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How to take pictures in a bright room

Yesterday I did a reportage shooting at a drawing lesson in the Art-Metier studio, St. Petersburg. Since I do not like to delay processing photos, the pictures were sent to the customer 4 hours after shooting – at 12 a.m.

I liked the studio, I even remembered that I had not once become an artist, and that I could paint in such bright studios with a view of the sky and roofs. True, it may be for the better. My hobby – photography – I like no less than someone else’s hobby for drawing.

Art-Metier is a bright photo studio in which it is very pleasant to work, it is interesting to look for light, select the foreground and foreground, and include various details in the frame.

Photography in an art studio

Reporting photography in such bright places does not require, as a rule, the use of additional light sources. So, I only occasionally had to “finish off” frames a bit with an external flash to reduce contrast transitions in them. Indeed, contrasting transitions in such a bright interior are often not needed.

What lenses are needed for shooting a leisurely report
To photograph the report in such a bright interior, I needed three lenses: Nikkor 50 1.4G, Samyang 14 2.8 and Tokina 100 2.8 macro. However, most of the photos were taken on Nikkor.

Pay attention to the foreground and foreground.

Nikkor and Tokina are not very slow autofocus (especially leisurely Tokin), and Samyang generally lacks autofocus. However, all this does not create any problems when shooting such a leisurely story as painting artists. You always have the opportunity to find the right angle, slowly focus, take a couple of test shots …

How to set up the camera for this kind of shooting
Camera mode
Aperture Priority I prefer to use mode A (aperture priority), while I set the aperture value from 1.4 to 2.8. I select ISO in such a way that the shutter speed does not become longer than 1/80, since, in my experience, 1/80 and shorter makes it possible to shoot without stirring and lubrication. Autofocus in this case (when the subject is almost always stationary) I use single-frame (AF-S, One Shot). Thus, I am guided by any focus point into the object or part of the body that I need, then:

Holding the shutter button halfway pressed, I change the composition of the frame in accordance with the rule of thirds, and take a picture. The shutter button at this moment simply presses to the end.

Shooting in a bright room

If the subject is moving, I prefer to turn on tracking autofocus (AF-C, AI SERVO), select the desired focus point, freeze and hold the subject at the desired point. Wherein:

The shutter release is pressed halfway, press the button to the end at the moment when you need to take a shot.

Setting exposure compensation
It’s no secret that in such a bright room, your camera will “try” to darken the image, make it dark and expressionlessly gray. To prevent this from happening, there are three ways:

a. Choose spot metering

b. Make exposure compensation

in. Set Manual Mode (M)

I prefer not to set the spot metering, as it often gives unpredictable results.

Shooting in a bright room

Manual mode (M) no one forbids using, but be prepared that you have to constantly monitor the exposure meter scale to track the brightness of the pictures. Why do this when there is mode A – I can not imagine.

So, you guessed it, my choice is to make exposure compensation.
For such bright rooms, I set the exposure compensation to + 0.7- + 1 EV. Taking a couple of test frames, I look at the histogram. Ideally, it should be close to the right edge, but not touch it. Although I touched:

Light frame histogram

In this case, do not be afraid that the histogram is strongly pressed to the right side. In such bright interiors, this is normal, otherwise you just won’t get that airiness.

If it seems to you that the background is bright enough, and the foreground would be nice to be brighter, you can use an external flash. So I did in the frame below:

Here, the flash was directed partially at the ceiling, partially forward. No other parameters have changed, the flash is in TTL mode. Its use made it possible to illuminate faces, making them not dark in comparison with the bright windows behind.

If you want to make the background darker and the front brighter, remember your ISO settings, shutter speed and aperture, switch to M mode, recreate the settings. Then reduce the ISO and / or shorten the shutter speed to taste. The flash will automatically increase brightness, you will get a bright foreground, but a more contrasting background.

It is VERY IMPORTANT that the flash does not shine directly, but up or to the side, illuminating your subject with reflected light! And then you get a good result.
I do not like to use manual flash power adjustment, because I think that in such situations, the Nikon SB-910 does an excellent job in TTL-BL mode, and there is no need to do anything manually.

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