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Old May 11, 2008, 3:30 PM   #1
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Whats your secret? Is it possible to get good indoor (i.e. in the home) shots, with no external flash, no special lenses, and preferably, no sunlight?

I would love to see examples - obviously there won't be much in the way of professional shots (or will there?), so I'm just looking for random, candid pics you've set up under those circumstances. And tips if you've got em!

For me personally, I have a Pentax K100D that I have been learning in and out for the past year (ok, to be fair, i don't have a lot of spare time :G). But I have yet to find settings that I am happy with and generally, if I'm going to be taking pics indoor, I do it when the sun is coming in the windows at the right angle.

Which pretty much leaves the rest of my day free to post questions like this one.:lol:


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Old May 11, 2008, 5:49 PM   #2
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yes its possible to get good shots indoors with natural light, you will need a tripod as shutter speeds will be low, which leads to shake and blur if you try to hand hold the camera.

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Old May 12, 2008, 2:57 AM   #3
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Thanks! What about non-natural, run of the mill, indoor light. Even if by chance and luck, I'd love to see some photos that turned out 'ok' (not necessarily stellar) under those conditions.

Probably i should ask this on a non-pro forum. :lol:
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Old May 12, 2008, 8:00 AM   #4
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There are three factors that affect exposure:
  1. Shutter Speed - the length of time that the image sensor is exposed to light. [/*]
  2. Aperture - the amount of light that is allowed to pass through the lens to the image sensor. [/*]
  3. ISO Setting - the sensitivity of the image sensor to light.
[/*]
If you want to take photos in low light, you need to crank up one or more of these factors.

If you increase the shutter speed, your photos might suffer from motion blur due to camera shake. But your K100D has sensor shift image stabilization, so you should be able to get away with longer shutter speeds, but not too long. This will, of course, not correct for motion blur due to subject movement, so you can't use shutter speeds that are too long, whether you use a tripod or not.

If you increase the aperture, you decrease the depth of field, but for indoor photography, that's not usually a bad thing. Indoor photography is environmental portraiture, and a small depth of field is usually desireable for portraits. But cameras don't usually come with large aperture lenses, so this solution will require an extra expense. Pentax has a 50mm f/1.4 that goes for about $200. It has an aperture that is well suited for indoor photography, but the focal length might bea little long. Sigma has a 28mm f/1.8 for about $270 that might be better.

If you increase the ISO Setting (beyond, say, 400) you risk noise. Luckily, the Pentax has a good reputation for low noise, but at the expense of detail.

You can play with any or all of these until you find a balance that works for you.

This is a photo of Vinny Corvino, lead singer for Urbansnake, and my brother-in-law, holding his new nephew.

This is a photo of my grandson.

(These are my first attempts at linking photos from my Photoshop Express account. Please let me know what you think.)
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Old May 18, 2008, 9:10 AM   #5
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I am not as experienced as most that post on these forums but I will add my 2 cents.
I have found its really important to have at least one fast lens that will help you in these situations. If being able to move around a fair bit is an option and the distance from your subject is not great than can usually be met with a relatively inexpensive prime lens. The really tough problem is shooting something in poor light with a lot of movement at distance.......bands, speakers, indoor sports.

If you are taking shots of family and friends in natural light you could do well with a prime lens. I use a canon camera and in that line a 50 mm prime that is quite fast can be had for 70 dollars or less. I have the F 1.4 version which is a bit pricier.

This is primarily what I use that lens for.

here is a shot at the zoo with very low light...actually it was almost complete darkness and shot without a flash. 50mm F1.4, ISO 1600, 1/30 on a canon digital rebel xti handheld.



this looks fine on 4x6 but blown up it would look soft and somewhat grainy in my opinion. But considering it was pitch black in the viewing area and very dim light in the enclosure it is a good test of what can be done without flash.


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Old May 18, 2008, 9:24 AM   #6
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Nice shot and an excellent example. Thanks for posting it.
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Old May 18, 2008, 9:33 AM   #7
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Good advice.

Krustehplease keep posted photos to about 700 pixels for the longest size so people can see what you have posted easilyas not all have wide screen/large monitors.
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Old May 18, 2008, 11:08 AM   #8
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fixed...sorry about that.
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Old May 18, 2008, 11:09 AM   #9
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Not a problem at all. Thanks for sorting it :-)
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