I am unhappy with the photos i take in low light outdoor shots at night. I photograph Marching Band routines, the field lights are on but i am in the stands and i always have camera shake. I got a monopod but am still not happy. I raised the ISO, tried sport mode, the IS mode is set to continuous but photos are either blurry, grainy or both. Can you solve this or is it the camera? I do not use the digital zoom...way too much noise.
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Recompose The Photo
This is probably the simplest solution. When taking a photo of a scene with very bright and very dark parts, move your camera to eliminate one of the extremes. In the case of the band, I would have either closed the curtains for the shot, or recomposed completely and photographed from the window looking at the band, and the crowd behind.
Use Exposure Lock
If you can't recompose the photograph, instead tell the camera what part of the image you would like to see. The rest of the photo will be either over or under exposed (too bright or too dark) but at least you will see your subject. You can dothis by placing the center of the image at your subject; half depressing the shutter to lock the focus and exposure; move the camera to re-compose the image; and fully depressing the shutter.
In the band image, the camera chose to correctly expose the scene outside, but even if the band member had been correctly exposed, the window would have ended up being over exposed and you would just have seen white.
Some cameras have an option called 'spot metering' to set the part of the image you'd like to be correctly exposed. If your camera has this setting, enable it before using the technique above.
Use Fill In Flash
If your scene has a sunny background, but your subject is in the shade (or has a hat on), turn on the flash (as I explained way back in tip number 9 - Using Flash During The Day). I know it seems wrong but it really does work! By using the flash, your subject will look as bright as the background. This would have worked well for the child shot above.
High Dynamic Range Imaging
This technique is not for the faintof hearted. It requires a subject that does not move; a good camera with the capability to set the exposure and output RAW images. A tripod and image editing software like Photoshop CS3 are also needed.
High Dynamic Range Imaging (or HDR for short) is a technique for placing both very dark and very light areas in the same photo. It requires you to take a number of photographs of thesame scene - each with a different exposure. First take the shot using the camera's recommended settings. Then, in manual mode and keeping the aperture at the same value as the first shot, take a sequence of shots - each shot having a different shutter speed (above and below the original). You'll have 5-9 shots of the same scene all in different exposures.
Merging the three images to the left creates the HDR image below. Thanks to Photomatix for the images.
Now import these into your favorite paint program. I use Photoshop, but you can as easily use a cheaper program designed specifically for HDR photos like Photomatix. Follow the HDR directions and the paint program will merge these images into one great looking shot!
Use a Filter
If your scene is of a brightsky and a dark ground (for instance at sunset, or on a cloudy day), you can use a graduated neutral density filter. This filter cuts out someof the light from one part of the photo (the sky). This will correctly expose the ground and the sky without needing to use HDR. These filterscan be complex to setup, so I don't usually recommend them for beginners.
Fix The Original Photo in an Image Editing Program
Finally, if you can't take another shot at the same location, you can fix the original image by changing the levels using a paint program. This works best when your subject is darker than the rest of the photo (because cameras lose detail in over-bright areas). I've brightened the band member in the top image using this technique and while it looks okay in thissmall shot, this technique can tend to amplify any noise in the image. The darker the subject, the harder time you will have fixing the image.
I discuss exactly how to use this technique in lesson 2 of my free Image Editing Secrets course. I have a tutorial for Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro and the free Google Picassa.
- See more at: http://www.digital-photo-secrets.com/tip/140/6-ways-to-fix-too-bright-and-too-dark-photos/#sthash.58eENOTt.dpuf
Set ISO Setting to FIXED RANGE and set the range to 80-400. The camera produces noise at HIGH ISO setting. NIGHT SHOTS
Get a small Tripod and you can take wonderful night time shots of city-scapes. Use a tripod and set the camera White Balance to Incandes. Make sure the FLASH is Off Set the Exposure Comp. to -2. Set the self timer and then frame and press the shutter and back away. Some exposures can be 1 second long so a tripod is not optional. Small plastic Joby ones work. If you are holding the camera during the shot it will move with you. A self timer is used to take the photo after you are not touching it.
When you use the flash set the White Balance to Flash (Unless you are outside on a sunny day. then use daylight)
I do NOT recommend using Auto Flash. Set the flash to OFF or turn it to SINGLE BOLT for fill.
When you want to photograph people outside in the sun set the White Balance to Daylight. On sunny days use the Fill Flash (Single Bolt) to fill faces better. Yes good photographers use flash in the direct sun. When cloudy are in shade turn flash off. If the subject has a bright background get close to them and have the flash on.
This camera makes red eye. In most cases when you are taking a photo of people in low light, when the flash supplies most of the light, you will get horrible red eye. You have to edit these later to remove the red eye.
