Indoor Photography

I was at the opening day of DEEP Indonesia in Jakarta all day yesterday. If you want to see what it was like, there's a video we put together on this page.

One thing I'm not particularly fond of is taking photos indoors, especially with a chaotic environment with bad lighting, as is typical of most exhibition environments.

I managed to get a few photos I liked though, and I thought it might be worth passing along a few tips in case you find yourself wanting to take photos in a similar situation.

First, try to isolate your main subject, either against a really simple background, or a background that's complex enough to effectively become a simple background.


Second, use a wide aperture. This achieves a few things. You get a shallow depth of help isolate your main subject. And, you can use a relatively high shutter speed, to help reduce the blurring effects of camera shake due to low light.

Third, I prefer to use natural light where possible and avoid flash, unless I have completely controlled circumstances where I can really control light. On-camera flash tends to look fake (not necessarily, but it takes work to make it look good, and with fast-paced action, you may not have time for this).

Fourth, pump up the ISO a bit. Modern digital cameras are great with high ISO (compared to film days), so don't be afraid to use 200, 400 or even more if you really need it and your camera can handle it.

Finally, capture a moment. Background scenery shots are great, but hitting a specific moment gives your photos emotional impact.

Off to the show...