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Camera Settings For Indoor Photography

Finding the right camera settings for indoor photography can be a challenge especially when indoor photography is a feature of photography that is yet unexplored. There is no straight answer but I can tell you that some of the right camera settings for indoor photography depend very much on whether you are taking a stationary object or a moving one. Camera Settings For Indoor Photography Camera Settings For Indoor Photography

Lets take a look at some quick examples to demonstrate how the right camera settings for indoor photography do change with your lighting and movement requirements. This photo was taken under a very controlled lighting situation. Due to the fact that there was very little movement,these particular camera settings for indoor photography differed significantly to those of a sunny day. The photographer could afford to use a slow to medium shutter speed of 1/60 and an f stop of F8.

The photographer used a low iso to prevent digital noise from the camera. A low iso was able to be used because of the well- lit lighting conditions. Basically, the iso was low because there was no need to increase the cameras light sensitivity. If the photographer had very little lighting to work with, then perhaps a higher iso would have been used. ISO camera settings for indoor photography are not the same as outside simply because indoor photography has controlled lighting.

Camera settings for indoor photography depends on the motion of the subject. When we are choosing the right camera settings for indoor photography always look at how fast or slow the subject is moving. In the case of this portrait, she was sitting very still. In the case of something moving quite fast then our camera settings for indoor photography are going to be completely different.

In what situations would the camera settings for indoor photography be to that of portraits?

Indoor sports photography is one such situation whereby the camera settings for this type indoor photography have different requirements. When a basketball is going through a hoop with five seconds on the clock, it becomes a moment not to be missed. That’s where your camera settings for indoor photography need to be faster, quicker and more responsive.

499335 28123140 300x200 Camera Settings For Indoor PhotographyIn a game of wheelchair  basketball for example, you are often working with stadium light or filtered light. In this photo to the left, you’ll see that the players are moving very fast.

The camera settings for indoor photography will be very different. To know what the right camera settings for indoor photography are then you need to look at light and motion, because there is never one complete “right” setting for indoor photography that will be right for all situations.

This photos camera settings was at 1/100 shutter speed and  F Stop of 7.1, ye the iso was 1600. In a photo like this the camera settings for indoor photography are completely different as they were in the first photo where on ISO 160 was used, and 1/60th of a second.

Camera settings for indoor photography for stadium lighting situations will require the use of a higher iso. Even though we may see perfectly well, the camera does not. Stadium lighting needs to be considered as though it were indoor light because of the way the camera interprets light. Stadium light is quite poor from a photographic perspective and therefore the camera settings for this type of indoor photography will drastically change.

You’ll find by examining the light and each situation you are in that the camera settings for indoor photography will change. Each kind of indoor light has a different temperature of light. I won’t go into the science of that in this article, but I can tell you that once the light temp changes you actually start to see that the camera settings for indoor photography will require a different approach every time.

In a nutshell, the camera settings for indoor photography respond differently to the light temperature. A football stadium has a different light temperature at night that an office does. If you shoot something inside your office then the camera settings for indoor photography have a habit of changing right before your very eyes. This is where the term “white balance” comes in. It’s a photographic term to describe the colour hue that’s cast across your photo, and it has nothing do to with the camera settings for indoor photography.

As you can see camera settings for indoor photography are different depending on your light and motion. Always pay close attention to your motion and lighting to get the right camera settings for indoor photography every time.

Basketball photo taken by Pierre Benker.

About the Author

Amy is an multi-award winning photographer from Australia. She teaches enthusiast photographers how to take beautiful, professional photos in easy, plain English. She has a monthly photography emagazine and ebooks to help you create stunning images every time. DigitalPhotographySuccess.com

Comments (55)

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  1. Margie says:

    What excellent suggestions – your photos on this website are beautiful!

  2. Abu says:

    Great tip! REALLY usefull.

  3. Katherine says:

    I loved every little bit of it of your aticle. I have you bookmarked your web site.

