Interested in learning how to take indoor pictures like a professional? If you have yet to purchase an indoor photography lighting kit, have no fear. You can still take amazing photos with some simple home furnishings. Consider using the adjustable table lamp sitting on your bedside table or office desk for adding light to your set.
Lighting has a big impact on your photos. It not only affects the quality of the image, but also the mood and feeling behind it. There’s a big difference between natural light and artificial light, but there are many photography lighting techniques you can use to get great results from artificial light sources. To make sure your indoor photography is at its best, you’ve got to make sure you have sufficient, high-quality lighting. Below are a few additional indoor photography lighting tips you can use to help get the most out of your indoor photos and take pictures like a pro.
Table of Contents
- Choosing Light Bulbs for Photography
- Color Tempurature & CRI
- Three-Point Photography Lighting
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Choosing Light Bulbs for Photography
The best indoor photography lighting begins with choosing the best light bulbs for your photo shoot. The light bulbs you choose depends on your preferences and the desired effect you want.
Halogen Light Bulbs
- Produces a bright white light
- No hazardous materials
- Instantly reach full brightnesss
- Uses less energy than incandescent bulbs
- Can have an intense glare
- Can get dangerously hot
- Can be on the expensive side
- Have a relatively short lifespan
Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs)
- Long lifespan
- Uses little to no heat
- Energy efficient
- Less expensive overtime
- Use less energy than incandescent bulbs
- Contain hazardous materials
- Expensive initial cost
- Some are note dimmable
- Takes time to reach full brightness
Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
- Contain no hazardous materials
- Energy efficient
- Extremely durable
- Give off little to no heat
- Long Lifespan
- Quick warm-up time
- not all light evenly
- Some are note dimmable
- Some are note quite as bright
Determining the type of color temperature you want your pictures to have will help you choose the right light bulbs to implement in your photo shoot. Have you ever noticed that the light your adjustable floor lamp produces is a soft, warm white? If so, it's most likely a result of the color temperature of the light bulb. The color temperature of light is measured on a scale of Kelvin that ranges from 2700K to 6500K. Using the Kelvin scale will help you determine the hue a specific light source emits, and understanding the Kelvin scale will help you customize the look and feel of your photo shoot.
2700 - 3000 Kelvin Lighting Temperature
3100-4500 Kelvin Lighting Temperature
4600-6500 Kelvin Lighting Temperature
Color Rendering Index
The Lighting Research Center states that CRI, “is a rating index commonly used to represent how well a light source renders the colors of objects that it illuminates.” The CRI is measured on a scale from 1-100; the lower the number, the less accurate a color will be portrayed. When purchasing light bulbs, be sure to check the CRI to ensure that you get the best bulb for your desired lighting effect.
Three-Point Photography Lighting
Three-point lighting is a standard indoor photography lighting technique commonly used in photography or videography.
In a completely dark room, the key light will be the primary source of light used to illuminate your subject. The key light acts as a spotlight, taking the place of the sun or a window. Normally, it is the strongest/brightest light in your scene and, as a result, will cast the darkest shadows and have the biggest impact on the look of your scene. Place the key light between 15 to 45 degrees to one side of your subject, either left or right depending on your preference. This will ensure that one side is illuminated while the other is cast in shadow. Consider using a swing arm wall light as the key light in your next photo shoot.
Unless you want to photograph your subject in as little light as possible, the next light you will add to your scene will be the fill light. The fill light lends more light to your scene, makes your subject more visible, and softens the light emitted from the key light. This secondary light should generally be placed on the opposite side of the key light.
Unsurprisingly, the back light is placed behind your subject, illuminating it from the back. The purpose of the backlight is not to add light like the key and fill light, but rather to separate your subject from the background and lend it definition by creating a bright outline around your subject, highlighting it and giving it a 3-dimensional appearance.