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Old Sep 3, 2012, 5:51 PM   #1
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Default Camp fire shot help

Hi Everyone

I was at a family gathering and tried to get some shots of family members around the fire. I failed miserably. I was using the K-5 with 50mm 1.7 lens. I was using manual mode at 6400 ISO. the best shutter speed I could get was 1/160 sec. The pictures were dark and blurry I could use some suggestions on how to improve these type of shots.

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Old Sep 3, 2012, 10:26 PM   #2
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Your best shutter speed is still too fast ! With a 50mm you could easily go hand held down two or even three stops. Then the movement of your subjects would become the issue and you'd need to choose your moments carefully, but you would get ambient light shots. #1 is just OOF of course and #2 poorly framed so be careful when composing.

That said this looks to be an extremely low light event - in which case you could also have bumped the ISO up to 12,800/25,600 and PP'd the noise somewhat later - giving you shots good enough for 6x4 - or better still used a flash ! There are some situations which are beyond the ability of any camera to capture without flash.
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Old Sep 4, 2012, 4:02 AM   #3
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Hi,

This doesn't answer your question ... I had a quick play with your two samples in PS, I've had to filter out a lot of noise, which doesn't help the sharpness, some exposure correction, and cropping to help composition.

In the second shot your focus was very evidently on the subject left of picture.
... Jack
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Old Sep 4, 2012, 5:47 AM   #4
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The imges above look significantly under-exposed. I recommend using aperture priority instead of manual. As Frogfish has remarked, it does not appear that the camera focused on the subject--probably because of the very low light.

Alternatively, you can try using a flash with reduced power to sufficiently illuminate your subject in order to preserve some of the ambient light from the fire. I typically do not use extremely high ISO's-- IMO, the image quality tends to degrade pretty fast when you get up above ISO 6400.
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Old Sep 4, 2012, 11:21 AM   #5
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I would shoot aperture priority at f1.7 set the exposure compensation at -1 stop min. (if that's still too bright underexpose more) auto ISO range 200-6400 (higher if you get too much blur) set center point for exposure and focus and let the camera do its job.

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Old Sep 4, 2012, 4:39 PM   #6
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Thanks you all for the tips, I will have to try this again.
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