  4. Robin says:

    Thanks Amy. I just wanted to ask you one thing about indoors. I tried shooting a basketball game in stadium light and I had the camera at f2.8 and a shutter of 1/2000, and I still had blurry pictures. Why would this be? And the weird thing is that the internal light meter said it was exposed perfectly. I don’t understand.

  5. Kenny says:

    Can you tell me why the iso won’t work? Thanks. Ken.

  6. Ray says:

    Hi Amy, I’m curious why Robin’s photos were still blurry at a shutter speed much faster than the one used in the example. Love the site, thanks

    Ray

    • It could be that 1/2000 was simply too slow, even at f2.8, or it could be that light intensity, or the iso….I would have to see the photos I think to be able to give an accurate assessment. Sometimes I feel like a Dr who has to operate with the lights off by helping people with their photos without actually seeing the photos!

      • Doug says:

        It more likely that the image is just not in focus. With f2.8 on a telephoto lens the depth of field is fairly shallow. With with lots of movement in the subject, auto focus may not follow the subject as you think it is. Using “AI servo” on a Canon camera and selecting a single focus point it is much easier to keep your subject centered on the focus point. Also try using f4 or f5.6 and a slower shutter. I shoot roller derby at 1/250 and stop the action just fine.

  7. ROY 0 says:

    Thank you Ami
    I read your tips, with my first camera, in my early twenties I used to spend hours most nights in my digs
    taking close ups with supplementary lenses 1 or more
    diopors. My first camera was a Cannon SLR all manuel
    of cause! I used to make plastersine models to photo
    for interest so long ago (g).
    I looked at your photos above very nice.
    Rgards Roy

    • Hi Roy,

      Canons are great, I agree. I use Nikon as well so I love both.

      It is very good to hear that you have such an interest in photography- it’s very good for the soul. Models are great to photograph. They always stand still, you can control the lighting and they never answer back or argue with you! LOL Just kidding. :)

      Thanks for your kind words on my photos.

      Happy shooting!

      Amy

  8. Teresa says:

    Hi Amy

    Any help that you could give would be wonderful.

    I was ask to take photo’s at a church service at KY Exposition Center the room is very large holds 3000 or more. There is stage lighting. And not sure of the over
    head lighting. I know that it is low lighting. I have a
    Nikon D70. What lens would you recommend and should I use
    an attach flash instead of the pop up? Any advice on camera settings?

    • Hi Teresa,

      I’ve been in many situations like the one that you are describing and it’s really hard to get good lighting. Forget relying on low lighting, because that won’t be enough light for your camera. Basically, if you have a large room and a small source of light (the flash) then you are going to have to be quite close to your subject.

      I do a lot of event photography and end of forgetting about the lighting and just relying on flash, but because of the large venues I shoot in, I need a powerful flash. What I recommend is get a powerful flash. Once the flash is securely fastened to your camera, take a few practice shots before the event. Work out the distance you’ll need to be for the flash to correctly expose your subjects (i.e 3 meters, 2.5 meters or 4 meters for example), then work at relying on the flash alone.

      If I were in your situation I’d want an external flash. I know the Nikon D70 is a great camera (as most Nikons are) and can fit an external flash without any problem at all. You have a stronger light source With an external flash. You also have controls over the output itself. You can also swivel the flash head up and down and even use a diffuser.

      You can easily slide the diffuser over the flash. Some flash units come with an inbuilt diffuser, giving you the option of whether you use it or not. Depening on the height of the ceiling, you can position the head upwards and bounce it off the ceiling to create some warmer, more natural light.

      Softening the light this way keeps the warmth in the image. Without the diffuser you can run the risk of overexposing your subjects. Not to mention losing all that lovely warm, natural colour in skin tones and clothing. After all you don’t want the “indoor party look” where everyone looks brightly lit up and overexposed. You certainly don’t want their facial expressions like “stunned rabbits looking at headlights” either. A bright flash can do this if people turn around and look at you at the last minute.You want as natural shots as humanly possible, and this starts with your flash.

