Use Silencer When Shooting Indoors

This following post is dedicated to the city and people of Long Beach, who may not know it but they are beautiful and so is their city.

I don't shoot much indoors. Officially because I'm a "natural/available light photographer". Unofficially? That's complete balderdash. Well, maybe more like partial balderdash, or maybe more of a balderwalk or a recedingdash (I'm getting lost here, help me out).

The truth is I do not know how to control the lighting indoors enough to shoot consistent exposures. Although I do have a book on the way on the subject (I'll let you know if it's any good). It's somewhere between my old place (the address on my Amazon profile) and the new one, hopefully closer to the latter.

The issue is more of bad lighting than low lighting. There's usually a mixture of light sources, light types, light temperatures, light direction etc. And while many times the mix looks good, if the subject moves a bit everything changes. If I'd be doing posed studio shots, I'd be able to set up the room, the subjects and the lighting properly, but that's not what I do. I'm not a fan of the posed shots (i.e. I'm not good at it. Or to be fair I'm not good at awesome posed shots. And until I am I'm not into the cheesy ones). So somehow I need to have consistent lighting all across the shooting area (which may move from room to room).

The obvious answer would be to use a flash. Problems: pop-up flash is weak (only lights short distances) and straight on (gives that washed out ghost face look). So we stick one of those fancy gilkonks on top of the camera. Now it's much stronger but it still has that straight on, dead man walking look. So now we bounce the flash off of the wall/roof/mirror. But as we move we got to keep adjusting where you're going to bounce of. (Well one option would be to anticipate the moment and plan the shot. Yeah right. Maybe one day). So we get one of those Gary Fong knock off's to stick on top of our gilkonks. And we get a cord that allows us to take the flash off the camera and hold it up and to the side with our left hand while we hold the camera in the right. Which leads to carpal tunnel and texting thumbs. But we do what we got to do. And then, since we still feel inadequate, we convert almost everything to black & white.

Here's my first (mostly) indoor shoot. There was much extended family involved so for the most part I have no clue who the photos are of.


First some family pics outside


Silly one. Of course. The kids got to have fun.


Would have been the perfect shot IF I'D HAVE SPENT A FEW SECONDS LOOKING FOR DISTRACTIONS! (sorry about the caps) The water bottle and hat on the table should have been chucked along with the ottoman. Dork.


Playing with my new baby (she's actually holding it quite nicely. You have to make sure to hold its head)


Posing with my baby


Grandma and Granddaughter


The grandson wasn't into the whole kissing thing


Mommy and daughter


Love the look on her face


Got to love glowing ears


Example of nice window light (though a small fill flash may have helped. I just can't work quick enough yet)


The grandparents are really into music, so we posed a shot with all the grandkiddies and some instruments (though it's hard to make everyone look interested). The mom was standing on the couch holding the flash.


Love this one


The whole fam was running around with nerf guns shooting each other (even granddad!). Was mucho fun.



You could see that the flash is not straight on. Makes a big difference.


Cut off her hand. Crazy bearded amputator.


And for some film shots:



Should have fixed her hair.


Yeehaw. The camera must have gotten into my herbs.

And there you have it. My first indoor shoot. As usual a shoot very much depends on the people having fun (especially kids and the photographer), and we definitely had a good time.

Peace & Love. Harmony & Trust. Jinkerdinks & Tongerlocks.