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How to take better pictures in your home (no flash needed)



  Several indoor portraits of a woman.
Harry Guinness

Photography is often seen as an outdoor hobby. Think of landscape photographers walking through mountains and forest for a sunrise. But really, photography can be done anywhere. And indoors is one of the best places at home. Here's how to get started.

Understanding the Light

Photography is about working with light. The better the light, the easier it is to take amazing photos. There is no such thing as "bad" light, but some types are definitely easier to push in than others.

For example, take artificial air lighting indoors (like your kitchen light). It is really difficult to take a flattering portrait when the main light source hangs directly above the subject's head. His nose, eyebrows and lips will all cast deep shadows over his face. Try yourself with a selfie.

This type of light is equally flattering for other types of photos. Food shots look strangely dramatic and contrasting. It is also too dark for good close-ups. This does not mean that you can never take good photos in direct light, you really need to work for them. You also need to know exactly what you want. Dealing with the harsh shadows is challenging.

If you think indoor photography is about using this type of light, you would be wrong. There is a better, simpler light source easily accessible in almost every home: natural window light.

  Two portraits of the author: a shot in natural light from a window, and another shot in headlight.
These were taken in the same room, just seconds apart. Notice how the picture with the light from the window (left) is much flatter. Harry Guinness

Natural window light is, hands down, one of the simplest, most eye-catching candles to work with. I would much rather work with it than direct sunlight outdoors.

Windows is great because it is a large, indirect light source that is roughly in line with your subjects. Any diffuse shadows are thrown behind the subject, making it look three-dimensional. The whole thing is very gentle and easy to work with.

So what is the perfect window for home photography? Try to find one in your home with all of the following features:

  • Large: The bigger, the better. A larger window lets in more light for you to work with.
  • Not in direct sunlight: Select a window away from direct sunlight. You want diffused, reflected light.
  • Enough space for you to work: There is no point in having a large light source if you can't get past it. Look for a window that has enough space around it.

Take Great Portraits and Selfies

  A portrait photo of a woman sitting on a sofa.
Harry Guinness

The large indoors is one of the best places to take a portrait because natural window light is perfect for them. It really bothers people.

All common portraiture tips apply, including the following:

  • If you have a portrait lens, use it: Even if any lens or camera works.
  • Use Aperture Priority Mode and set the aperture as wide as it can go: Somewhere around f / 1.8 to f / 2.8 is best. However, if your lens only goes to f / 5.6, it is also good. Set the camera's ISO to Auto and you're ready to take pictures. (If you are using a smartphone, ignore this step).
  • Use a self-portrait stand: This allows you to use a remote control or shutter speed.

That's it! Move around and see how the different angles affect your images. Leave your subject closer to the window and then try further away. Use your total control of the space and have fun.

Best of all, don't forget to play dress up! The woman in the picture above is a friend of mine who wears my Tippoldemor's dress.

Zoom in everyday life

<img class = "wp-image-672174 size-full" data-pagespeed-lazy-src = "https://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2020 /05/xtip-of-a-ballpoint-pen.jpg.pagespeed.gp+jp+jw+pj+ws+js+rj+rp+rw+ri+cp+md.ic.YnnIA7e2WV.jpg "alt =" A macro photo of the tip of a ballpoint pen writing on a piece of paper. [19659029] Jason Dudley / Shutterstock

Macro photography is about seeing small things up close, and it's really easy to do at home. has thousands of dollars of equipment, your home is by far the best place to do it.

To get started, you need a cheap set of extension tubes so you can turn your regular lens into a macro lens. They cost about $ 10 and you can get those for Canon and Nikon cameras.

The best thing about macro photography is that you can see everyday things from a whole new perspective: salt crystals, the thread pattern in your canvas, or even o ch with the crust of some freshly baked bread, everyone looks completely different when enlarged a few dozen times.

Set up a table in front of your photo window. Having a tripod makes it a lot easier, but you can still try some macro photography without one.

Take some different items from your entire home and get photography! For best results, look for things with interesting structures. In our more detailed macro photography guide, Jason got some really interesting close-ups of a $ 5 bill.

Even if you don't have the equipment to take macro photos, you can still play with the same ideas. Try still life or abstract photography. Some structures look fantastic at any magnification.

RELATED: How to enjoy macro photography on cheap

Use your control to take large composites

  A composite photo of the author holding a lamp [19659010] With a little time, you can make amazing composite images. <span class= Harry Guinness

If you are not a professional photographer, most of the time you shoot, you do not have much control over the space in which you work. However, you do when you are at home – and you can get a lot of use out of it.

Composite images are multiple photos and digital processing techniques used to create a single image. Almost all advertising photos are composite images, for which the subject, background and product are photographed separately and then later combined in Photoshop.

A good example is to add an arc to any image. This rather simple composite requires only a little time in Photoshop. But you can use the same tools and techniques because it seems like you are levitating, fighting a bear or your child is in a dangerous situation.

Making a good composite image requires a little work and space, which is why these are perfect to do at home. Just set aside one day and stand above all your favorite photo window.

  An outdoor photo of a woman who seems to levitate on her back.
I took this outdoors, but you could do the same inside. Harry Guinness

In addition to your photography skills, you also need a decent understanding of some Photoshop features to create a good composite image. Some of the most important features are how to use layers and masks as well as removing people and objects.

If you're not quite busy yet, check out our Photoshop guide. For more composite specific advice we recommend Phlearn.

RELATED: How to Create a Lightsaber in Photoshop

Other Ideas

Portraits, macro photography and composites are just a fraction of what you can have fun with shoot at home. For example, you can go all-in on food photography, turn your pets into Instagram stars, or play with dyes and water. It is up to you!

Just remember that photography doesn't have to happen outdoors. There are always good light sources you can work with – even at home.


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