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5 tips for working with indoor lighting

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Tips from Digital Photographer, by Mark White
June 21, 2016

Take better shots indoors and under difficult light with this tutorial from Digital Photographer


Shooting indoors can be tricky due to a lack of light and odd colours appearing in your shots. Some light bulbs can wreak havoc on your images, and create orange or purple colour casts that are hard to remove in editing. There are, however, a few steps that you can take to improve them…

Open the aperture

Select Aperture Priority mode on your camera and set a wide aperture (small f-number). This will expand the opening inside the lens so that more light is let in, which is useful if it’s dark indoors.

Use window light

If you’re photographing indoors during the day, try to make as much use of natural light as possible. Position the subject next to a brightly lit window and use a reflector to bounce light into the shadow areas.

Increase the ISO

ISO determines how sensitive the camera’s sensor is to light. The higher the ISO value, the brighter your shots will appear. Select higher values if you’re struggling to get a good exposure.

Set white balance

Prevent colour casts by changing your camera’s white balance setting to suit the source of light. For warm incandescent light, select the light bulb icon in the white balance menu, which will cool down shots.

Work with flash

If there’s a lack of light indoors, use a flashgun to illuminate your subject. Always remember to adjust the flash head so that the flash light bounces off the wall or ceiling first, which will give a more flattering effect.