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Thread: Shooting in low light, using the available natural lighting (without flash)

  1. #1

    Default Shooting in low light, using the available natural lighting (without flash)

    any newbie photography guys finds this situation/scenario tough?

    i was shooting kids, with my kit lens, and i find myself using a combination of high shutter speed, high ISO and a quite a great deal of exposure compensation...

    somehow i find that the kit lens that came with a standard nikon slr is inadequate...i don't know why...


    anyone got good tips for shooting fast moving objects, using natural lighting, in quite low light conditions, without any blur or noise in the image at all? thanks


    P.S : auto mode without flash - i found out that this mode is only good for 80% of all scenarios...this does not guarentee a good shot
    Last edited by Raptor2k7; 12th August 2010 at 03:18 AM.

  2. #2
    Member dingaroo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shooting in low light, using the available natural lighting (without flash)

    Firstly, the kit lens you are using might not be fast enough. What you need is a lens with a faster aperture ( < F/3.5), like 50mm F/1.8.

    Secondly, with the Auto mode, you are letting the camera decide for you the settings, which is most of the time wrong. As such, using like Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority or even the Manual modes will be better, as you now have better control of your exposure.

    Also, I am not sure how strong is your foundation in Exposure, as you need to control the 3 values (Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO) to attain a picture in low light without blur motion. Also, an external flash might just do the trick for you.

    HTH!

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    Member willdoang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shooting in low light, using the available natural lighting (without flash)

    grab a decent lens with f2.8 capability(f2.8 and f4 realy make a quite significant difference), crank up ur ISO, get ur shutter speed to >250, crank up the EV compensation, hope it helps

  4. #4
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shooting in low light, using the available natural lighting (without flash)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raptor2k7 View Post
    any newbie photography guys finds this situation/scenario tough?

    i was shooting kids, with my kit lens, and i find myself using a combination of high shutter speed, high ISO and a quite a great deal of exposure compensation...

    somehow i find that the kit lens that came with a standard nikon slr is inadequate...i don't know why...


    anyone got good tips for shooting fast moving objects, using natural lighting, in quite low light conditions, without any blur or noise in the image at all? thanks


    P.S : auto mode without flash - i found out that this mode is only good for 80% of all scenarios...this does not guarentee a good shot
    You understand the co-relation of ISO, shutter speed and aperture yet? If not, go read the sticky thread : Photography Notes for Newbies.

    When you have a better idea, you'll realise that you'd need a fast aperture, combined with high ISO speeds to get a decent shutter speed. Even then, the shutter speed may be low if you use a slightly lower ISO (to reduce noise) or if you use a high ISO to get a good shutter speed, you'll have to accept noise as part of the equation.

    There must be a trade-off, unless you intend to use high end cameras such as the D3 which has very high ISO's with relatively low noise.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  5. #5

    Default Re: Shooting in low light, using the available natural lighting (without flash)

    What matters is that no ISO will ever replace correct light ratios. Shadows will fall where they will.

    Not even some 1433600 ISO. Sorry Zac, but those will still not change light ratios.

    Let in more light. Open windows. Bring more lights in ... or get a flash.

    BTW - kids are NOT affected by direct flash ... in case you're wondering. Kids may get more irritated by direct and harsh sunlight.


    And in case you're really wondering ...

    This was taken from another thread.

    Essentially, up the ISO and allow more light into the room - draw curtains, open windows and doors, bring in more lights/lamps, but all these except upping the ISO would likely be far more irritating to a baby than very diffused or bounced flash.

    The topic of flash on babies and kids (along with all the misconceptions) have been discussed many times.






    http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...rch_type=&aq=f



    Originally Posted by Dream Merchant

    As usual, when there is concern about health issues, there is natural concern (and probably some measure of anxiety).

    I would do more research and speak with relevant medical professionals who have either studied the topic, or have access to studies and findings.

    Meanwhile, besides the article by a Harvard (?) doctor linked by O Sifu before, one could do a search on the net:



    http://www.sublime-light.com/index.p...ve-young-eyes/



    http://photo.net/photography-lightin...s-forum/00FsfZ



    http://photo.net/canon-eos-digital-camera-forum/00JlBZ



    Anyways, harsh, direct flash is usually not a good idea for so many reasons.

    Large diffused flash, indirect bounce flash is far less irritating and produces much nicer looking photos.

    Note: there is a difference between irritation and damage.

    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showt...hooting+babies
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 12th August 2010 at 08:44 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Shooting in low light, using the available natural lighting (without flash)

    Mainly 3 ways of freezing moving subject:
    1. High shutter speed
    2. Flash
    3. Panning

    Panning is out as it's only good for moving fix-shape subject, like car. No good if have limbs movement.

    Setting high shutter speed will need to compensate with larger aperture and/or higher ISO to get correct exposure. If ambient light condition is too low for that, then only choice left is to use flash to freeze subject.

    To use fill flash, camera mode have to be in either M, Av or Tv. Auto or P will use flash as the main lighting and hence give a under exposed background. However, if subject is as bright as background, fill flash will still give ghosting.
    Last edited by GRbenji; 12th August 2010 at 09:49 AM.

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    Member enzeru21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shooting in low light, using the available natural lighting (without flash)

    dont be afraid to use flash.. can experiment!

    photography is all about light!

    use an external flash, bounce off the wall or ceiling etc..
    enzeru21 Canon 500D |Tamron17-50mm f/2.8| Sigma30mm f/1.4 | 580EX II
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  8. #8
    Member voxies09's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shooting in low light, using the available natural lighting (without flash)

    from my experience, pop up flash is not good for indoor + kids running .. i got many blur image.. so sad.. didnt bring my external flash...
    Canon Kiss X4 | 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 IS II Kit lens | 50mm f1.8

  9. #9

    Default Re: Shooting in low light, using the available natural lighting (without flash)

    experience and the willingness to compromise.

