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That room is amazing. Or maybe it's just a good picture. In the end, your home is better. If only you were able to make some good picture of it you could make compete with your friends: who has the coolest home? Or you could eternalize that moment - that, like Christmas, only happens once a year - when your home is clean and tidy; that moment of minimal splendour before the guests arrive. Also, with a couple of good pictures it would be definitely easier to sell your house.
Whichever your motivation, here are the five simple rules to photograph in the best way possible the place that represent you the most: your home.
You have already chosen the room you want to photograph. It can be any room, but now it's time to stop and look at it to make the best decisions. In silence. First of all you need to decide in which direction to point the objective of your camera. Which is the most interesting area? Got it? Ok. Now try to follow the perspective of the room: the best thing to do is always to create a linear composition.
Now take a tripod or any other support on which to place the camera. This is necessary not only to avoid blurry pictures, but also to modify the position of the objects in the room avoiding a change of framing. Place the camera in a way that allows you to enhance the lines of escape of walls and furniture. The right position should be parallel or perpendicular to the walls.
The sun is a light bulb with a wattage around 400,000,000 billion gigawatt. Unless you don't have professional lights, you don't need anything else for now. Turn off the artificial light in your home. I mean ALL the lights, even in the other rooms. It's better to avoid the yellow glare of light bulbs and to have every object illuminated by the best light available: sunlight.
By turning off all the lights you will notice that it is difficult to photograph a dark environment; but controlling direct sunlight is even more difficult. If you can't avoid this latter situation, I suggest you to use curtains or white sheets to veil the sunlight. You will create some kind of softbox, a very useful tool to soften any strong light bringing out details and textures.
Is it a trivial advice? One reason more to follow it. Don't start taking pictures without considering what you want to be in the picture, what's useless and what clashes. While you tidy up your room (peeping from time to time through the lens of the camera) repeat to yourself, like a mantra: less is more, less is more, less is more...
Once you have almost created the desired atmosphere, browse a catalogue full of beautiful pictures of home interior. For example LOVEThESIGN's catalogue. Now that you have it open in front of you, choose the images that impress you more. Squeeze your eyes, focus, look at the pictures closely and from a distance. Look at them and compare them with your room: what did the photographer and the stylist do before taking that picture? Where did they put the sofa? What are the objects on the scene?
It's finally time to go behind the objective. The scene is perfect, set the framing and you are ready to click! Almost ready. To be 100% sure of what you are doing, take a half step back: it's a basic trick, but it is useful to be sure not to cut anything from the framing. There's always time to cut the picture later.
Opening and exposure. If your camera or the app you downloaded allow it, you can set the two fundamental values of every picture: aperture of the diaphragm and time of exposure. Keeping the diaphragm very open (low values) means allows a lot of light to get in and it tends to blur the background: it's perfect to bring out one detail or a small object. The exposure indicates the duration of the aperture of the diaphragm. If it's open for many tenths of seconds (high values), we will capture a big amount of light: it's a good solution when there's not much natural light.
The activity of our eyes and brain is not clear to everybody: it's because of habit. Million of colours, focusing from different distances in less than a second, constant correction of brightness and temperature of light in order to see the surrounding environment always in the same way. The blue of the sofa is always the same, be it illuminated by a light bulb or by the sun. But for a camera it doesn't work like this.
How to choose the best light? The answer is Golden Hour, and it's the time when sunlight is just perfect. It happens twice a day, right after the sunrise and a little before the sunset. It's a kind of light that you can read in the photograph: if you take a picture in the first hours of the day you will transmit the atmosphere of the morning. So, if you are in the kitchen, in your picture there will be a breakfast mood. On the contrary, if you take a picture during the sunset, your kitchen will evoke a happy-hour time. It's up to you.
Anyway: geometry, symmetry, perspective and natural light control. You are ready to challenge the best Instragrammers (or at least your friends). Leave artistic photographs to the others and take your pictures with the precision of an engineer: you will definitely get a better result.