Christmas Portraits in Manual Mode...ugh

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by stsinner, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. stsinner

    stsinner TPF Noob!

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    I'm struggling to take good no-flash pictures in manual mode, but I have three that I think turned out pretty good. I'm having trouble, though, getting enough light without taking the shutter speed down too low. I took about 80 pictures today, but about 65 of them were blurred by movement, even though the kids were sitting fairly still. I was at ISO 1600, which is the limit of my camera, so what now?

    Is it anything I'm doing wrong or just the nature of the beast in low-light situations?

    Thanks for the info.



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    Last edited: Dec 7, 2008
  2. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you are using the Xmas tree lights to illuminate the scene ... then you are going to run into a very low light situation.

    Try to add another light source element into the image.

    A very fast lens (ex. 50mm f1.4 ) would help a lot.
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Your shutter speed is too low. 1/13 of a second is not hand-holdable. Use 1/60 as a minimum, and even at that you may get some motion blur from subject movement. You've got two choices. As mentioned above either more light (Add supplmentary lighting/faster lens) or use a tripod and hope the child doesn't move. Good luck!
     
  4. redtippmann

    redtippmann TPF Noob!

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    i would also make sure my color balance is corrected looks a bit red/orange.
     
  5. stsinner

    stsinner TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice.. I do have a 50 f1.8, but when I last tried it, I had trouble with composition because of the size of my living room. I think I'll try again, because I like the results so far, sans the movement blur. I'll be sure to keep the shutter at 1/60 or above.. Sorry about the probably amatuerish questions, but I'm one of those annoying people who has never taken a photography class (can't afford it) but wants good pictures.. That's why I come here.. I'm basically starting from the bottom and have literally just played with Manual in the last month due to suggestions here that I should.. I'm going to ask some dumb questions, so just let me apologize in advance.

    Thanks.
     
  6. stsinner

    stsinner TPF Noob!

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    Another thing I did for the first time today is shoot in RAW, so I should be able to correct that.

    Thanks
     
  7. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sigma makes a very nice 30mm 1.4, if you are in the market for a lens. Your kit lens has a variable max aperture, so at the 18mm end it should be faster, f/3.5 I think, its also easier to hold longer shutter speeds with a wider lens.

    Its easy to correct to correct white balance and make color adjustments in RAW. It opens up a lot of flexibility.
     
  8. stsinner

    stsinner TPF Noob!

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    I'll check on that lens.. Thanks.
     
  9. MelodySoul

    MelodySoul TPF Noob!

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    I use my 50mm 1.8 a lot in low light but it is a little difficult if you don't have the space to move around. A tripod would help a lot too. You can always just add some more light sources as well, move a lamp over closer etc.
     
  10. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    These shots would be a great place to make use of your SB-600 as a bounced flash. You can't go wrong with the following:

    Manual mode.
    ISO: 100/200/400-- this one is just a matter of saving a bit of battery if you want, at the cost of a smidge more noise.
    Shutter speed: 1/125
    Aperture: f/5.6
    Flash mode: i-TTL, pointed up.


    This will give you nice, bright, clean images, which is exactly what you are looking for, I imagine.

    Every day situations which are often the most difficult to photograph in terms of the light. Don't feel bad that you are having trouble or are having to ask a lot of questions, everyone was a beginner sometime.
     
  11. stsinner

    stsinner TPF Noob!

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    I'm trying to capture the warmth of the room, but it looks like I may not be able to do that as pleasingly as I thought I could.
     
  12. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yea, the color issues are just far too distracting, even if this were a tripod mounted shot and your daughters didn't move. If you can afford it, I would invest in an SB-600 - even one can dramatically alter your ability to control light like this.
     

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