Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Candlelight and or Nighttime Photo Linky Party Pt 1 Candlelight

Our next photo party is March 29th so be sure to mark your calendars. 

This post will be about shooting photos by candlelight. 

I had to do some quick shots to get them posted tonight because our kitchen light broke (speaking of candle light) and my husband kept calling me to hand him this or that. 

I took a bunch of tea light candles and put them in the shape of a heart on my coffee table.

I used different shutter speeds and experimented while my camera was on a tripod.  I used manual focus and the self timer. 

These were all taken with a 50mm lens.

This photo was taken with shutter open for 1 second,


2 seconds


3.2 seconds


4 seconds


Notice how the longer my lens was open the light rays or glow around each wick became larger.  The photo gets brighter as well.

  I used the TV setting on my camera so I could pick the shutter speed and the camera would pick the correct aperture.  One second on the view screen is represented by 1”.  You just scroll your wheel until you get to 1”.  I used an 800 ISO. 

You can also try your auto night setting on your camera and see how that works.  I didn’t have time to experiment with both.

I added my freshly showered son to the experiment.  He didn’t mind because he loves the glow of a flame. 

IMG_6648 copy

Here’s some tips for taking photos by candlelight.

1. Turn of your flash.

2. As I mentioned earlier, use a tripod or a table top.  Your camera MUST be very still.

3.  Your subject has to be still too.  Here’s what happens when your subject sneezes during the 4 seconds your shutter is open.


3.  Use lots of candles.  This is your only light source so it is helpful to have plenty of it.

4.  Spreading the candles out disperses your light and gives you a better glow and a less harsh image, however, as you can see I didn’t do this. 

5. Use reflective walls or a table.  I didn’t do this either, but you will get better light from white or light walls and tables because it reflects instead of absorbs your candle light.

6.  Get close to your subject instead of zooming in.

7.  I also read a good shutter speed is 1/15 of a second and an ISO of 400 or less.  2 more things I didn’t do.  I am such a rebel.  Smile

8. Leave the candles in the shot or just use their glow for your photo.

IMG_6648 copy  IMG_6647

9. If you are struggling then use a small lamp off to the side for another light source. 

10.  Have fun and experiment.  If you don’t get the shot you wanted post it anyway.  We can all learn from it. 

I will try to get a nighttime post ready tomorrow.  Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you get your cameras out and get your creative juices flowing so you can join me for the party.




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