By its true definition, the “science of photography” refers to chemistry and physics, the camera and its lenses—the very machinations and function of a camera that is used to develop an image. But for those of us who aren’t scientifically minded, how do we capture images that’ll evoke meaning, feeling and beauty? What is the science of taking great photos?
Organise the space
Rather than picking up a camera and shooting the room at random, think about the lifestyle you want to portray. Declutter surfaces to have feature pieces that create a certain atmosphere. Try not to go overboard, however. Adding character—an open book, a pair of boots, a cup of coffee. Prepare the space and finding the right angles will come more naturally.
No wasted space
When taking a snapshot of a room, it might seem illogical to get in close to the sofas, the lamps, or the kitchen table, but wasted space detracts from the focus of your image. As the famous photojournalist Robert Capa once said, “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”
Less is more
With an interior shot sometimes a hint of a lifestyle is more inspiring than being able to see a whole room. It triggers our imagination, pictures ourselves and our lives in that image and asks for more.
Find the light
Natural lighting can often be key to capturing genuine atmospheres, warm shadows and rich colours, but natural lighting can also be fickle—we can’t always wait for the sun to shine! Don’t be afraid to hold lamps above the camera if it creates a brighter image. Consider how lighting around the room is interacting with the scene and if interesting shadows are being created.
Photograph: Haydn West