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Thread: Family potrait in dim light

  1. #1

    Default Family potrait in dim light

    Noob question, how to take a sharp family photo under dim
    light condition? I am currently using a Canon EOS400D with stock lens.
    I got this "smart" idea to use ISO1600 to make shuttle speed
    higher (as I was hand holding my camera) and to not make the flash so glaring
    (is this true?) The other details are: f/4.0, exposure 1/8 and focal length 24mm.
    The photo was not sharp and details were not there.

    Any tips to improve on this? Would getting a better lens help?
    If a tripod was used, and the exposure is more than 1/8, is taking family
    potrait still possible?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Family potrait in dim light

    bouncing the flash off or simply diffusing the flash seems to be the only... alternatively use a faster lens

    Quote Originally Posted by a-z0-9 View Post
    Noob question, how to take a sharp family photo under dim
    light condition? I am currently using a Canon EOS400D with stock lens.
    I got this "smart" idea to use ISO1600 to make shuttle speed
    higher (as I was hand holding my camera) and to not make the flash so glaring
    (is this true?) The other details are: f/4.0, exposure 1/8 and focal length 24mm.
    The photo was not sharp and details were not there.

    Any tips to improve on this? Would getting a better lens help?
    If a tripod was used, and the exposure is more than 1/8, is taking family
    potrait still possible?

    Thanks in advance!
    Leica helps me calm down when i shoot.

  3. #3
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Family potrait in dim light

    use a flash and do a ceiling bounce, experiement with the position of the flash as you get different results when you change the flash to subject distance and angle of flash head.

    Will depend on the room as well, so no magic formula

  4. #4

    Default Re: Family potrait in dim light

    photos taken handheld at 1/8 sec is nearly impossible not to be blur...

    and at 1/8 sec..even on a tripod, your subjects might just move a millimeter and your photos will still be blur.
    I reckon you do not have a external flash for this shoot right?
    The built-in flash will most likely make your subjects very "stark" white....like you have already anticipate.
    you might want to rent or borrow an external flash?

    iso 1600 will also be pretty noisy too, unless that is what you want..

  5. #5
    Member/Tangshooter Redsun's Avatar
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    Default Re: Family potrait in dim light

    your best bet is to use a tripod and ask your subjects not to move.Maybe you can try using higher ISO to ensure the shutter speed doesnt go too low.Best if you can get an external flash though

  6. #6

    Default Re: Family potrait in dim light

    Quote Originally Posted by dejected View Post
    bouncing the flash off or simply diffusing the flash seems to be the only... alternatively use a faster lens
    Alternatively use Nikon D3. *siamz*

  7. #7
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Family potrait in dim light

    you want sharp sharp clear clear nice color photos??

    just get a hotshoe flash and do a ceiling bounce.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Family potrait in dim light

    ideal to have a 2.8 lens or a 50mm 1.8 prime.

    if not then attach a flash and bounce it off your ceiling.

    increasing ISO to 1600 is sure to create a lot of noise.

    guess u have to use a tripod if u wanna be in the "family portait" too!! so a tripod will help stabilise the shake etc.

    read the forums...you will find a lot of similar threads outlining the similar situ as u have described.

    trial and error buddy...we've all had to take this path & leap of faith! cheers.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Family potrait in dim light

    Quote Originally Posted by daydreamz View Post
    ideal to have a 2.8 lens or a 50mm 1.8 prime.
    If I was to get a 2.8 lens and set it to 2.8, won't the depth of field to be
    pretty small? Is it suitable setting for family photos?

  10. #10
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Family potrait in dim light

    Quote Originally Posted by a-z0-9 View Post
    If I was to get a 2.8 lens and set it to 2.8, won't the depth of field to be pretty small? Is it suitable setting for family photos?
    can!! why not, just stick all the faces together and on the same focal panel, should be able to get all the eyes and noses in focus.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Family potrait in dim light

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    can!! why not, just stick all the faces together and on the same focal panel, should be able to get all the eyes and noses in focus.
    Thanks for the interesting advice will bear this in mind for my future shots.
    But in this case, there was also a birthday cake in front!

  12. #12
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Family potrait in dim light

    Quote Originally Posted by a-z0-9 View Post
    Thanks for the interesting advice will bear this in mind for my future shots.
    But in this case, there was also a birthday cake in front!
    if don't want to use flash, than use more or bigger candles lor, so it will be brighter, and you don't have to shoot at f2.8 liao.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  13. #13
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Family potrait in dim light

    then your only option is to get deeper DOF

    so how to use a smaller aperture?

    1. slower shutter speed - cannot as subject will move, maybe minimum 1/60s if you are lucky
    2. higher ISO - but will have more high ISO noise, so maybe go as high as you dare ISO400?
    3. brighter ambient lights - see what you can do, buy more brighter bulbs?
    4. use an external flash and do a ceiling bounce, ahhh sounds right

  14. #14

    Default Re: Family potrait in dim light

    Another way is to use program mode, but the subjects would
    be bathed in bright flash light, right ?

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