Indoor photography lighting requirements
The required indoor photography lighting equipment to create a your ideal picture will depend on what you are shooting and what your photography style is. Below you will find some tips on how to create a balanced image for when you are shooting portraits, lifestyle and interiors.
Controlling your indoor photography lighting
Balancing lighting in interiors
When capturing interiors the multitude of textures from the walls, surfaces, soft furnishings are a lighting challenge as they will all absorb or reflect light in their individual way which can compromise the shot.
Firstly secure your camera on a tripod to level the angles of architecture and furniture and determine the composition.
The best way to achieve a balanced light in the foreground and background in the final image is by combining or layering 3 images together using Photoshop in post production.
- Capture the room with all the lights off, using only natural light to achieve a natural glow from the windows
- Switch on the interior lights to capture the natural luminance of the lighting design in the room
- Finally add indoor photography lighting equipment: use two off-frame flash lights on either side to instantly brighten the room, this will overexpose the foreground and brighten the background
Using a layering tool on the computer to combine all 3 images balances the light in the foreground and background while capturing the interior lighting design without compromising the natural glow from the window.
Equipment for portraiture
Often when shooting portraits there are up to 4 studio lights set up, this will depend on the desired ambience in the shot.
An essential indoor photography light is the softbox, indirectly lighting the subject in a soft and flattering way. Often this is placed on the left side of the person, producing shadows on the opposite side. For more even lighting, a second smaller softbox is placed on the right hand side, this is referred to as a fill light which literally fills the shadows in the face with light. The benefits of using professional indoor photography lighting equipment as opposed to the flash attached to the camera is that you have more control of the light and its angles.
Introducing a third and fourth light is dependent on the desire for definition on the hair or brightening the background. Using a wireless trigger allows you to synchronise the flash on all the light sources.
Lifestyle photography and how to light it.
Lifestyle photography is characterised by its spontaneity, capturing people in everyday situation telling a story of life. Essential equipment for this style is having a variety of lenses to hand catering to both wide angle and close proximity detailed shots. It is common to shoot during the brighter times of day as natural light would be its primary source for clean and neutral shots. Having interior lights on might create competing colour temperatures, instead use LED panels and a light reflector to fill in the shadows in the background.
During a lifestyle shoot, composition is frequently changed, therefore having small and light indoor photography lighting equipment is beneficial, especially for ambient settings. The Profoto A1 offers flexibility for shooting wide angle and detailed images with quick adjustments, providing beautiful natural light.