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Old Dec 12, 2005, 6:09 AM   #1
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I have a question on settings. I will be taking a photo class at the beg. of the year so right now basically use all the preset settings. My question is I want to take a photo of my daughter with just the lights on the xmas tree and her holding some xmas lights. What is the best setting to use. When I have used the presets I get a blur in with the photo's and the shutter is very very very slow. I do not have any external flash.


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Old Dec 12, 2005, 7:32 AM   #2
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What settings you took the shot? Blur mean slow shutter so you need to increase the shutter speed. You can do that by

Increasing ISO

Use a fast aperture like f1.8

Use flash

Turn up some other lights
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Old Dec 12, 2005, 3:03 PM   #3
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Do you have a tripod? I'd shoot in Av, with the widest aperture, ISO set to 400, built-in flash popped-up.
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Old Dec 12, 2005, 9:36 PM   #4
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Do you want the xmas lights to be the only lighting? If so, use a tripod in Av (use the lowest number you can get), 800 iso (1600 if you need too). No flash! Tell everybody NOT to move during the shot. Experiment and have fun!
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Old Dec 13, 2005, 9:49 AM   #5
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The fundamental problem is that your eyes see better in low light than the camera's sensor.
Your eye can see surprisingly well in very low light... but the camera requires more.

You're moving while the camera is taking the picture. You need more shutter speed or a different way to hold the camera steady - for example, a tripod, or move a chair or small table into the room with the christmas tree and put the camera on that.

The other options are as bobbyz lists.
Use a smaller fstop (which will allow for a faster shutter speed but reduce the depth of field - how much is in focus)
Increase the ISO (which will produce more noise but give you a faster shutter speed)
Create more light (turn on lights, use a flash, use more christmas lights)

Good luck!

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Old Dec 13, 2005, 2:25 PM   #6
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I would personally use ISO 1600, and use Tv (Shutter) priority. Then what you have to work on is selecting the correct shutter speed to freeze the frame as you want it. Personally I think that pictures of kids look best with a little blurring in the hands - just shows the motion that is constant with terrible two's! I would start with a shutter speed of 1/125 and then increase the speed up a level and shoot again until you get what you want. Remembering that 1/250 should be fast enough to completelty freeze motion.

If you just cant do this due to lighting try using the on board flash but remember to drop the flash compensation down as much as you can and again work upwards. A really bright flash will not help the shot as the foreground will light up and the background will be very dark. You just have to experiment. Try using a static subject before hanging lights around your baby girl... then when you have got the basics covered, then place your daughter in the scene and hopefully you should be almost there.

Definately use a tripod if you don't have one place on a coffee table or other solid surface and use the self timer (which is great as you can make your daughter smile, etc... and not be looking directly at the camera).

Maybe you could post the results? Would be real interested to see them.

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