Jump to content

How to take a nice photo without flash?!


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 iheartu

Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:36 AM

Hi ladies original.gif

I've got a canon 550D and the last few days I've been really practicing and playing with it. I love taking portraits of my darlings and have taken approx 1200 shots in the last few day ohmy.gif Tounge1.gif (only 30 or so that I LOVE the rest well some are good, most aren't lol something about working with children and animals comes to mind lol)

I've taken some shots I'm very happy and proud of but some of them are slightly out of focus and I find if I use the flash they are a lot clearer/crisper but I don't like using the flash for most pictures as I don't like the artificial bright that seems to give my 'models' a bluish tinge and if I use it a lot it ends up becoming 'busy' and takes ages to reload between shots.

Any handy hints?! I enjoy playing with and prefer the manual mode so hit me!


#2 Bluenomi

Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:43 AM

Lighting. Professionals don't use the inbuilt flash they use lights and seperate flashes.

Otherwise move outside where you don't need lighting  biggrin.gif

#3 Bec .

Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:28 PM

What lens are you using?

#4 Peanut

Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:33 PM

I find it tricky too sometimes (I'm not good with people shots, I'm better at inanimate objects, lol), so I usually take photos of my kids outside.

#5 iheartu

Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:38 PM

I'm using the 18-55mm that came with it, I also have a 55-250mm that I haven't even used really.

I'm such an amateur I just love taking nice photos original.gif

#6 raven74

Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:39 PM

Good light and fast glass.  You may find your camera "hunts" - tries to find a focal point - when the light is low.  Fast glass is a lens with a wide aperture - 2.8. 1.8, 1.4, 1.2.  If you're using kit lenses they may only go down to f5-5.6 which isn't enough in lower light.
Don't shoot in the shade, if it's dark open the blinds, turn on lights (ISO can only do so much before you get noisy photos) set your white balance accordingly.  I see a lot of pics where people shoot their kids under a beautiful tree and they look terrible.  Be aware of things like this - something like a tree gives uneven dappled light.
Look for the light before you shoot.  See how the light hits their faces, make sure they have catchlights in their eyes.

#7 ~kacee~

Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:42 PM

You'll do better with a lens that can have a wide aperture (known also as f-stop). The lower the f-stop number, the more light it'll let in (and no flash needed). Also, make your ISO higher (prob at least 800, more likely 1600).

#8 iheartu

Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:48 PM

Thanks Raven they're great tips original.gif

What lens size do you recommend for portraits...

F stop is already on 5 and my iso is usually 1200 - 1600 original.gif

#9 FEdeRAL

Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:50 PM

Yeah if you do mainly portraits it's worth investing in a fixed lens. A 50mm with F-stop under 1.8 will do a better job than the standard lens that comes with the camera. The lens prices from 1.8 to 1.4 jumps more than double, and a 1.2 will usually be close to a grand.

#10 iheartu

Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:52 PM

Ooo ouch expensive hobby isn't it original.gif

#11 pruehp

Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:56 PM

As stated above, you need a 50mm 1.8 lens. I'm Nikon girl, but i imagine a canon one should cost about $100. Then you can snap away to your heart's content indoors. Try to use window light - it's directional and makes for striking portraits.

#12 raven74

Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:59 PM

You can get a "nifty fifty" 1.8 for a few hundred bucks and get great results.
On a  55http://www.harveynorman.com.au/canon-ef-mm-f-ii-lenses.html?gclid=CKaTnZDYoLUCFQZapQodwDwAJA0 I'd be a bit leary of having your ISO up there, might get a tad grainy.

Edited by raven74, 06 February 2013 - 01:00 PM.


#13 Sentient Puddle

Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:06 PM

If you must take photos in poor light then invest in a speedlight and bounce the light off something light in colour (ceiling or wall).  Otherwise you need to find the light and put your subjects in that light and create the photo using light as your guiding principle.  

A great photo just wont happen - you need to make it happen.

Fast glass is also good - but just remember - opening up wide on a nifty fifty will only give you a very small focal plane (area where subject is in focus) so you need to practice a goodly while to ensure your subject is in focus.  And unless it is a birthday party in the semi dark - never use on camera flash - and if you absolutely must use on camera flash you can diffuse the harshness of the light by using something as simple as a tissue!

#14 iheartu

Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:23 PM

Perhaps the high iso is contributing to the lack of sharpness in some of my pics. For normal indoor pics what iso should I be using?

Might have a play around diffusing the light.... Thanks for the tissue tip.

Pity my birthday is in a couple of days and I can't add a new lens to my wish list but I'm pretty sure DH has organised a landscape portraits class for me so bit stoked about that (well that's if my guess is correct!)

