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Thread: Tips needed for indoor photograpghy

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    Member Salvelinus's Avatar
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    Tips needed for indoor photograpghy

    Hi Everyone,
    I am going to Europe shortly, and I will be taking shots indoors with low light.
    I will not be able to use a flash or a tripod in most cases.

    Any tips and tricks that can assist me would be greatly appreciated.
    I have a 50mm prime that is fast - f1.4 and an APC-C camera (Sony A-57)
    Thanks
    Scott

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    tripod or some other stabilising device. For low light with no flash you are going to need a high ISO, that will result in noise in the photos, or get a tripod or use some other method to hold your camera perfectly still and take longer exposures (slower shutter speeds) to get good exposures.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Also, bump your ISO as far as it can go before it starts putting too much noise on the image.
    You can test this before you leave by taking some indoor shots are various ISO settings.
    Start at 800 and go up from there, and check the shots on the computer.
    You'll see when the noise starts to rear its ugly head.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
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    Sometimes you can use a wall, handrail, shelf or a post as a makeshift tripod. Particularly if it's flat and you can use a self timer or remote trigger
    Not as good as a tripod, but if you can't take one, it can help.

    In the meantime, practise will help you to understand your limitations on shutter speeds whilst handheld.

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    I'd also recommend bracketing your shots (you can do this handheld) and processing as an HDR shot later. With your 50mm lens you can go down to 1/50 secs (correct me if I'm wrong anyone :-) ) so just make sure your ISO is high enough to get the longer shot in.
    That'll take care of any windows or bright areas in the shot.

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    Do you know that you cannot use a tripod? If yo uknow for certain then fair enough, if not then take one anyway.

    Will a gorillapod (sp?) be of any use. small, compact and you could have the shot without anyone even notincing you were there.

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    Member ghadiardja's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how the A-57 does in high ISO department, but from my personal experience you should be able to pull off most low light indoor shots with a f/1.4 lens. Like most have mentioned here, just ensure you are on Manual Exposure mode, set your shutter speed to no slower than 1/50s, and crank up the ISO as far as you dare. Also, shoot in RAW since you can still lift details out of shadows up to one f-stop underexposed (or something like that)

    Edit: here is an example of a shot taken indoors in very low light. Played with WB, contrast and exposure in post-processing to get the final image but original was plenty bright and sharp. Exif data shown below photo. Hope it helps!


    Conversation in a Dining Hall by ghadiardja, on Flickr
    Shutter speed: 1/40, aperture: f/2.0, ISO: 400; focal length: 35mm (APSC)
    Last edited by ghadiardja; 14-08-2012 at 4:51pm.

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    go anywhere monopod:

    1) Tie a piece of string to your tripod baseplate and attach that to your camera.
    2) Tie a metal washer to the other end of the string.
    done

    to use:
    put your foot on the washer and tighten the string by bringing the camera to your eye (measure the string so it's the right length for this)

    instant image stabilisation.

    this won't get you a long exposure, but will let you turn the iso down on some indoor static scenes. you should be able to easily do 1/10th hand held with this method.
    Greg Bartle,
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    Ausphotography Veteran MattNQ's Avatar
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    Depending on where you go, there will be challenges - some places say no flash, others are so crowded even a monopod will be awkward.
    Also it pays to know how to turn off as many sounds as possible & perfect your 'shoot from the hip' technique for when you come across places that do no allow any photography. Most often the ban is because they really just don't want flash photography because of delicate paintings and tapestries and Joe Tourist with his P&S has no idea how to turn off his flash & ruins it for everyone.
    Gorillapods allow many creative options - I have even spread one out across my stomach in the middle of a creek to stabilise the camera for a slower shutter shot.
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    Member Schy's Avatar
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    Look for a wall or something that is vertically stable when you push upon it..

    Rest the left side of the camera on a wall and keep your right hand on the right side with the shutter button.. Press the camera against the wall or something vertically stable.. This technique i believe can help you with slow shutter speeds..
    Last edited by Schy; 30-08-2012 at 11:53pm.
    Still learning the craft...

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