Tag Archives: design

Interior Photography with Skela Studio

If you are an interior designer, it is very important to showcase your work in the best possible way. Visitors to your website will get their first impression of your designer skills from the images you show them.

When showcasing a room, for example, it is also important to tell a story with the photographs, and  to convey the atmosphere of the place. I’ve been collaborating for a while with Aleksandra of Skela Studio interior design, and on this particular day we decided to shoot her bedroom.

Interior photograph of backlit bedroom with tray on bed

The establishing shot, showing as much of the bedroom as possible

To borrow a term from the movies, the first photograph above is the “establishing shot”, namely it gives an overview of the location, or room. I love backlit pictures, i.e when the light source is the window in the photograph. Those are rather difficult technically (try it yourself), because the range of light and dark is much greater than what the camera can capture. It is thus essential to take a number of photos with different camera settings and combine them in post-production. On this occasion, I also “light painted” the curtains as they were too dark in the original image.

Close-up of interior design. Bed with tray.

This composition seemed the natural one in the sequence of photographs.

After the establishing shot, I needed to showcase the important details in the interior design. The bed and tray were an obvious choice.

Close-up of interior design. Bed with tray. Vertical composition

As one of my photographic heroes Bryan Peterson says “What is the best time to take a vertical picture? Right after you take the horizontal”. It gives you options for different types of layouts.

I chose to take a horizontal photograph as well as a vertical one, to give more choice to a photo editor wishing to showcase Skela Studio’s work. The vertical composition could be used as a magazine cover, for example.

Interior design, reflection of bed and tray in mirror with perfume bottle.

It is really important to “work your subject”, and try many different compositions. You never know what you may get. I really like this photo.

Finally, I noticed the mirror in the room and being a big fan of reflections, I knew there was a great photo opportunity there. It took a little rearranging of the items to give me the composition I wanted. This may be my favourite photograph of the set.

Light Painting an Interior

While surfing the web, I came across an amazing real estate photographer based in Los Angeles, Mike Kelley.

His style has evolved a bit, but at the time I came across his work, he was using a form of light painting to create stunning pictures of interiors and architecture photographs.

colourful living room light painted with speedlights

I used a speedlhgt to give some accents of light in this colourful interior for a more pleasing look.

As a scientist, I value intellectual curiosity very much. As soon as I saw Mike stunning work, I wanted to try my hand at light painting interiors. I’m fortunate to know a good  interior designer, and I offered her free photos if she could give me access to one of the locations she designed.

colourful living room light painted with speedlights

It was not possible to capture all the elements of the room with just one shot, so I took another photograph from a slightly different angle to showcase the fireplace.

I had about one hour to set up and light paint a living room with my speed lights. I really do like the look of the light painted interiors and definitely plan to gain more experience with this kind of photography.

Street Photography – Lines, Lines, Lines

Lines are a very important element of design. Without them, there would be no shapes and contours. When I’m out and about with a camera, lines are one of the things I look for.

During the month of August, the city Edinburgh is absolutely replete with photo opportunities (even more than usual), thanks to the Festival.

Girl on swing in attraction on Princes Street Edinburgh during the festival

Attraction for kids on Princes Street during the August 2015 Edinburgh Festival

Walking about on Princes Street, I could not fail to notice the line festival (pun intended) that you see in the above picture. And there were some kids jumping up and down to give a sense of scale to the photograph. I was very lucky that one of the children was wearing a pink top, as it offered some good colour contrast with the blue background. The key was to frame the girl with a maximum amount of negative space around her to clearly separate her from the background. It took a lot of tries, but I’m quite happy with this photograph.

Autumn Lines

A while back I had the opportunity to take some wonderful online classes “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” by world class commercial photographer Joe Baraban.

These classes made a strong impression on me. All of the photographs Joe Baraban takes for his clients are carefully crafted, using what Joe calls “The Artist Palette”. That palette includes, among other things, all of  the elements of visual design: point, line, form, shape, space, movement, colour, pattern and texture. We spent quite some time learning to see these elements and how to incorporate as many of them as possible in our pictures.

Line is a very important element in that it appears in forms, shapes, space and in some cases pattern and texture. Line also communicates different emotions and feelings depending on its shape and direction. Horizontal lines suggest a feeling of rest, stability, tranquility. Vertical lines on the other hand evoke an emotion of authority, loftiness.  Diagonal lines are more dynamic and suggest the feeling of movement or direction. Finally, soft curves suggest comfort, safety.

Autumn leaves provide one with some wonderful designs, full of lines and colour.

Red autumn leaf. The multiple lines create a very interesting design

Red autumn leaf.

Yellow autumn leaf. The multiple lines create an interesting design.

Yellow autumn leaf.

Red and green autumn leaf The multiple lines create a very interesting design.

Thie autumn leaf fell to the ground before it took on the full fall colours.