      I’d firstly start using auto- just when you practice. Take note of the settings when the camera fires and when you are getting the right exposure. You can either mimick these yourself if you decide to shoot in manual.

      Also use a telephoto lens. A telephoto lens will do the work for you. I love telephot lenses for their short depth of field and zoom capabilities. In a situation like yours I’d recommend a 200mm or 300mm focal range. These lenses are heavy after a while, so be prepared for that. But at the end of the day, lugging it around will be worth it.

      As far as settings go, I’d concentrate more on getting everything as sharp and in focus as possible- so concentrate on your shutter speed. You can go auto if you want or let the camera choose the aperture for you, while you pick the shutter speed.

      Good luck! Let me know how you get on.

      Amy

  9. Teresa says:

    Thanks Amy,for taking the time to answer and for all the helpful advice. I will let you know how this event turns out the first of April!
    Teresa

    • You are very welcome! I know you will do fabulously. Best of luck Teresa. :)

      • Teresa says:

        Hi Amy

        Writing you back to tell you how the event
        went. Okay, the lens you had suggest was awesome.
        The quality of the pictures are outstanding.

        I had a couple of problems,with the camera. The
        Nikon D70 was a loaner. Mainly with the focus it would focus to the right or left and it would hardly stay in the middle. I am sure there is a way to fit that? Digital is new to me. I am a horse photographer and I have always use film for the last seven years. To obtain the full frame and the richness that film gives. When I do buy a digital camera it will be Canon d5 for the full frame and Canon is what I am use to. Thank you so much for all your help I could not of done it with out you.

        Teresa

        • Hi Teresa,

          I am glad that everything went well. That focusing problem is so easy to fix. Go to my website and email me and I’ll tell you how to fix it.

          I’m on the road at the moment, traveling through New South Wales in Australia so I am not on the internet much but I am still checking emails all the time. If you’d like me to respond sooner, please email me there.

          The Canon 5D is an exceptional camera by the way. But don’t forget your lenses. If you are going to put your money into anything, get yourself some professional quality lenses. They are more important.

          Cheers,
          Amy

  10. Teresa says:

    oops forgot to ask…do you recommend a telephoto low light lens? And which one would work best on a Nikon D 70?
    Thank you so much~ Teresa

    • Hi Teresa,

      I recommend a telephoto that’s a fast lens. A “fast lens” means a lens that lets a lot of light in, so you can take photos with a fast shutter speed. I’ve used a 70mm-200mm Nikon before and loved it. I think this lens is called “AF-S VR Nikkor 200mm f/2G IF-ED”. A heavy bugger though, but worth it.

      If it’s too expenisve to buy, then try finding a place to hire it for the day or weekend. I’ve done that a lot over the past few years. It’s good because it gives you an idea of what something is like without having to buy it first.

      Good luck!

  11. Teresa says:

    Thanks Amy a little less nervous about the event, with all
    the info..you have given (: so grateful Teresa

    • Hi Teresa,

      So pleased I could be of service to you. :) If you are ever nervous or worried, just email me and we can go over what you need.

      I’m here to help you and simplfy things so it doesn’t seem so scary. (I know what it’s like, I was once in your shoes, it can be bloody terrifying sometimes.)

      Amy

  12. Megan says:

    How can I take crisp photos with proper exposure in a low lit situation such as a reception?

    • Hi Megan,

      You’ve asked the sixty four thousand dollar question! Getting that is the holy grail of photography. The secret is to allow as much light as possible into the lense. Ask youself what are the ways you can do that?

      In other words what things or tools, get more light onto the sensor? You have a combination of fast lenses, iso, aperture, shutter speed, flash or over head/artificial lighting. I’d start with your lens first.

      There’s heaps of stuff on this website, such as this article above, or my ebooks which can be found at http://www.DigitalPhotographySuccess.com.

      Read the comments I’ve replied to too.

