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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Taking Better Low Light Photos With Your Pink Digital Camera

By Corwin Graves

Becoming good at taking photographs doesn't happen overnight; it's a gradual process that requires a great deal of practice, and it requires that you ask a lot of questions. One of the most common questions that many photographers have is how to take better photos in low light situations? They often think that there is one particular camera that will allow them to capture spectacular low-light photos, though this isn't necessarily the case. It's understandable that people become frustrated when their camera hunts to gain focus in low light situations only to product an image that is ultimately undesirable. Regardless of the type of camera you own, there a few tips that can turn blurry and/or dark photos into clear and crisp shots that you will be proud of.

The large majority of people reading this article that already own a point-and-shoot style camera won't necessarily be interested in making the leap to the DLSR camera. Therefore, the focus of this article will be to offer some simple, cost effective suggestions that will help you to improve your low light photography. Before exploring some of these options, however, it's important to understand why many cameras suffer when it comes to capturing photos under low light conditions.

You see, when a camera prepares to capture an image it must first allow the lens to open wide enough and long enough to allow the proper amount of light to come in. The problem under low light conditions is that the camera must tell the lens to stay open for an extended period of time. During this time your hands or other external forces will likely move the camera slightly, thereby creating a blurred image. The goal is to keep the camera still while offering it the light it needs to capture a given image.

Perhaps the simplest and most commonly used solution is to invest in a basic quality tripod. A tripod will allow you to hold your camera still during an exposure and will prevent you from moving or shaking the camera with your hands. A decent tripod can be purchased for under $50.00, and there are a bunch of tripods available to fit a variety of different cameras. There are even tripod options that are lighter and more portable; however, these will typically demand a higher price.

Another option to consider that will increase the amount of available light is to use your camera's built in flash mechanism. While most point-and-shoot style cameras weren't designed to light up an entire warehouse sized room, they will perform sufficiently well when used under dimly lit conditions in a normal sized area. One area where a small flash will not perform well is under very dark conditions, since the flash will tend to overexpose the foreground subject and underexpose the background. These situations are extreme and will either require a much bigger flash or a series of flashes. It's safe to assume that most people will not have the equipment required to produce a usable image under these conditions.

Apart from the tips mentioned above, another option may be to consider an upgrade to a digital SLR camera, since many of these cameras can accommodate larger flash units and faster lenses. Whatever method you choose to follow, it's important to understand the limitations of your current equipment. By knowing what your camera can and can't accomplish you will be in a better position to capture beautiful low light photos.

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