This week on TWiP Family, I answer questions from listeners with help from Clickin’ Moms CEO, Sarah Wilkerson and family photographer, Erika Thornes.
Richard is using his camera on manual more and more. But, he still leaves his ISO and white balance on auto. After talking to Richard, I wanted to get some more information about both ISO and white balance. I called Sarah Wilkerson to help answer his question more thoroughly.
David has a question about using flash indoors. He noticed that many images of the photographers who have been guests on TWiP Family look very clean and well lit. Erika Thornes and I talk about how to bounce flash for a more natural look than the pop up flash on the camera.
Erika talked about this flash.
Some images using bounced on camera flash:
On this episode I’m introducing a new segment: a listener tip. David from Belgium sent his family photo and told me how he got it. He offered to come on the show and tell all about it. His secret: he uses an intervalometer. Instead of using the ten second timer or remote, he sets his camera to take a time lapse of his family. Over the weekend, my family went to get our Christmas tree. I took a time lapse of our family to get a photo.
It’s the darkest time of the year in the northern hemisphere. The sun is down before I make dinner. What better time to think about taking photos in low light?
(I know some of you are enjoying summer right now. Enjoy it! Romp in the ocean for me. You can still do this challenge.)
Erika and I talked about bouncing and external flash. That is one way to have fun when daylight is in short supply.
Another way is to turn up your ISO. I know. You’re worried about noise and other losses in quality. For years, I steered clear of anything higher than 800. But, think about what your photo is for. My friend, Randi, talks about what she calls the life of a photo. Randi is a wedding photographer. She knows that the portraits of the couple and family are most likely to be printed and hung on the wall. The photos of the couple’s friends dancing? They are fun but probable are going to be viewed online. Randi turns up her ISO for those shots knowing that the life of the photo isn’t a magazine spread or 20 x 30 canvas. You can do the same with your family photos. Turn your ISO up.
Your high ISO will allow you to use a high enough shutter speed to stop motion. Low light is also a good time to put on your fastest lens – if you have a lens that changes aperture as you zoom – it’s a challenge. If you zoom in, your f-stop will be 5.6 or so. So, zoom out and you’ll get more light to the sensor. If you have a lens that opens to f 2 or lower – this is a good time to use it.
Your autofocus won’t work as well in low light. Maybe you have a focus assist light. You may need to focus on your own.
Now that you’ve set your ISO high and opened up your lens – look around for moments when there is light coming from just one place – a door way, candle or window. Be patient and see what you get. I want to encourage you to experiment and instead of wishing it was a bright summer evening, look at what the light is like today.
Share your low light photos in the comments.
Keep the family photography questions coming! If you have a suggestion for a topic or guest you’d like to hear on this family photography podcast, write to me and tell me all about it. Your emails make Q and A shows like this one possible. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the new year begins, I’m starting a 365 Project. I will take a photo every day for a year and share it. Some days it’ll be fun. Some days it’ll be hard. Some days it might just be boring. But, over the course of a year, it means I’ll make many photos that wouldn’t otherwise. Does a 365 Project appeal to you? Join me! TWiP Family: 365 Project 2016