      Amy

  13. Peter says:

    You are the man… I want to ask a question to, if I may.
    We rent property in Orlando Florida and I take pictures of all our properties.
    I use an Olympus e510 and a flash Vivitar 285. Honestly, I don’t know anything about photography (sorry).
    Pictures of rooms turn out fair, but not crisp.
    Can you give me some suggestions as to how to set up my camera for this type of photography?
    I use a tripod for all my shots.
    Secondary: Is there a quality difference in a brand new memory card vs one that has been used over and over again?

    • Hi Peter,

      Actaully, I’m a woman, and yes, I’d love to help you. :) Don’t appologise for not knowing anything about photography- that’s what I am here for.

      Okay, to your first question about how to get crisp indoor shots. In order for photos to turn out nice and sharp you need a couple of things 1) good lighting and 2) a good lens. Many people focus on the camera, but it’s not the camera that gets the clarity in your images. Well it is a bit, but predominantly it’s the lens that gives you the optical quality.

      To prove this point, I have a Canon D300. A pretty cheap, basic camera. Nothing to rave about. When I put a couple of L series lenses on it, the photos were nice and sharp- just how I wanted. The camera is fairly limited, i.e a small sensor, a bit contrasty with colour etc, but otherwise it’s good for basic shooting.

      Make sure you have plenty of light, from all around. Set your camera on a tripod and choose the manual setting. Make sure you have good exposure, then take the photo using a shutter release cable, just in case you have to slow your shutter speed. Try a few different settings in order to give yourself the opportunity to get a great shot.

      As far as memory cards, that is a great question. I am not sure actually. I’d imagine that it wouldn’t make that much of a difference to your image quality, if that’s what you are concerned about. I’ve been using the same set of memory cards for about 5 years now and I have not noticed any difference in functionality or quality.

      Let me know how you get on.

      Happy shooting,
      Amy

      • Peter says:

        Hi Amy,
        Now THAT was an awesome answer! I had no idea?!
        However, that leaves in me in the same spot (smiles) and only changes the question from what camera, to what lens, right?
        Where do I read up on what lens I should be buying and/or do you have any sources you can refer me to by chance?
        As above, I am not a pro-photographer (knowledge-wise) but am looking to shoot well over 300 homes in the next few months. Don’t have a problem with a $1000 lens if need be.

        • Peter,

          You are most welcome. :)

          I can totally understand where you are coming from. Okay, with your lenses, there is one main thing to consider. That is, do you want a fast lens or a slow lens? What that means is this: a fast lens has a “lens aperture” of something like 1.2, 1.8, 2.0, 2.8.
          A slow lens has a starting aperture of f 3.5, 4.0, 4.5…somewhere like that.

          A lens aperture just means what maximum aperture the lens can open up to. A fast lens means you can take faster shots in less light, i.e the more “open” the aperture is, the fast shutter speed you can use. A slow lens means that the aperture can’t open up as wide, and you’ll have to stick to a slower shutter speed.

          Think of is this way Peter: does your lens serve you? Does your lens give you the right aperture, clarity and sharpness? If it does, then great. If it doesn’t do any or only one of those things, then look at upgrading.

          For indoor shots of still subjects you may be able to use a slow lens. No worries. But if you are working with less light, limited light or barely any lighting at all, then a fast lens might be better.

          Olympus have been doing leaps and bounds the past few years and are really catching up to Canon and Nikon. I would do your research on lenses pretty well. Look at the optical clarity and the fast/slow factor.

          If you seriously want to improve your photography, have a look at my ebooks. I can only explain so much on this website in the form of answers to you (which I am very happy to do), but the books will give you a complete picture (excuse the pun) of photography and what you need to to do get stunning photos for the rest of your life. That’s no exageration because once you know what I know, you will never look back.

          Let me know how you go.