    They enabled me to shoot this pic in complete darkness.


    photographing playing kids is one thing....photographing teenagers in a light saber duel is another level entirely.

    my tip is...knowing what your camera system can do and what you can do to make best use of it.

    do you want to become a lowlight specialist?
    Last edited by Reportage; 12th August 2010 at 01:43 PM.
    You wont see me much less remember me but i am the guy who makes you look good.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Shooting in low light, using the available natural lighting (without flash)

    Quote Originally Posted by Reportage View Post
    experience and the willingness to compromise.

    They enabled me to shoot this pic in complete darkness.


    photographing playing kids is one thing....photographing teenagers in a light saber duel is another level entirely.

    my tip is...knowing what your camera system can do and what you can do to make best use of it.

    do you want to become a lowlight specialist?
    Lightsaber? can share settings?

  11. #11
    Senior Member ovaltinemilo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shooting in low light, using the available natural lighting (without flash)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raptor2k7 View Post
    any newbie photography guys finds this situation/scenario tough?

    P.S : auto mode without flash - i found out that this mode is only good for 80% of all scenarios...this does not guarentee a good shot

    Glad you realise the short coming of auto mode....and also, that's oso why many upgrade from kit lens to have better performance for low light...eg 17-55mm f2.8
    ...:::..::.Nikon.::.:::..
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Shooting in low light, using the available natural lighting (without flash)

    It is wise to know the limits of technology.
    Samsung NX10+30mm, Fuji S6500FD

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    Default Re: Shooting in low light, using the available natural lighting (without flash)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raptor2k7 View Post
    any newbie photography guys finds this situation/scenario tough?

    i was shooting kids, with my kit lens, and i find myself using a combination of high shutter speed, high ISO and a quite a great deal of exposure compensation...

    somehow i find that the kit lens that came with a standard nikon slr is inadequate...i don't know why...


    anyone got good tips for shooting fast moving objects, using natural lighting, in quite low light conditions, without any blur or noise in the image at all? thanks


    P.S : auto mode without flash - i found out that this mode is only good for 80% of all scenarios...this does not guarentee a good shot
    Try it with a D700 with the latest 24f1.4 lens at f1.4 and you will surely get better results.
    Home is where the heart is.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Shooting in low light, using the available natural lighting (without flash)

    The reality is that if lighting is not enough, your camera WILL struggle (and so will your photo taking).

    No f2.8, f1.4 or even f1.2 lens will help if the ambient is too dark. At these apertures, you will lack DOF and with a moving child you will tend to lose tack focus (ie. not sharp).
    You can bump up the ISO or course but grain and loss of details will come in.
    In other words, don't try to go against the wall by restricting yourself to ambient light.

    Some ways to increase your chances :
    1. Let in more light from the windows (Eg. pull away curtains)
    2. Turn on the lights (even in the day)
    3. Shoot nearer the windows and notice the shutter speed go up to a more reasonable 1/60 or higher.
    4. Use bounced flash

    For the latter, even if you do not want to invest in an expensive flash, you can just stick aluminum foil to a card and bounce the on-camera flash to the ceiling (unless you have very high ceilings)
    A cheapo YongNuo YN460, would do as well and its only ~$110.

    DreamMerchant has already brought up the articles debunking the myth surrounding flash and effects on children.
    No one is talking about direct flash to children eyes (even adults don't like that). We are just suggesting light bounced off at an angle which will not beam directly into the eyes anyway.
    Last edited by pinholecam; 13th August 2010 at 02:53 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member ovaltinemilo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shooting in low light, using the available natural lighting (without flash)

    Quote Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post

    4. Use bounced flash

    A cheapo YongNuo YN460, would do as well and its only ~$110.
    2nd that!
    I have the cheap yet powerful YN Mark II. Easy to use if you are used to manual adjustment.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member ovaltinemilo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shooting in low light, using the available natural lighting (without flash)

    instead of getting the high end D700 + 24mm f1.4, TS could try getting a relatively powerful TTL flash that can swivel. Bounce off wall. Aperture stop down a little, shutter speed ~1/500. This could probably help you freeze the action w/o blurred motion.
    Last edited by ovaltinemilo; 13th August 2010 at 03:29 PM.
    ...:::..::.Nikon.::.:::..
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Shooting in low light, using the available natural lighting (without flash)

    thanks everyone for reply...

    will read up and study every suggestion

  18. #18
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shooting in low light, using the available natural lighting (without flash)

    yes, even you can find a f0.5 lens also won't help much, subjects in bad lighting will still in bad lighting.

    using direct flash and ask kids to look at the camera, that is really a torture.
    get your flash off the camera or use flash ceiling bounce instead.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  19. #19

    Default Re: Shooting in low light, using the available natural lighting (without flash)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raptor2k7 View Post
    thanks everyone for reply...

    will read up and study every suggestion
    Here is a thread I started a while back on the subject of taking children photos.
    Nothing that is very high standard but you'd get some keepers

    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showt...116&highlight=[pinholecam]

  20. #20

    Default Re: Shooting in low light, using the available natural lighting (without flash)

    Invest in a flash bro.

    And then, you can stop down the aperture (for sharper image) and have a faster shutter speed and at lowest iso possible.

    A flash can also result in a really nice natural-ish light.

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