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Sunday, January 10, 2010

How To: Take Awesome Pictures of Your Home

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Take it from the best. Then place your skills to the test! Here's some tips from Decorno (Elle and Domino magazine) to help get that shot of your pad fine and dandy:

  • Don't ever use an on-camera flash.
  • Get a tripod.
  • Bracket the exposures. If the lightmeter tells your camera to expose for 2 seconds, start there then do 4 seconds, then 8 seconds until it is obviously too bright.
  • Sometimes the best light is really low light. Don't be afraid of 30 second exposures.
  • Turn off your lamps and overhead lights. Not just in the room your shooting but in nearby rooms as well.
  • Even most point and shoot cameras have manual settings. People would be well served to get familiar with their cameras. They'll be surprised how many functions even cheap cameras have.
  • Get to know your camera. Play with depth of field and aperture settings. You can then focus on points of interest and the background sort of fades away.
  • If you're scouting for magazines (this is good advice for anyone) remember that editors want to see the whole room. Avoid tons of middle distance vignettes. Also try to show how rooms flow to each other.
  • Frame up shots with things in the foreground and middle-ground. Sometimes it's cool to let a chair close to the camera go all blurry.
  • Try things that are contrary to the obvious way you look at the room. Like get really low or get up high. Don't think you need to always be super graphic and at right angles.
  • Take a shot from a better angle of view. Be willing to move yourself, or your furniture, around.
  • The way a room looks best when you're standing in it is often not the best way to shoot it.
My personal tip? Use natural light. Nothing can beat the exquisite, timeless lighting power of the sun! Zing!

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