Friday, October 9, 2009

Night Photography is tricky

Hi... My name's Daisy.... and I'm an amature photographer.....

I have learned a lot about photography in the past few months!!  And I have much more to learn... but one thing I continue to find tricky is handheld shooting in low light situations....

Kyle's friend, Matt, is in town for the weekend and last night we went to Old Chicago. As most of you know that's one of our favorite places, mainly because of the beer tour, which we've completed. But Matt hasn't so we took him there to help higher his count. Thursdays just happen to be Fat Tire night (which we just happened to learn a few weeks ago when we were there finishing up our tour), so for ever Fat Tire you order you get to spin this wheel and win prizes. So that was even funner for them, Matt won a T-shirt and two free desserts (which one ended up just covering the dessert I had) and Kyle won 10% off a beer (woo hoo $.40) and a key chain... as if we didn't have enough of those :-)  But that's what we love about Old Chicago... the prizes!
Fat Tire tire

Okay that's the story for the night... back to photography:

One big tip I've learned with photography is to NOT use your flash... or at least try not to... so really I RARELY use the flash, and I HATE not shooting in Aperture priority, shutter priority, or manual... I just feel like I'm taking a step back and taking the 'easy' route out by using auto or the pre-set settings. Hey I didn't do all the reading and learning for nothing ;-) Another thing is to use a tripod as much as possible to get SHARP photos... okay well being in a bar in the evening with a tripod is just not going to work!

So I opened my aperture as wide as possible, to let as much light in... but my lens isn't as wide as they come and I ended up with this:
mandk wide open aperture


Then I tried using a slow flash to prevent such harsh lighting that a straight on flash creates... I ended up with this:
blur flash

Double BLAH!

And even ended up with a weird creepy ghost look somehow:
mandk transparent


So I broke down and put my camera on portrait mode and let the flash fire... boo hoo!!! (and by this time Matt and Kyle got tired of me making them pose... so I just got to practice on Kyle)
Kyle raised eye

Any advice? I'd love to hear it :-)


1 comment:

Rhiannon said...

Yep. Welcome to my world. Night photography sucks. Hence, if you're at a wedding, that's why the photographer has a ridiculous setup with him/ produce as much light as possible. It's very difficult to get night vision photos that aren't either blurry or super-grainy. Better lenses help (but I don't have the thousands of $$s to lay down on them + the camera bodies to support them).

The ghosty photo was because there was probably light behind them. I don't really know what's up with that, but one photography book I read told me to watch out for lights behind people when you're shooting low light, slow shutter speed.

There is one thing you can do, though I may not know how to do this with your in-camera flash. Force your flash on, but dial it down just a bit (the manual can probably give you an idea on how to do it). Then shoot the photo with a slower shutter speed--like around 1/15th or so. The flash will freeze your subject (which should be the closest object in your photo) and then allow for the ambient light in the background to register. The background might be out of focus, but your subject will be sharp because of the flash.

That will probably take some practice...I'm still working on it myself. So, if it works and you learn any tricks, let me know!

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