Mess-up Monday: Low Lighting Disaster

Welcome to my first Mess-up Monday post! To read more about the structure of my blog, click here.

I’ve only been using my DSLR for about a year now, and I still have a lot left to learn when it comes to taking the perfect photo. Early in my photography “career”, I read and heard from others that a good photographer uses her flash sparingly. So, I’ve been trying to do so ever since.

One of the trickiest settings for me is the low light scenario. Here’s what I mean…

Low Light Photography Setting

I did what most photographers would do in this situation…I busted out my tripod and grabbed my remote shutter release. The one assumption I made, that I shouldn’t have? That kids can stay still long enough for a slow shutter speed. The tree is totally in focus and the lights are twinkling, but my niece and nephew look like something from a horror movie! Even the adults didn’t stay still enough for me to get a completely clear picture.

So, what’s a photographer to do in this situation? Use a flash! There are certain scenarios where a flash is appropriate, and this type of night-time family gathering is one of them. Here are some photos from that same evening where I did use the flash.

Flash photos tend to come out a bit cooler, so I added a warming filter to both of the above photos. I also did some basic touch ups in Photoshop. These are by no means portrait-quality, but they turned out much better than the no-flash version.

So, what’s today’s lesson? Don’t be afraid to use your flash in low lighting situations, especially if you’re trying to work with kids or pets. You can’t count on them to stay still for a slower shutter speed.

Have any other tips for low lighting settings? I’d love to hear them.


About Wendy from Suburban Misfit

Social Media Manager by day; blogger and amateur photographer by night.
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4 Responses to Mess-up Monday: Low Lighting Disaster

  1. disfaninco says:

    Hmm, good tip! Too bad those pics didn’t come out. They would have been good ones!

  2. Robin says:

    I always hesitate to use the flash for the reason you mentioned. Low light situations drive me bonkers, especially when it’s inconvenient to use the flash.

  3. Pingback: Mess-up Monday: White Balance Blunder | Suburban Misfit

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