          Cheers,
          Amy

  14. Peter says:

    My camera is 3 years old now. It is only used for interior pics. It is about time to start thinking of replacing it,I guess?
    If you have recommendations on which camera to look for, would be greatly appreciated as well?
    Thx
    Peter

  15. Carole says:

    Hello Amy, and Hello to Everyone who has posted here. ~GREAT question and answer sequence!~
    Amy – I would like to comment about how helpful all of this is. As you have stated (in so many words) you’ve been in our shoes as amateurs, and later as a professional; but we still continue to seek-out information to improve our photographic talents.
    I’ve been taking photographs for over 30years as an amateur (family event stuff), and have recently been tossed into the professional arena by my employer, just because I happened to be the only one around who could take a good shot (creatively)LUCKY ME! Wilst this is such an awesome opportunity for me, and I absolutely love taking photographs and feel so lucky to be at the right place at the right time to now be considered the professional photographer for my employer (large United States Federal Agency)… and I think I’ve faired pretty well through it all. But…before seeking out guidance from people like you, most of the time I had to perform a “try a bunch of camera settings and hope to hit on the right combination for the situation” – and then decipher what that setting looks like through the dimly-lit LED screen to boot…uuugh, not a good plan is it!
    The equipment I have been provided with are very high-end cameras, capable of producing incredible images in every situation (Canon EOS-1 Mark III, EOS 10&20D), but I felt so technically incompetent most of the time, and was terrified I would miss the “shot” because of my technical inexperience in order to correctly use the camera’s manual settings (and there are a lot of them on the EOS-1). Finding the great shot for the moment is easy for me, and I’ve always had “an eye” for setting up the shot, angles, what looks good, etc, but technically I’m a scatter-brain!
    I have subscribed to your magazine, I read everything I can get my hands on and have recently received my Practical Photography subscription. But, sometimes it is really hard to make sense of it all.
    The point of my rant is this…Because of people like you Amy, we can all take a deep breath, feel confident in ourselves to sift through the huge amount of advice/information/guidance, etc and know that after all is said-and-done, after taking it ALL-IN from every forum/article, ultimately, we will be guided down the right path to success in photography. All we want, simple as it may sound… all we want are good images as a result. The photo crisp and sharp, colors correctly balanced, lighting natural and effective, and if we’re lucky, we’ll get that shot of the moment.
    I want to extend a HUGE thank you, to you Amy, and to everyone who takes the time out of their busy schedule to help everyone else in this field. I’ve never met a more willing group of people who have gone out of their way to provide detailed advice and guidance to complete strangers. How WONDERFULLY beautiful that is!
    THANK YOU EVERYONE.

    • Hi Carole,

      You are so, so very welcome. I can understand how you feel technically incompetant, I felt like that once too. I now feel very competant and very confident, a nice feeling that comes with the right know-how. Knowing you have the knowledge to shoot anything is a damn nice feeling and one I want to give to you, just because it makes you feel good, and just because I can.

      I congratualte you sincerely with your rise to “pro” status. well done! You’ve done that yourself and on your own talent. Those cameras are top quality. Especially the 1D. That’s a full frame sensor, which means what you see is what you shoot. There’s no cropping of the sensor, it’s brilliant. That’s just on of the many fabulous features of that camera. I haven’t used one, but I know how good they are by the reviews, the raving that people do in person, and, by what the camera is capable of. Drool, drool…..

      I want to say to you “You go girl!” And if you need help with the technical, then I am your woman. I am here to help you with anything and everything you need. Just see me as your friend who knows a thing or two, who wants to nurture and help you and put her arm around you when it all gets too hard. If you want to really master the technical, have a look at my ebook package, that will help you for sure. http://www.DigitalPhotorgaphySucess.com

      Thanks heaps for your subscritpion to our Ezine! We love that it helps you so much. If you’d like to see anything specific in it, just shoot me an email and your wish will be our command. Perhaps I need to do a video on the technical aspects of photography- I wonder if that would help you.

      Thank you for being a subscriber Carole, it’s great to hear how happy you are. It’s infectious. :)

      Cheers,
      Amy

  16. Allan Francis says:

    Hi Amy,
    I have found this article on indoor photography very helpful. Thank you!!

