Shooting Interiors

with a DSLR

by William Lulow

A good interior or architectural photographer will usually use a view camera with all its distortion-correction tools (swings and tilts) in order to record a room or space. I have to confess, that since I went all digital, I really miss using the view camera. But, I have figured a way to correct for most distortion using an ordinary DSLR.

One of the things I do is to try to find the center of the space, both vertically and horizontally. As long as I set the camera up that way, I know I won’t be aiming up or down. So, all the verticals should be straight. The other thing I do is to use the levels on my tripod as well as the virtual level in the viewfinder of my camera. That way, all the horizontals should be straight. If you use a super wide-angle lens, you have to be careful that you don’t get any distortion caused by the lens itself, as well. I find that a 24mm or 28mm is usually sufficient for most interiors.

This shot had to be taken from a slightly higher angle in order to show the counter tops, but it is fairly distortion-free. The verticals are nearly all vertical.