#15 Sentient Puddle

Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:35 PM

The higher end your camera - the more you can bump up the iso and have usable photos.  Noise in a photo is preferable to having a blurry photo though - so I doubt it is the high iso contributing to the lack of sharpness.  I also think the more you take photos the more you realise that sometimes you just wont get a good photo because of the lighting conditions.  If you are serious about wanting to learn some lighting - a Youngnou speed light will set you back about $140 and a set of wireless triggers less than $50.  This will let you take photos in virtually any lighting condition.  A simple reflector will also help to bounce some light and is cheap.
http://protog.com.au/speedlite-camera-flashes-c-56.html

ETA I can easily shoot at 1600 ISO on my D800 and get usable shots.  It isnt my preference though.  I would prefer to use the available light and set up the shot - or use off camera flash and bring down the iso.  The lower the iso you are using - the more information the camera sensor is gathering - but the slower your shutter speed will have to be (so the chance of your photos being blurry increase).

Edited by ILBB, 06 February 2013 - 01:39 PM.


#16 iheartu

Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:01 PM

Ohhhhh righto! Thanks for explaining that original.gif I'm just muddling along learning from the net/ remembering my limited knowledge from high school photography classes!

#17 Sentient Puddle

Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:05 PM

One last thing from me, "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson, really good, clear book on the exposure triangle and a great place to start.

#18 whale-woman

Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:07 PM

QUOTE (Leeloomina @ 06/02/2013, 01:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yeah if you do mainly portraits it's worth investing in a fixed lens. A 50mm with F-stop under 1.8 will do a better job than the standard lens that comes with the camera. The lens prices from 1.8 to 1.4 jumps more than double, and a 1.2 will usually be close to a grand.



QUOTE (raven74 @ 06/02/2013, 01:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You can get a "nifty fifty" 1.8 for a few hundred bucks and get great results.
On a  55http://www.harveynorman.com.au/canon-ef-mm-f-ii-lenses.html?gclid=CKaTnZDYoLUCFQZapQodwDwAJA0 I'd be a bit leary of having your ISO up there, might get a tad grainy.


I got my nifty fifty and love it. Seriously It's definately worth it for taking kiddy snaps. I got mine OS for around 100$. But a warning it will start you hankering after decent lenses...... mmmmm new lenses!

#19 iheartu

Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:09 PM

Oh dear sounds like a 'nifty fifty' is on my wish list!

Ill have to pop down to the library ILBB thanks soooo much!

#20 Jjbeanz

Posted 06 February 2013 - 05:13 PM

I find the bathroom gives me really good light for portraits but I do have a big window

#21 Bec .

Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:35 PM

As has been stated, a 50mm f/1.8 will not cost very much and will allow a lot of light. However, you need to be spot on with your focus to be able to shoot at f/1.8. Also, I think that 50mm is not the best length for capturing shots of children indoors. Often they are moving around and to me it is more helpful to have something wider. I use a Tamron inside and at parties, the focal length is 28-75 and I find it perfect to get the shots I want. Another however though is that I use a speedlite, I have the Canon 430exii. It was not expensive, around $250 from memory and it is the best piece of equipment I have bought. Basically if you bounce it correctly, your shots will be clear and well lit without the harshness of the onboard flash. It will allow you to make better use of your kit lenses also. I use my kit lenses a lot. I think they are a great place to start learning. You will start to see what focal length you prefer and this can help guide you as to what lenses you might want to pick up later. Before buying the 50mm, put your kit lens on 50mm and start shooting. You will soon see if that length will work for you.

Edited by rbat, 06 February 2013 - 06:36 PM.





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Teaching our son to say no to violence against women

Today, on White Ribbon Day - and every other day - we're teaching our son to say no to violence against women.

Mothers told to breastfeed in 'spacious' toilet

If there is one thing the owners of Tillings Cafe can be certain of, it is that the eatery won't win the award for Britain's best baby-friendly coffee shop any time soon.

Mother gives name to son dumped down drain

A woman who admitted to dumping her newborn baby down a Sydney drain has reportedly been allowed to give him a name.

Taking small steps to reduce stress

Are you feeling used up by life's stress, family problems and a demanding job you can't turn off? Many people are way beyond work-life exhaustion. They are functioning as robots.

Bad news: we're running out of chocolate

The world's biggest chocolate-maker says we're running out of chocolate.

Born at 23 weeks, 'Chopstick Baby' survives first week

A baby who was born at 23 weeks has survived her first week of life outside the womb.

Manic stations: the nesting instinct in pregnancy

It might sound like temporary insanity, but almost obsessive nesting as you near your due date isn’t uncommon – even if you’re not usually a particularly clean person.

How a baby can survive alone for days on end

The baby found abandoned in a Sydney drain may have been alone for up to six days without being fed, leaving many asking how he could have survived.

When it begins to look a lot like Christmas

A child's excitement at Christmas time is a beautiful thing, but one dad ponders whether his toddler daughter is getting into the festive mood a bit too soon.

Hospital lets dads the experience some of the pain of childbirth

A new experience is radically altering men's views of childbirth.