  17. ROY 0 says:

    Very interesting and helpful Amy thanks- Roy.

  18. Bob B says:

    Hi Amy

    Thanks for all your good advice. I have been into photography for many years and have done a number of basic and advanced courses in the last ten years and found them illuminating. Mr Kodak certainly did a good job arranging ISO, Apeture and shutter. And still can’t get enough. I have been a subscriber with you since Christmas 2010 and love it.

    The last Advanced course I did in 2009 concentrated on framing the photo – rule of thirds leading lines etc without too much on exposure. He was dynamite on focus – if its not in sharp focus it doesn’t rate. We did ‘homework’ and then we all critiqued the products projected onto a large screen. Very useful but lacked the exposure bit. I am learning a lot from you in this respect. Thank you.

    I use a Canon EOS40D and a Power Shot SX210IS for holidays. The 40D and EFS 17-85 and 70-300 lenses are just too heavy for this retiree to carry around to much. I am thinking of the Canon G12 for future wanderings because of the larger senser and lens quality. I had an SX10IS which died in Bamburg during a two hour ‘Queensland’ downpour and it was good but limited; though I did use it successfully in Antarctica a most demanding environment for photographers.

    Regarding indoor fast motion items I also try to capture the motion if that is relevant. Example – a pic of a drummer has the drummer in good clean focus with his hands and sticks blurred through a whole movement. This is extra good when he pauses slightly enabling the stick to be highlighted in one bit of the movement. A fast shutter does not quite capture the same thing but its ‘horses for courses’ and what suits one will not suit another.

    Any comments? By the way, since I have been submitting pics for the monthly comp I have made the finalists list every time but missed on the big one. I will get there yet as its a worthwhile challenge.

  19. TERESA says:

    Hi Amy

    This is Teresa…I wrote to you about a big event
    in Freedom Hall KY indoor lighting and you suggested a great lens for the Nikon D70.

    Once again the pastor who ask me to do that event,
    He has ask me to take photo’s of life around the church,
    such as in the church services sitting around 200, high ceiling, low lighting. And in Sunday school rooms and such.

    I was wondering what type of lens for this…Do I use
    the same as I use at Freedom Hall (seating 3000)?
    (AF-VR Nikkor 200mm f/2G IF-ED)

    And for outdoor portraits and horses what lens do you
    recommend for these.

    And if someday I decide to get an Nikon D700 will these lens fit it also? Sorry I know I am sending alot of ?? your way…

    I am so thankful for all that you do for others.

    Any help would be so welcome.

    Thank you Teresa

  20. TERESA says:

    correcting I am sorry I said in the last email Freedom
    Hall in KY it was at the KY Expo Center

    sorry about that
    Teresa

  21. floy says:

    Amy,I have your E-Books ,But I still haven’t had the time to go through all of them.That is a lot of good reading.You are good. My question is i have a Nikon 7000.I have just found out what apperture,shutter speed and iso kinda means.trust me i still need help.We are planning a trip to alaska in a few months.i would like to know what lenses would be my best bet for alwesome clear and colorful pictures?can you give me heads up will I be able to stay close to the same settings if I stay in the aperture mode?

    • I think the best lenses would be some nice wide angles, if you are doing landscape. If you don’t have a wide angle lens, you can always use a panorama software to stitch photos together for you. Also, I would get into using manual- you’ll be able to control the camera so much more and get much better exposure. I’m going to do a video about manual shooting, because many people are still afraid of it. Just back to lenses, I have a 17-40mm lens that I use for landscapes, it’s a beautiful lens and one I get great shots with. For landscapes it’s always best to use a good polariser for reducing glare and a nice blue grad filter for enhancing blue skies. If this is confusing, we get on Facebook messenger and have a chat. Let me know and we can schedule a chat.

      • floy says:

        Thanks,Yes i am very skepital of manual shooting.But i want to learn the best way to get the best pictures.I would love a video on this.I need to set up a chat with you . For the next several days I am going to be working a lot.If we could set up one after valentines i would love it.

