Nov 14, 2017 Session

Indoor Photography Projects

The page is now open for submissions at the bottom of this page. Post your results from today’s practice session, or from some of your home projects over the next few weeks.

As winter sets in, and there is less incentive to go out in cold weather, we thought we would focus on indoor photography projects. These type of projects can be very rewarding and give great results with very little investment in equipment. Of course you can spend a lot of money on studio equipment. Jim, Bill and I have accumulated some of that equipment, and will bring some of that to the meeting. However the focus of this session is on low cost indoor photography.

We will bring a number of objects to photograph, and will set them up under varying lighting conditions. Since most small objects require the camera to be relatively close, bring a macro lens if you have one. However, most cameras have macro capability, and that will be sufficient for our purposes in this session. Also a tripod will be an asset, so if you have one, bring it with you.

Drip rebound class project.
Click to enlarge, use browser back button to return here

During our practice session, Kim mentioned the problem of focusing on the drip. This is critical for a sharp image of the rebound. I had the same problem when testing the setup at home. The trick is to, before-hand, figure out the depth of field at the distance you intend to hold the camera during shooting. The problem with fast moving water drops is that autofocus does not have enough time to adjust the camera’s lens. The other problem is that the closer you get to the subject the narrower the depth-of-field gets.

I went to the “Cambridge in Colour” web site for their “Depth of Field Calculator” The strategy is to figure out the distance at which you still have a reasonable depth of field, then place your camera on a tripod, turn off the autofocus, measure and adjust the camera position to the desired distance from where the drops are falling. Then put a stick across the bowl and focus on that manually. The next thing is to adjust your drive setting to high speed burst mode. Then just hold the shutter down as the drops are falling. I adjusted the focus ring slightly back and forth between bursts. Out of about 150 images I got 5 or 6 images that were of the quality above.

Note: I had to disable RAW, and just shoot in high quality JPEG mode to get long bursts. RAW is too much for the camera processor buffer, and it slows the burst mode down significantly.


  1. Review of photo submission from the last few weeks.
  2. Basics of indoor photography and problems
  3. Still life photography examples
  4. Example projects
  5. Break
  6. Practice

Here are a few web pages for inspiration.

Indoor photography Ideas from Amateur Photography UK

Seven still life photo ideas

More still life ideas

40 Responses to Nov 14, 2017 Session

  1. Paul Fesko says:

    I used the beach setup along with one of the very small porcelain animals I recently started keeping in my camera bag. I was trying for a picture with nothing to measure scale against. This was taken with Canon 5Dmk4, EF35mm f1.4L II USM lens. Picture settings were 1/250 sec at f / 2.8, ISO 800. In Lightroom, I cropped the picture, adjusted the whites and blacks and adjusted the contrast.

  2. Shauna says:

    Handheld at 1/15 sec, f/9.0, 50mm, ISO 250 which I think gives it a softer “painting” quality rather than a tack sharp “photo” look. I increased the exposure & contrast & clarity in Lightroom.

  3. Diana says:

    Japanese tea, anyone!
    Velvet background was used to isolate the teapot from the environment. Shot at ⅛ second, f 5.6 and 1250 ISO with a fixed 50 mm lens on a Sony a7Rii. The highlights were reduced in Lightroom, as were the shadows, to provide an absolute black background.

    • Henri says:

      Nice piece of product photography Diana. I really like how the light wraps around the curved shape of the pot. The wrought iron handle stands out beautifully. I find the the hint of the fabric folds in the lower part of the image a bit distracting. They could have been either cloned out or enhanced to make this an even better picture.

      • Diana says:

        Thanks Henri for the comments and suggestion. Thanks for the detail in your response……the advantage of a new set of eyes looking at an image!

  4. Bob says:

    Water drop effect. Shot with MFT (2x) 35-100mm lens at 100mm
    f/8 1/800 sec iso 1250

    • Henri says:

      Great picture, interesting crater. I am impressed with the depth of field at f/8 at the distance most people were shooting. At 50 cm from the target with a 100 mm lens and a 1.6 crop factor sensor your DoF at f/8 should have been 0.6 cm. It looks like you are focused on the patterns in the glass, but the edges of the crater are still sharp.

  5. Bob says:

    Another water drop attempt. Appears to be a smiling face looking at drop.
    Shot with MFT (2x) 35-100mm lens at 100mm
    f/8 1/800 sec iso 1250

  6. Bob says:

    This shot of the Wolves was darker than planned but I liked the effect.
    Shot with MFT (2x) 35-100mm lens at 75mm
    f/8 1/800 sec iso 3200

  7. Bob says:

    Shot with MFT (2x) 35-100mm lens at 70mm
    f/5.6 1/160 sec iso 1000

  8. Bob says:

    Shot with MFT (2x) 35-100mm lens at 56mm
    f/5.6 1/160 sec iso 200

  9. Susan Ashley says:

    ‘Best Shot’
    iso 100 35mm f2.8 1/500sec
    Thank you Henri, Jim & Bill for setting up the props. Also, thank you for adding additional info re capturing water drops.

  10. Susan Ashley says:

    Wolf 1
    iso 100 35mm f6.3 1/13 sec

  11. Susan Ashley says:

    Wolf 2
    iso 1oo 35mm f2.8 1/160sec

  12. Susan Ashley says:

    And now for the picture!

  13. Susan Ashley says:

    iso 100 35mm f6.3 1/50sec

    • Henri says:

      Really like the diagonal composition and the subtle folds in the fabric. Exposure is excellent, no burned out highlights, beautiful transition from bright to dark in the petals. Lighting was well placed.

  14. Susan Ashley says:

    iso 100 35mm f2.8 1/80sec

  15. Greg Tompkins says:

    Thanks for providing the props, this water drop was a fun project. I shot this with my 18-105 zoom. Settings were as follows iso 400 , F5.6, 1/1000 and 105 mm. Amazed myself at the clarity in the reflection on the uppermost droplet

    • Henri says:

      Wow that looks like an image of an alien planet with a tilted axis showing it’s ice covered south pole. I am amazed at the variety of color in the drop. Well done Greg.

  16. Ron says:

    I attempted to recreate the water droplet experiment this weekend, with mixed results. Here is best one. 18-55 mm zoom set at 46 mm, ISO 2500, f/5.6, 1/500.

  17. Ron says:

    This session inspired me to dig out and experiment with the extension tubes that I originally bought for my film camera and have been sitting unused in a closet for several years. They allow one to photograph subjects from just a few centimeters away. Raspberry: 35-80 mm zoom lens set at 54 mm, ISO 6400, f/22, 1/2 sec exposure (with tripod).

  18. Ron says:

    Here’s one of a thumb tack, again using extension tubes. Camera was hand held but resting on the kitchen counter top. 35-80 mm zoom lens set at 74 mm, ISO 6400, f/5.6, 1/6 sec exposure.

  19. Geoff Turner says:

    Another water drop attempt. This was a fun project

  20. Geoff Turner says:

    This wine glass photo I thought looked like a flying beastie of some sort with 4 legs pointing down for a landing and wings above and tail to the left – and no, I had not been drinking wine when I first saw the flying beastie.

  21. Geoff Turner says:

    I don’t know if it works to add this, but I obviously forgot to include photo info, so for what it’s worth, my first photo of the water drop was taken at 1/1000, f7.1, iso 1000, and 80mm. The second – the wine glass – was at 1/250, f5.6, iso 400, and 80mm.

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