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Old Apr 8, 2007, 2:36 AM   #1
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I've just recently bought my first slr (Canon XT) and have been stuck inside for some time due to weather.

Can anyone provide tips when shooting subject indoors? I'm having a difficult time trying to meter the correct light when there is a lamp on, or if the sun is shining through the patio doors. It's alway seems too dark. I have a portrait lense - 50mm, (1. 8 and zoom lense - 28-70mm (3.2 - 4.0)

To give a little more detail, I have a potted flower which I've been experimenting with and just today the light outside was cloudy, but still shining alot of light through my patio doors. With the my back to the light (so it would be front light) I had my subject in front of me. I set the aperature at 3.2 to allow the most light in, iso 100, and 'tried' to meter it myself and set the shutter accordingly, but i'm coming out with dark images, some even black. From what I've read about sky and metering, I was not sure if this technique applies to light shining indoors because it's not even lighting, but even so, my subject and entire area I'm shooting is quite lit up. I tried metering directly off the light outside, off the wall of my apartment, off the rug (lol) and I still cant get a decent picture. The shutter speeds would vary from 2500, 650, 30, respectively. That's all at aperature 3.2.

I was told to keep a rule of thumb in mind about shutter speed and that to avoid any 'shake', you can only shoot shutter speeds 500 and higher, anything below requires a tripod.

I figured trying to meter off all the various light sources would give me a better indication if a similar situation arises, but the pictures simply did not turn out. I thought 2500 was quite exessive, as 500-1000 is mostly for freeze shots, and my potted plant doesn't move, so I really shouldn't require that fast

I metered in centered average weight. (do not have spot metering).I would 'prefer' to use this method becauseI would like to learn how tograsp a better light,but being new, i wonder if i should stick with Matrix metering to be on the safe side, or partial.

Any help would be great.

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Old Apr 8, 2007, 6:06 AM   #2
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The first thing I would do is boost up your ISO. 100 isnot enoughfor low light shots. Try setting your camera on "Auto" just to see what the camera would do then go back to your Manual Mode and work from there.
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Old Apr 8, 2007, 9:54 AM   #3
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undiscovered wrote:
I was told to keep a rule of thumb in mind about shutter speed and that to avoid any 'shake', you can only shoot shutter speeds 500 and higher, anything below requires a tripod.
Wrong rule. Actually, no such rule as you quote.
The rule is, that to avoid blur, use one over the focal length of the lens. So if you use a 50mm lens, then you should shoot at 1/50 second shutter speed or higher. But you still need to use good technique to avoid shaking (moving) the camera when you take the photo.

A tripod is always a good idea if you want really sharp photos.

Indoors, the difference between the light coming in from outside and the light level inside can be very high, especially when it is a sunny day outside.

The questions is - are you trying to render the scene outside correctly, or the scene inside? You would need to meter accordingly. Or do you want to get both in the same image? If so, then you probably need to add light to your indoor subject, or at least the background.

I would suggest getting a good book on lighting, additionally, a good book on photography should also cover metering in depth. Read whet they have to say and then experiment.

Hope that helps.
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