        • Try and simplify it for yourself if you are unsure. Think of operating the camera with two hands. Basically if you shoot in auto all the time you will constantly get incorrect exposures for your photos.

  22. I have another Q I do not have an answer to: we do photo shoots of vacation rental properties (inside and outside).
    Using a Vivitar flash on top of the camera hot shoe, we cannot go any longer than 6 months before the connection to the hot shoe fails or the flash foot itself breaks off entirely.
    Does anyone have any suggestions on how we can (a) avoid this or other solutions to this problem?
    Thank you for your insights!

    • Hi Peter, That doesn’t sound too good to me. Is the hot shoe under warranty?
      Amy

      • I would not know… the hot shoe on the camera is fine, it is the Vivitar that gives up. As great of a flash I think it is, the problem is the top-heavy flash will not withstand “heavy” use for 6 months and I end up buying a new flash every 6 months. So I am looking for an alternative on HOW to use the flash if possible or if there are any suggestions on how to deal with such an issue. Doing 800-1000 pictures a day, every day, may require different equipment or habits?

        • Hi Peter,
          This a challenging siutation I agree. Not one I’ve come accross personally. I am just thinking can you use some portrait studio lights instead? Would that be practical? It might save you having to deal with this problem all the time.
          Amy

  23. Perry says:

    Hi, Amy.

    I’ve read this thread with much interest, as I have an upcoming challenge that is out of my comfort zone (I am an equestrian photographer – usually outside – and I shoot stock – very controlled lighting, etc.)

    I’ve been asked to cover a kids’ birthday party that is being held indoors. This afternoon, I am going to the home to check out the available lighting, but I anticipate I will not be able to avoid using a flash, which I really don’t want to do, but I’m not hopefull. I have an external flash, but it still throws shadows when aimed directly at the subject. The home is in a high-end community, so I’m thinking that bouncing off a potentially high ceiling will not help.

    My question is about your comment on a telephoto lens. I’d prefer to use one (I have a Nikkor 55-200) because I like to get further away from my subejcts. I find it to be less intrusive and I’m better able to get natural shots if they can forget I’m there. The problem is that the largest aperture on that lens is F4.5. I have a 50mm static lens that goes to F1.8 – so that makes a huge difference.

    So what’s your recommendation – use the telephoto, making it a must to use the flash (or pump up the ISO bringing in ghastly amounts of noise to compensate) or use the 50mm and have a CHANCE that I can go flashless or use a lower ISO, but will have to get closer in?

    Obviously, I will bring both lenses, but there will be a couple of critical moments that I’ll want to have the best option ready (i.e. blowing out the candles, etc.)..
    Thanks in advance for your reply.

    • Hi Perry,

      Thanks for your question. It depends on how your camera handles ISO and what output your flash has. The telephoto is a good choice, but if you are worried about using the flash front on (rightly so, it’s never a good look for portraits) then you need to get your light from somewhere else. You need to make a decision as to what ambient light you have. Why not use both? Can you use ambient light and flash together? Flash fill is always nice to fill in shadows. Making sure they do not create strange colour casts throughout your photo you might be able to do this. Also, take a light meter with you and always take notice of what it’s saying.
      It all depends on what intensity of light you have, where/what angle it’s coming from, the contrast it creates and the colour of it.

      Cheers,
      Amy

  24. Julia says:

    Fantastic stuff thanks Amy. I love your monthly ezines and expertise on photography.

  25. Johnd402 says:

    Magnificent website. Lots of useful information here. Im sending it to some friends ans also sharing in delicious.

  26. Penni says:

    Thanks for the great info Amy, keep up the good work.

  27. Jani says:

    Amy I don’t get how to get better exposure inside.

    • Hi Jani,
      Try using a light meter for the part of the subject you want to get correct exposure for. Hold it towards the light and set your camera on the settings that is displayed on the light meter. That will give you a better idea of what’s correct.

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