Depth of field is the characteristic of how much of, or how deeply, the photograph is in focus. If the main subject is in focus but the foreground and background are blurred, the photo is said to have a shallow depth of field. if most of the photo is in focus, including the foreground and background, the photo is said to have a wide depth of field.
Depth of field is controlled by the aperture setting:
- A wide aperture setting (indicated by a low f-stop number) will provide shallow depth of field, resulting in the main subject being in focus and the foreground and background being blurry. This setting is particularly useful when taking portraits or when using a macro lens.
- A narrow aperture setting (indicated by a higher f-stop number) will provide wider depth of field, resulting in the entire photo being in focus. This setting is particularly useful when taking landscape or wide-angle photographs.
The photographs below are examples of how the same subject will photograph using different aperture settings. Note that as the aperture closes, which will allow less light to reach the image sensor, the shutter speed gets faster to produce the appropriate exposure.
I think you have got a general idea about depth filed. If you have further questions, you can ask me directly. http://www.fixya.com/users/shajanrs
depth of field - what is depth field - how depth field affects picture - how to adjust depth field - DEPTH FIELD - depthfield - DEPTHFIELD
problems with your photographs, you need to be able to distinguish between
problems created by the camera and problems created by the, ahem, photographer.
Some things, like a finger over half of the shot or a totally out of focus
picture of your own feet are not camera malfunctions. Fortunately, most of what
appear to be "malfunctions" are things you can correct through
settings. Blurry pictures usually result in pressing the shutter button down
before the autofocus kicks in; half-tap the shutter to bring the camera into
focus then press it all the way down to take a clear shot. Grainy photos are the
result of a high ISO value and low light; use a tripod or, if necessary, the
flash when taking pictures in low light. Different makes and models have
different ways to warn you that the light is low: some display a shaking hand
icon, others a red light. Look for this and adjust photo settings.
When my cameras start having a mind of their own there are three basic things I check: 1. How old is the battery? Or has the camera been sitting around for a while? Chances are your battery doesn't have the gusto in it anymore if you answered yes or maybe to one of these. And then the camera stars acting up. 2. Once you've started "researching and resetting" all the possible settings it is good to reset all settings to default settings. Your manual will guide you for this. 3. Last but not least, where you out in humid weather? lake? sea? ocean? boat? handled the camera after coming out of the pool with wet hands? anything that would have allowed all that to seep into your camera?
If you can are turning the flash off and on, you are no longer in the "Auto" mode. Rotate the top selector dial to select the green "Auto" position. This will enable the camera to automatically select the best aperture and shutter speed based on the available lighting. It will also decide whether it needs flash or not.
As you gain confidence in your abilities, experiment with the other settings on the dial. May I suggest first trying the "P" program setting. This is similar to auto, but will enable you to turn off the flash during low-light level shots. Still the camera will select the best aperture and shutter speed based on the lighting. But in very low lighting, you may have to keep the camera extra steady (such as with a tripod) to minimize camera shake as the picture is taken.
I think this is down to your choice of lens. If you have the kit lens, it is pretty poor unless in bright sunlight. You could try keeping the shutter open longer using AV+/- or increasing the ISO but this increases the chance of a blurry photo. Remember the sensor on the Canon is huge compared to the Kodak - so more light will need to enter the lens to expose it properly. This is why SLR lenses are huge compared to compact cameras.
Hey matty reps, You are attempting one of the most challenging types of photography there is, because you are combing nighttime photography and action photography. If you want to stop the action you normally would be using the highest shutter speed possible, but since you are trying to take nighttime action photographs I would rely on a flash since the flash duration in essence becomes your shutter speed. I would definitely use a hotshoe mounted flash because the built in flash will most likely not be powerful enough for your needs. I would have the camera set to aperture priority so I could control the depth of field, because the smaller the aperture the larger depth of field you will have and the less likely your subject will be out of focus. If you are attempting natural light nighttime action photography you will definitely need a very fast film speed such as 3200 speed film which will provide significant loss of image quality. You will also need a very fast lens meaning a lens with an aperture of at least f2.8 or larger, and your camera in this scenario should be set to shutter priority so you can set the camera to the fastest shutter speed possible but this will present focusing issues. In both scenarios I would have the AF system set to continuous so the camera doesn't require you to achieve focus to be able to trip the shutter. As in all challenging photography situations more photos are better than less, because you should have more failed photos than successful. I hope this helps! Sincerely, Allan Go Ahead. Use Us.
use more light:)
its very normal that it does that. it dosent get enough light so it
cant focus. the only way it can autofocus is that it stobes the flash
to adjust the focus automaticly. use an external flash like 580EX and u
will get an focus asisten thru a red grid throne by the flash unit.