It is December, and I hope you will be taking pictures over the holidays. Pictures, no doubt, like this one I took of a friend a Christmas or two ago:
It occurs to me that I am not the only one doing some photography. Hence, a few tips for you for the parties of the next few days.
- Make sure your camera and flash batteries are fully charged, and that you have spares.
- Ensure that you have a formatted memory card in the camera.
- For “party shots”, you may want a lens in the, roughly, 35mm focal length range, or 24mm on a crop camera.
- Put the flash on the camera and aim it upward behind you, if you can find a white or white-ish wall or ceiling.
- Use the “Willems 400-40-4 rule” as your starting point setting. That gives you a warmer, slightly dark background, as in the photo above.
- Adjust the ambient/background part of your photo as needed:
- If the background is too dark, go to 800 ISO and 1/40 second or 1600 ISO and 1/40 second.
- If the background is too bright, go to 400 ISO and 1/80 second or 400 ISO and 1/160 second.
- Adjust the flash part of your photo as needed:
- If the flash part is too bright, use “Flash Exposure Compensation” to decrease the flash power.
- If the flash part is too dark (eg because ceilings are dark or high), go to 800 ISO and 1/80 second, or even 1600 ISO and 1/160 second. You may also need to use use “Flash Exposure Compensation”.
Do these simple things and you will get good pictures, better than ever. And I am telling you this now so you have two days to practice. Enjoy. And: Happy Holidays.