This is my third post on the subject of photographing interiors, all written with the aim of improving my own photos.
Lately, I've noticed that I am particularly attracted to photos of rooms where the details, vignettes, or one wall of the room is photographed like the pictures I am about to show you.
Let's look at these photos. Where is the photographer in each shot?
Now that you've had a chance to look at a few, what do you notice?
I see that the photographer is at a 90 degree angle to the subject being photographed.
This is not a sideways glance. It's like someone looking you straight in the eye.
It is straightforward and studied look which gives the feeling of honesty.
The photographer holds the camera lower than eye level as evidenced by the amount of table or other surface one can see in the photograph.
And for me at least, the fact that the picture is taken low to the floor gives an impression of intimacy, as if I am the one standing in the room viewing the scene.
These shots are taken further away, but they still achieve the same effect for me.
Some are symmetrical.
Others are not.
But they are all, in my opinion at least, beautifully composed.
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And just to make a point, let me point out a few pictures, ones that I love, which I feel could have been more successful if taken with the above ideas in mind.
I love pretty much anything by designer David Jimenez, and as much as I really like this vignette, I do wish the photo was taken head-on. While sometimes it is nice to get part of a piece of furniture in the corner of the picture, the amount of the pillows, couch, and vase we see is not enough to let us get a feel for the room. Also, the light is on. Natural light and no flash seems to work better in photos.
Here's another I really like, and while I realize it's hard to take a photo of a mirror without taking a picture of yourself, I think this would have also been better composed with a straight-forward approach.
If I could have this entire vignette somewhere in my house, I'd take it in a second.
I just don't think the photograph does it justice. Too high, too much of an angle maybe?
While sometimes it would be preferable to take the picture head-on, you need to show a detail that cannot be captured that way. Like the antique mirror disguising this medicine cabinet.
Just so you don't think I'm being a huge photo snob,
Long-winded enough for you? Are you asleep?
If not, here are some more posts on photographing interiors, should you want to read them.