Low Light Help

Started May 27, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Re: Low Light Help
In reply to godsfshrmn, May 30, 2012

You don't really need low light help. You need to learn photography or at least the craft of photography. If people answering you have mentioning settings like +1 or aperture priority or most anything of the sort, they need to also learn the craft of photography.

For starters, I hope there was a real pro there and not just you or other friends snapping pictures. Your equipment is not a professional system much less a pro wedding system. Nothing wrong with that for vacations and family get togethers. Nothing wrong for landscapes if you want a small camera, but 4/3rd is just not known for being the best choice for low light situations so a pro wedding photographer would not choose one most of the time. That's not so say it couldn't be done, just that it's by far not the best choice.

Secondly, it doesn't matter zoom or prime except the maximum aperture of the lens. Mostly primes are faster than most zooms but not always. I nice f/2.8 pro-grade zoom is fine for most wedding uses. I use an 85 f/1.4 since a pro wedding photographer on these forums made the suggestion to use that over a 70-200 f/2.8. So that's your problem too; using a slow kit lens with a camera not known for good low light performance.

Thirdly, where's your flash or should I say flashes? You need at least one good solid top of the line flash that can be aimed in all directions for doing weddings. This is a must have tool. One of the best ways to combat poor light is to make it good light. You increase it. You carry lots of batteries because this tool gets a lot of use. I carry more than one. My daughter who is a professional wedding photog carries four or five in her kit all with fresh batteries and more batteries in the kit. That's for her and her floater.

Finally, you need to learn exposure. You need to learn how light works and how your camera works. You don't willy nilly set some mode and fire away. You have to know what to expose for in the scene. You have to know what that gets you. "If I expose for the bride's dress, what's the tux going to look like?" Just guessing, I'd say the tux is 2 stops darker than neutral gray so I could meter that and stop down 2 stops. You need understand what I just said, whether I'm right or wrong on that exposure. Why I said it is important to understanding exposure. You need to learn each full stop of aperture, shutter speed and ISO as well as scene luminosity.

You should be able to step into that venue and know within moments the proper exposure for that scene. No need to fuss around with modes and compensation unless you want to. Just set it for heaven's sake. Check the histogram to make sure on the first couple of shots, then have at it. The guy above who said he uses his camera as a hand held light meter is dead on right.

Go get Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure. Google the Zone System if you really are serious. Memorize all the full stops for aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Learn how to use your histogram on your camera. Learn the relationship between the stops.

Shoot RAW and learn how to process your own images. Learn this stuff, then you're in control, not moving dials around and hoping for a good shot or that the camera can bail you out of not knowing what you're doing.

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Cheers, Craig

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