Shooting In A Low-Light Situation

I do not often have the opportunity to shoot with other equipment other than my Canon SLR camera body and lenses. However this week, I was asked several times at a convention to use other people’s cameras for differing shots. Now that I have some experience with other cameras I have a few tips that will help you take better pictures in low-light situations.

First off, I would like to define what “low-light” means. Very often “low-light” is any situation indoors. “Low-light” is not having enough light for your camera to shoot a well exposed photo at the following settings:

  • ISO 200
  • 1/30 of a second or faster
  • At your preferred Aperture setting (I prefer to shoot at an average of 13)

(I understand that not all of you, my readers, have cameras which allow you to set each of these settings independently of the others or options such as Aperture. If your camera does not give you the option, disregard the information and work with shutter speed and/or ISO.)

Cameras as we have discussed see things differently than we do even though they are based off of our visual capability. If you wish to understand more about this, please refer to the blog posts “Camera Troubles through Camera Trouble – Part 6“.

Here are the tips that I have promised will help you capture better photos with less motion blur and camera shake.

Say you are in a hall with a person on stage who is lit with a spot light. You subject of the photo is the person on stage and you are currently in the darker corner of the hall.

  1. Get closer to you subject (physically).
  2. Zoom away from your subject (using a wider viewing angle).
  3. Step into the light of the spot light.

Hint #1 is a practical help by the principle of object relativity. For the rest of us non science majors, motion is more easily seen and anticipated when the viewer is more closely located to the viewed object or person. Yes the object will more quickly leave you viewing area, but movement is more fluid and easily tracked in closer proximity than further away.

Hint #2 is a light receiving issue. The more light that your camera receives the faster your shutter speed. The further your lens is extended means the less light is being received within the same shutter speed as if you were to shoot at widest angle. This works because if forces you to get closer to the light source.

Hint #3 allows more light into your camera lens and will adjust your shutter speed.

Enjoy!

For the Thanksgiving press: “Aperture or f/stop?”

A quick word from our photographer at Foe-toss -LIGHT before we begin snapping photos of the next family gathering for the Thanksgiving holiday!

“As I take indoor shots of a room or the people in it, I have to be very careful to monitor my camera’s shutter speed. If I let the shutter slow 1/15 to 1/30 of a second I will find my photos becoming blurry. Here are a few ways that you can effectively change you shutter speed without going into a full manual mode.

Use the “AV” preset camera setting. “AV” stands for “Aperture Value” and as you use this preset it will adjust the other settings to properly expose the scene your camera receives. Let me explain what “Aperture” means: Aperture refers to the diameter of the opening of the diaphragm in the lens. This diaphragm is designed to open and close at precise increments to allow a specific amount of light through the sensor (which used to be film).

Each increment of aperture larger or smaller is described as an “f/stop”. Each “f/stop” will be shown in this format, “f/13 .”

* Note that the smaller the f/stop number (i.e. f/2) the larger the opening in the lens diaphragm and thus allowing more light into the camera. Likewise the larger the number (f/18) the smaller the diaphragm opening and lesser amounts of light entering the camera. *

The f/stop adjusts your depth of field, so be aware, that if you begin shooting with a smaller f/stop, be sure that your focal point is in focus. The smaller the f/stop means the more accurate you camera must be set for the focal object’s distance.

Light is the key to all good photographs!

Once you have the f/stop set at an acceptable place your shutter speed should change by measuring at what speed it needs to operate. (It may only change when you press the shutter button half way down to focus!)”

Thank you for reading and have a blessed Thanksgiving!

“Thank you Lord God for family to share the joys of life with and to comfort us in times of difficulty and trial. Thank you for friends who are willing to encourage us and be the friends we need! Thank you for a Savior who is family, friend and more than these to us that we may be adopted children to You and siblings to Him, Jesus the anointed lamb of God!”