Italian doctors questioned over formula bribes

Italian police have placed 12 doctors under house arrest on suspicion of promoting baby milk formula over breastfeeding.

Heartwarming prank gives single mum the house she was hired to clean

Cara Simmons arrived at work to clean a large and beautiful house in time for a party planned for that evening. It was soon hers.

Those special moments of sibling bonding

Every now and then your child does or says something that is truly memorable.

Why we should stop telling new parents to 'enjoy every moment'

A few weeks ago, some dear friends of mine had their first baby. As the proud dad texted me a picture I had to fight the natural instinct to say “Enjoy every moment!”

Baby monitor footage posted online

Footage of Australian babies and children sleeping in their bedrooms are among the images on a Russian site showing live feeds from thousands of homes and businesses around the world.

Did this new dad really hit on his wife's midwife?

Was there really a man who was actually there by his wife’s side as she laboured and gave birth to his child, all while he was making what he perceived to be meaningful eye contact with a midwife?

Keep calm and ignore the Tantrum Trolls

Tantrum Trolls are a small but growing species of predatory bottom-feeders who delight in picking on parents at their most vulnerable.

It's okay to never 'get over' the death of a loved one

The death of children, siblings, and parents has long term impacts on the rest of our lives.

What Mark Latham needs to know about depression and motherhood

Love has nothing to do with mental illness. But love may drive a mother to do something about it.

'We're just trying to keep our child alive': life with FPIES

We have a beautiful seven-month-old son, and his allergy rules our life.

Transgender dad breastfeeds his babies

A transgender man who breastfed his first baby - despite having his breasts removed as part of his transformation from female to male - has now had a second child.

Couple face $1 million medical bill and bankruptcy after babymoon birth

A Canadian couple were slammed with a million dollar medical bill after their daughter was prematurely during their babymoon.

Cigarettes, junk food dominate supermarket sales growth

One in every five dollars spent at supermarkets goes on cigarettes or junk food, according to industry data.

Teacher under fire for breastfeeding in class

There is no doubt mums have a right to continue breastfeeding after they have returned to work, but one teacher in the US has taken it to the extreme.

Win a family pass to Disney Live!

We have 4 family passes to give away to see Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales, touring Australia this December/January.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Join PADDINGTON on the red carpet!

To celebrate the release of PADDINGTON, we are giving five lucky winners the chance to win a family pass to the exclusive Australian Premiere in Sydney on December 7!

The tragedy of losing a favourite teddy bear

We were green and uninitiated, perhaps a little naïve when it came to the favourite toy responsibility.

Video: Baby sniffs beardless dad to make sure it's him

She looks him up and down and then touches his chin, but baby Lindsey still isn't sure this clean-shaven man is her dad.

It's possible to workout while pregnant

Medical experts say intense fitness routines can be done safely during pregnancy - if the mums-to-be follow some guidelines.

What parents really want for their kids

Are our hopes, dreams and expectations for our children what they really need?

'I had a feeling something was seriously wrong'

Before even giving birth, Katie Myers' maternal instincts warned her something was wrong with her baby.

When your pregnancy causes a relationship rift

Some dads-to-be don't miss a beat when their partner is pregnant; others struggle with a range of issues and can become withdrawn, right when their support is needed most.

Couple uses group photo trick to announce pregnancy to loved ones

Katharine and Kris Camilli devised a clever trick to immortalise their family and friends' reactions to their exciting pregnancy news.

Why Tracey Spicer has given up make-up

"After 30 years on television, I had become what I despised: a painted doll who spent an hour a day and close to $200 a week putting on a mask."

Knowing you are one of the lucky ones

I am secure, confident and strong, but the responsibility of protecting my children can almost bring me undone.

Why I am so emotional now I have kids?

There are so many ways in which parenthood changes us as women, but one of the most noticeable, for me, has been the changing state of my emotions.

Baby survives despite sharing womb with 'foreign body'

Baby Maia was conceived against the odds, only to find she was sharing a womb with an ominous "foreign body".

Video: Baby shows dog how to jump - or vice versa

They say dog is man's best friend, but this playful pooch seems to have chosen a jumping baby as her number one buddy.

10 ways to soothe a crying baby

New paernts can get frustrated when their newborn gets fussy and can't settle down. When you're feeling overwhelmed, try some of these simple tips to help soothe your baby.

20 baby names that are becoming more popular every year

The data-lovers at nameberry.com have been at it again – this time, they’ve discovered the names that are continually rising up the ranks, ready to take out some top spots in the next few years.

10 great meals to make for new parents

Ideally, you want to give food that isn’t expensive to make, isn't too difficult to create, and freezes well; stews, bakes, soups and pasta sauces are perfect.

Weird pregnancy products

Some pregnancy products come to market and are just awesome. Others just leave you scratching your head.

Carers admit to force-feeding children

Christa Engles was changing her baby's nappy when tragedy struck.

 

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.