips is to use a wide angle lens.
Some people seem to be of the opinion “the wider the better” for indoor shots, but this is not always the case. For example, using a wide angle lens for portrait shoots is risky because shooting too wide distorts the face and features, and doesn’t make for a flattering photo – which is no good.
I use a wide lens for all my indoor photography and the precise lens I use depends on what I am photographing, i.e. the subject. If I am taking photos of indoor architecture and the like I will opt for an ultra-wide angle and being a Canon shooter my lens of choice for this type of photography is the Canon 16mm – 35mm f4L IS. The f2.8L version of this lens is considered Canon’s flagship lens in the range however, after a lot of research, reading and test shots, I chose the f4L IS version. The f4L IS version is smaller, lighter, better balanced on my Canon 6d, and has the better image quality. The f4L IS version also has 4 stop image stabilisation, which I have found to be very useful. The f4L IS model is also a lot cheaper, and gives the best value for money. The f4L IS version obviously isn’t as wide, but when shooting architecture I don’t need to go as wide as f2.8, so this is not a problem for me. If you want a super wide angle lens you won’t go far wrong with the Canon 16mm – 35mm f4L IS lens.
If I am taking indoor portraits I like to use a prime lens and my go to lens is the Canon 35mm f2 IS lens. The Canon 35mm f2 IS lens is a small and discreet lens that feels balanced on my Canon 6d and is “nice” to use. The build quality of this lens isn’t up to the same standard as the L series prime lenses, but given this lens is a fraction of the cost of an L series prime lens I can’t grumble at all. The image quality of this lens is simply superb and puts other lenses (and lenses costing several times more)
My two indoor lenses fo choice - The Canon 16mm - 35mm f4L IS and the Canon 35mm f2 IS
Buy the Canon 16-35 f4L IS from Amazon.com (US citizens) or buy from Amazon.co.uk (UK citizens)
Buy the Canon 35mm f2 IS from Amazon.com (US citizens) or buy from Amazon. co.uk (UK citizens)
2. Indoor photography tips - Use a fast lens
Next on the list of indoor photography tips is to use a fast lens, i.e. one with a wide maximum aperture. Light is an issue when taking indoor shots and you need a lens that will let in the most amount of light possible, i.e. one with a wide maximum aperture.
As you already know one of my favourite indoor photography lenses is the Canon 35mm f2 IS lens. There are times when I need a little extra reach and in these circumstances I reach for the Canon 50mm f1.8. Whilst the 50mm f1.8 isn’t as wide as the f1.4 it is a better buy. Used wide open the 50mm f1.4 is soft and to get an acceptable level of sharpness you need to stop it down, rendering the additional aperture pretty much useless. The 50mm f1.8 is acceptable sharp wide open, i.e. at f1.8 and captures acceptably sharp images at this setting. The 50mm f1.8 feels more like a toy than a serious lens, but don’t let this put you off. The 50mm f1.8 lens is small and light, the image quality is superb, the bokeh is smooth and creamy and it is also stupidly cheap. Compare this to the Canon 50mm f1.4 which is bigger and heavier, needs to be stopped down for sharp photos and costs several times more, and it is easy to see the Canon 50mm f1.8 lens is the better lens to buy.
If money were no object or I was full time professional photographer (and could justify the price tag) I would buy the Canon 50mm f1.2L lens. I have lusted after this lens for ever since I was fortunate to use one on a shoot, and whilst it does have its short comings (it is a big and heavy lens) the image quality is nothing less than stunning and the bokeh……… don’t get me started on that. The 50mm f1.2L is one awesome lens, although I don’t have pockets deep enough to buy one.
I use the cheap and cheerful Canon 50mm f1.8 when I need a little more reach. Don't bother with the f1.4 version
3. Indoor photography tips - Master the flash
Many photographers like to consider themselves “natural light” photographers and flatly refuse to use a strobe, speed light or any other type of flash. If the ambient light levels are sufficient not to use a flash then, by all means, use natural light. The problem is light levels are usually insufficient when indoors and a flash is essential to provide the amount of light you need. If you want to get the best indoor photos possible you not only need a flash, but also need to know how to use it properly to get the most out of it.
The flash I use for my indoor photography is the Godox Ving, and I won’t use anything else. There was a time when I used a Canon 600EX (until it broke) however since I discovered the Godox Ving this is has been my speed light of choice ever since. The Godox Ving may not be as well made as the 600EX, but it is still one tough cookie. The Ving is powerful, full of technology and features (it has ETTL and HSS modes as well as manual mode), intuitive and user friendly and is also super cheap. I was so impressed with my Godox Ving I ended up buying three more for a 3 ganged lighting set up. If you want a quality, easy to use and powerful speed light without having to take out a finance loan, the Godox Ving is just what you are looking for.
The Godox Ving is my flash of choice, and what a flash it is
4. Indoor photography tips – Set the white balance
When shooting indoors you need to be careful with the white balance and make sure this is set correctly, otherwise you are going to be plagued with some nasty color casts. Whilst it is possible to remove some colour casts using Photoshop Elements or some other photo editing software, there are times when no amount of editing software will remove the color cast.
When shooting indoors there may be tungsten lights or florescent lights, both of which have a different colour temperature, and both of which require a different white balance setting. There may also be times when there is a mixture of natural ambient light and artificial light – which you need to balance, which means you will have to set the white balance manually to avoid any unwanted colour cast.
If you want to capture the best indoor photos it is essential you learn how to set correct white balance on your camera.
5. Indoor photography tips – get a monopod
When shooting indoors it is necessary to deal with and compensate for the reduced light. If it is not possible to get the shutter speeds fast enough to take sharp handheld shots you have little choice but to use some kind of support. We have already established that being indoors can be a little tight on space, and in these circumstances a tripod isn’t practical. Fortunately, there is a better alternative……….. a monopod.
Indoor photography set ups are lightweight so there is no need to buy one of the strong and top-end sports photography monopods such as the Gitzo series. These are tough, durable and designed to withstand big and heavy zoom lenses, such as the Canon 100 – 400L IS lens, and there is no need to spend the extra on one of these super strong monopods. Fortunately, you only need a cheap and cheerful monopod to capture stunning indoor shots.
6. Indoor photography tips – Keep shooting
Many photographers don’t seem to appreciate just how challenging capturing decent indoor shots is and seem to think it requires little more than “pointing and shooting”. This isn’t true, and indoor photography can be pretty difficult. Trying to decide what will and what won’t work before you press the shutter button doesn’t come easy, and one of the best indoor photography tips I learned was to keep shooting. Digital photography is cheap and I would always suggest shooting to make sure you get the best shots possible, and bin the ones that don’t work. There is no shame in deleting photos – we all do it. Besides, on-one is going to know your hit rate are they?
The only problems with taking hundreds of images is that you are going to have to spend a lot of time in front of the computer sifting through to sort the wheat from the chaff and decide what photos are worth taking to the next stage of the editing process.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.