Photographing Small Rooms

Photographing Small Rooms As a general rule, the smaller the area, the wider field of view for your lens. I like to shoot small spaces with my 10mm lens which takes in practically the complete room if I set up to shoot in a doorway or corner. This lens has the ability to open up a confined room or even make a closet appear spacious, It'll turn a regular mattress into a king-sized one, or turn the living room (pictured below) palatial. Remember to keep the film plane strictly vertical to prevent the warping of straight lines. This lens does create some distortion (corners objects can become expanded), use the 0-20mm zoom lens or a 18-20mm for bigger rooms.

Living Room with 18mm Lens with on-camera flash 18mm Lens with on-camera flash
Living Room with 10mm Lens with Bounce Flash and Photoshop 10mm Lens with Bounce Flash and Photoshop
When you shoot with "cropping" digital camera you are most likely to discover that small rooms are a tough contest on anything longer than 12mm. There are pitfalls of employing a wide angle lens for all your shots. By doing so you could overlook interesting features: there is unique character to be found in some interiors, particularly in smaller objects or areas, even close-ups. Also looking at a collection with all wide angle shots and no other variety can become somewhat tiresome.

Use Photoshop as your friend to decrease shadows, adjust distortion, or to add more light. Also there is less window burnout using bounce flash which also makes more light available. (Click the thumbnail photos for a larger views).

Rearrange the Furniture

Have no fear about rearranging furniture to showcase a room for the best effect... Time willing and little help. Many times small rooms open up and appear bigger when some of the furniture is removed. Furniture can also be moved to emphasize positive room features, hide defects, cover up utilities, or to make a place to set up your camera in a preeminent vantage position.

Use More Light

Take a look at the two shots above see the difference in lighting. Also see The Room Looks Dark for solutions. Most often plenty of light transforms a small room into a larger one, whereas poor lighting can reduce the size of a room. updated article Jan15, 2011

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