Okay, lovelies…got a couple of simple tips today.
Whatever you do…
Wherever you are with that camera…
Whatever you’re photographing…
TURN OFF THAT ON-CAMERA FLASH!
(and yes, I’m yelling).
Please sign this below…
I ________________________, promise to turn off my on-camera flash forever, amen.
Okay, now that we’ve got that covered….oh, lovely with your head cocked to one side…how, do you ask, does one take photos in low light?
There are two options here.
One: photograph in good natural light. “Good”, by my standards, is northern window light, open shade (like under a tree at the edge of where the light is coming in), under an overhang (like a garage…seriously..some of my best work—right under those darn garage doors! I swear!) or in room filled with window light with a higher ISO (we’ll go into this too more in depth).
Elida at our “Ignite the Heart” retreat in open shade under a tree (with a little cheating here…I used an oval disk to reflect some sunlight in her mug).
Two: Have an off-camera flash unit on a stand. If this sounds completely normal for you, then this post is a bit elementary…if this gives you that same cocked-head-thing, have no fear, lovely…we will cover this later.
Okay, now I’m going to ask you to do something challenging (it is for me, anyway) :
1) find your camera manual
2) look up how to set you camera on Aperture Priority (usually “A” on the turn dial thingy).
Some technical stuff: In photography, the aperture defines the size of the opening in the lens, which can be adjusted to control the amount of light reaching the digital sensor. A lower f-stop number means a bigger opening which allows more light to reach the sensor. A typical standard lens will have an f-stop range from f/16 (small aperture) to f/2 (large aperture).
Bottom line: When I shoot more than one person I try to keep my f-stop at no less than f/8 and when I’m working with one person, I focus on those eyes and use between f/2.8 and f/4.
Putting your camera on “A”, for Aperture Priority, means that you, my friend, get to pick the f-stop. A fabulous thing!
WARNING: when you shoot on “P” (and it’s not for “perfect”, I’ll tell you that) or automatic, your camera is taking everthing into account in the scene…the sun, the window light, the person’s face, the dark floor….every-thing. yuck. It’s not good friends…really not good and you can probably look back (like I did) at those birthday party shots in front of those kitchen nook windows and just cry because your baby is in the dark…the dark, friends. Not where we want to be!
So..come out of the dark and into the light with “A” and choose the f/stop (again..small number small amount of people…big number larger amounts of people..or if it’s not people…bigger number for more things in the image to be in clear focus). A beautiful thing about this “A” thing is that when you choose this, your camera will automatically select a shutter speed (how fast the camera shutter fires) for that particular f-stop. Brilliant!
Example: I love a shallow depth of field when shooting single objects…people or whatever. This flower is so much prettier with everything out of focus behind it. I used a 2.8 f-stop and got right on top of it..probably scared the little guy…
Those of you working with point-n-shoots—have no fear!!! Most good digital pns’s have an aperture priority. Your SLR’s have all the goods and more.
Next up…when you get more comfortable with “A”..we’re gonna bump you up to “M” (Manual everything)…that’s where I live all the time and it is fabulous…and not hard…I promise!
In the comments, ask questions, get details or request clarification…others might benefit from your questions. If you’re shy, email me: email@example.com
For those of you finding this pretty basic…hold on this week…we’ll be getting into some heavier stuff!
In honor of my first tutorial week, I’m offering a sale of two of my fall prints in the shop…free shipping too
Happy Monday, lovelies!