Candle light with a Nikon D40?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by juju66, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. juju66

    juju66 TPF Noob!

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    Hi, I'm new here so I hope my question isn't too silly.

    I have a Nikon D40 and I'm pleased with it so far, though I've stupidly lost the instruction manual.:blushing:

    I want to shoot some portraits by candle light, though not including the candles themselves in the picture, but I can't seem to get the settings right to do this. If I use the 'no flash' setting, it compensates by letting in way too much light - not the dramatic effect I'm after.

    Any other setting, and the flash automatically pops up whether I like it or not. I have to manually hold it down, which is irritating, though I'm sure there must be a way of doing it without having to do that. And with all the settings (and holding the flash down - grrr!) the shutter speed is so long that again, it seems to be letting in too much light and doesn't look like the what's in front of me.:meh:

    I've tried altering the ISO to 800 but that makes no difference.

    So, any tips for candle light using the D40? And anyone know how to keep the flash from popping up? (I bet I'm going to look really stupid as it's probably really simple;))

    Cheers...
     
  2. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Manual mode, you'll also need faster glass than the kit lens - such as f/1.4 for example.

    Low light, especially candle light means longer exposures, wider apertures and higher ISO.
     
  3. juju66

    juju66 TPF Noob!

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    Oh dear, I can't afford a new lens right now. :( I remember getting some nice candle light photos with my old, bog standard non-SLR digital (Kodak), which is sadly no more. Perhaps I'll have to borrow one and give up on the Nikon for the moment.

    Is there any answer to the automatic flash problem though? Anyone else got a D40?
     
  4. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    If you're in an automatic mode it will do that unless you select one of the PSAM modes or the no flash mode. You don't 'need' a new lens, it would just help your chances.

    Doesn't matter what camera you use, photos require light - period. If there's not enough light to expose the image you'll get darkness. To counter this you need to do one or more of the following:

    1. Set the shutter speed slower. (Increasing the exposure time.)
    2. Raise the ISO. (Increasing the sensitivity to light.)
    3. Open up the aperture. (Allow more light in.)
    4. Add light (flash, other light source.)
    5. A combination of the above.

    A tripod or something to set the camera on will also help.

    I've had a D40 and currently have a D60 which is similar. You can do what you are after, it just takes a better understanding of how it all works.

    There's no magic setting, it's trial and error or experience that will get you what you need out of this shot and any other shot.

    Practice, practice, practice.
     
  5. Goontz

    Goontz TPF Noob!

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    For what it's worth, you can download a PDF copy of it from Nikon's site.
     
  6. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The answer was. The camera has to be in Manual Mode.
     

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