Indoor Photography: Lessons in Shooting Without The Help of the Sun

indoor photography, shooting in low light situations, shooting through glass walls and windows

Shooting indoor photography presents its own set of challenges! K’lee L.

I don’t typically do a lot of interior or indoor photography. There’s no particular reason, especially in the warmer months as being outside is almost always more appealing. A few friends and some of you here on the WP have got me thinking about changing my ways!

I also don’t shoot lots of 35 mm lens photography. Again, there’s not a massive reason behind this, I just tend to use other lenses (I don’t have many!) more often.

I took the above photo on a recent rainy day with a few hours to spare inside of the Westfield Mall in downtown San Francisco. Why? Well, I not only had my main camera on me, but I had my little used 35 mm lens too. I did mostly architectural shots because if you’ve never been inside this structure- it’s kind of amazing.

mannequin headsOnce done with the cool lines and curves of the building’s interior, I thought it only made sense to shoot a few spotlighted mannequins to see if the 35 mm lens could not only handle it, but what it would contribute to the lighting and feel of the space.

mannequin torsos in a fashion displayAs is usually the case, I do post-processing on my shots. With this one it was all about saturating the colors and adding a bit of contrast to bring down the glare of the glass windows the mannequins are positioned behind. This trick doesn’t always work with ‘glass shots’, but here it worked out.


Manniquin Style_profiledI don’t shoot enough 35 mm shots! I like the quickness and sharpness of the lens. I also like not having to worry much about focusing, as a ‘prime’ or single point lens doesn’t need to be adjusted like you would with a zoom lens. The low and often tricky lighting was also not much of a problem as this lens has a f 1.8 aperture. All that number means for those not use to working with its meaning is it’s going to rise to the challenge of low light in many situations as well as help with making your photos pin sharp. This makes the 35 mm lens perfect for street photography, architectural shots (especially when indoors!) and any situation where zooming in isn’t necessary.

I’ll save the architectural shots for another post. I’m pleased enough with them to do so. If you’re working with different lenses for your camera (I’m a Nikon guy) and, like me, don’t do lots of 35 mm stuff- consider it, especially if the above conditions are things you find interesting or challenging in your photography.Besides, the lens I talk about here, a Nikon 35 mm f 1.8, can be had for the impressive price of less than two hundred bucks (here in the States!).

K’lee L. © 2016

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