Lynette would like to try something new on the blog: Photo Fridays. This is all there is to it: you send in your questions about photography, and I will try to answer them. On Friday. I shoot a DSLR, so my knowledge focuses on these cameras rather than the point-and-shoots. But ask away, and I'll do my best.
This week, I'd like to do a quick post about a question I hear often - How do I get those 'low light' shots without my flash going off? These might be examples of shots you would like to get:
(settings: ISO 800 aperture f/2.0 shutter 1/80)
You want your photo to look how it looked in real life, and not with the flash lighting the scene up, right? You are going to have to venture into manual mode, my friends. It is not scary. It is liberating. And you might want to spend a little money and buy yourself a little prime lens called a 50mm 1.8 if you don't already have one. (by the way, 'prime' means that it doesn't zoom). The reason I recommend this lens to everyone is 1) it's pretty cheap. around $150, or so. 2) it's loads of fun to play with as you learn about aperture and shutter speed and depth of field and...you get the idea! It's a fun little lens.
You will be able to get low light photos, and photos with a really shallow depth of field because this lens will allow you to set the aperture as low as 1.8. On the lens that your DSLR came with, you can probably only set it down to 3.5 or 4.0, and when you try to take photos in low light, I bet they turn out blurry, which is driving you crazy, right? This is because your lens won't open wide enough, and the shutter speed is too slow to prevent the blurring.
So - this weekend, try this with your camera: set it on the Av mode (this is the aperture mode). Set the number as low as it will go. The camera will adjust the shutter speed for you. Now take some shots. See what you get. Oh - make sure your ISO is set high enough for the light situation - the darker it is, the higher your number should be. Like any skill, you just have to practice and practice to get better. Go ahead and take 100 shots of something with different settings. See what makes the difference in your settings, save or erase the whole lot and try again.
This all sounds very overwhelming, but trust me - once you get it - you GET IT. I feel like I jumped into things in the middle here a bit - but next week we can do a nice simple overview.
Unforgettable Memories has the 50mm 1.8 lens for the Canon and Nikon cameras in stock, and they are worth every penny! Stay tuned for the next Photo Friday and please send in any questions you have via the comments section or send an email to the store.