Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Set - Sunroom

The sunroom wasn’t always a great place to take pictures. Once upon a time, it had pale peach walls and rotting gray carpet over crumbling red and green linoleum tile. I threw the carpet in the trash and did my best to make the space “work” for the first few years in the house.

The front of the room is all windows and a door. The other three sides share walls with the garage, kitchen, and living room. There is an exterior door (to the driveway) and a door into the living room, but, unfortunately, no door to the garage, so the space gets little (human) traffic. A pet door allows the cats access to and from the house and it is constantly a-swinging!


Over time, the space has evolved. I finally found the time to paint the walls white and the cash to replace the flooring. I originally envisioned the room as a miniature conservatory, but it gets too cold in the winter to support hothouse plants. The greenery is gone and I’ve chosen to adorn the room with frost-proof bird cages and mirrors instead.

I use only natural light when I photograph in this room. It gets direct sunlight in the morning, so it’s best to save outfit photos until afternoon or evening when the light is even and diffuse. The white walls, floor, and ceiling reflect light beautifully. Before I discovered the exposure compensation button, all that white was a challenge; my subject came out too dark. Now, I set the exposure compensation at +.3 to +.7 and get lovely results. I use an ISO of 400. The camera’s auto white balance usually gets colors right.

The Sunroom, through the blog years:

(The last photo shows the sunroom from the outside.)

This space belongs more to the cats than me. I removed everything but the pillows from any horizontal surface because rambunctious kittens sent my tchotchke tumbling. I even had to ditch the fake greenery (the fern visible in some photos) because they gnawed on it. I’m just grateful they let me take the occasional photo in here.

In May, I'll profile one of my often used outdoor locations. Any requests?


Michelle {Jarrah Jungle} said...

I love this room the best, I adore ornate bird cages and have started a collection of my own. I put candles and plants in mine :)

Emma said...

I Really like your sun room! I always think that natural light is best.

Unknown said...

I used to hate to take photos in my back kitchen (which i use as a mini-sitting area) due to the white curtains and glass doors, then I got less afraid of natural light and having the white background allows me more control over my shots as well.
We have a large window on the left (your left) in the room which allows for bounce-back light. i can usually get a decent image well into late afternoon now!
the +/- button really helps me, too! (thanks)
I do still need to do a 1000/800 iso, but i used to just be a dark form ;)
Your tips always help!

Madeline Quaint said...

I always liked the pictures taken in this room. The small details make it look oriental, and the whitewashed walls are so nice.

Leslie aka "MissusSmartyPants" said...

Great natural lighting in there! So nice of your cats to let you visit their space!

Anonymous said...

So then does part of your setting choice (at home) depend simply on time of day you are shooting pics?

Kasmira said...

Yup! If it is light outside, I go outside or in the sunroom. Unfortunately, there are a few months each year that I spend all the daylight hours at work. Then I am forced to take my photos indoors.