HOT SHOT #1

NPhoto - - Over To You -

In­tro­duc­tion

Pete and Tony met up at a house slap-bang in the mid­dle of the UNESCO World Her­itage city of Bath, and the ar­chi­tec­ture did not dis­ap­point. Bath is known for its bright and airy Ge­or­gian town houses, and this three-storey prop­erty of­fered plenty of scope for hon­ing Tony’s pho­to­graphic skills. But be­fore they got started, Pete took a look at Tony’s typ­i­cal in­te­rior set­tings...

Tech­nique as­sess­ment

Man­ual Mode Pete says… Tony usu­ally shoots in aper­ture pri­or­ity, but with in­te­ri­ors this can re­sult in un­der­ex­po­sure, es­pe­cially if you’re shoot­ing to­wards a win­dow. The bright light will fool your cam­era’s me­ter­ing sys­tem into stop­ping down to com­pen­sate, with the re­sult that the in­te­rior will be too dark. I asked Tony to switch to man­ual so we could have full con­trol. tight fram­ing Pete says… When shoot­ing in­te­ri­ors, Tony only ever uses his ul­tra widean­gle lens. Ul­tra-wides are great in a small room or in sit­u­a­tions where you need to doc­u­ment ev­ery­thing, but with some shots here we could af­ford to be more cre­ative. When you want to crop in tighter and be a lit­tle more se­lec­tive with your com­po­si­tion, some­thing closer to 50mm is ideal. Live view Pete says… Look­ing through the viewfinder is fine, and it’s how many pho­tog­ra­phers com­pose their im­ages, but most Nikon D-SLRs fea­ture Live View, which en­ables you to pre­view your im­age, and fine-tune your com­po­si­tion, with­out hav­ing to peer through the viewfinder. Live View is es­pe­cially use­ful when you need to po­si­tion your cam­era right in the corner of a room, and there isn’t enough space to look through the viewfinder.

Our Ap­pren­tice says… We walked around the house first to see where the light was bright­est. It was too harsh in the kitchen and liv­ing room, so we started in the bath­room where it wasn’t as glar­ing. The fix­tures and fit­tings looked in­cred­i­ble, and the tiling brought the whole scene to­gether, and drew the eye in and across the bath, show­ers and sinks. There were so many ways to shoot this bath­room, but I set­tled on a wide corner shot to show off the size of the space, and used man­ual mode to ex­pose for the in­te­rior rather than the brighter win­dow.

Stay sharp

When shoot­ing with am­bi­ent light in­doors, you’re at the mercy of the amount of light that’s com­ing through any win­dows. As such, a slow shut­ter speed is of­ten needed, so a tri­pod is es­sen­tial to en­sure your shots are pin-sharp. Even when us­ing flash (see page 54) you’ll need a tri­pod, be­cause you’ll still want to set the ex­po­sure for the am­bi­ent light – and that means your shut­ter speed will be slow.

Take it all in

As well as us­ing man­ual mode to set the ex­po­sure, us­ing ma­trix me­ter­ing, rather than spot or cen­tre-weighted, will give a more ac­cu­rate mea­sure­ment of the light across the whole scene. Ma­trix me­ter­ing takes an av­er­age read­ing of the high­lights, mid-tones and shad­ows. In man­ual mode, you can then ad­just the shut­ter speed to make the shot brighter or darker.

EX­PO­SURE 1/8 sec, f/7.1, ISO250 LENS Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6

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