CONDUCT A PHOTOSESSION OF LOVE STORY INDEPENDENTLY. 15 TIPS FOR FINE PHOTOS AT CANDLES
Have you ever tried to take a picture by candlelight on a digital camera? The results can be simply stunning – the warm glow of the flickering flame reflected on your model’s face … (feel romance?). But shooting in such low light conditions is quite a challenge. We offer you some professional advice to get the perfect portrait by candlelight.
1. Turn off the flash
Let’s start with the obvious and go back. You took all the pictures using the flash in low light conditions and were disappointed that it completely destroyed any ambient lighting in the frame? If you want to get warm light from the candles, it is important to completely turn off the flash. Of course, there is an exception – see paragraph 15 below.
2. Use a tripod
Again, the obvious statement is that shooting by candlelight means that you are photographing in very poor light, which in turn means that you will almost certainly shoot at lower shutter speeds that will increase the effect of camera shake on your shots. Make sure your camera is securely mounted and as motionless as possible while shooting, use a tripod and consider using a remote shutter release to eliminate any vibrations from the shutter release.
3. Extra candles
The biggest problem when photographing with candles is the lack of light you have to work with. Using more candles will obviously provide more light, which will give you a bit more flexibility when it comes to shutter speed, ISO and aperture setting.
4. Spread the candles evenly
Using a single candle or simultaneously placing multiple candles in the same position will result in sharper shadows on the subject’s face. This may, of course, be exactly the picture you are looking for, but in most cases you need to get a more uniform light on the model’s face. Arrange the candles correctly.
A larger number of candles on one side than on the other will create a good side-lighting effect – however, do not make the sides too contrast if you do not want to make the picture dramatic.
5. Natural “reflectors”
White walls, tablecloths, sheets or ceilings can reflect light on the face, thereby increasing the amount of light in the picture (the effect is slight – but all means will be good when you are shooting in low light conditions).
6. Fast lenses
If you are shooting with a SLR camera, and you have several lenses, choose the “fastest” of all that you have, as this will allow you to use a larger aperture and get more light in total. For example, a 50 mm lens (f / 1.8 or f / 1.4). Then you can shoot with the highest possible aperture (or close to it), which will provide a higher shutter speed and a lower ISO value. Keep in mind, however, that the larger your aperture, the smaller your depth of field will be and the more focus area you will need.
7. Magnification and aperture
Keep in mind that when shooting with a zoom lens, the maximum aperture varies over the entire focal length range. Think maybe it would be better for you to get closer to the object with your feet than to use zooming.
8. Context and Backgrounds
Compositionally more accurately look pictures with candles concise and simple. You can shoot with a white background (watch out for sharp shadows cast by the subject) and with a minimum of decorations. It may be appropriate to include in the composition a glass of wine and some basic elements on the table, if you are going to photograph at the table – but remember that the less distracting elements, the better.
9. Shutter speed
The obvious way to add more light is to choose a slower shutter speed. Keep in mind that as the shutter speed decreases, you increase the chances of capturing any even the slightest movement (of both your object and the candle flame and camera movement). If the environment is completely still (and the flame is not shaking) and the object remains as still as possible, you can set the shutter speed to no more than 1/15 second – but a little more slowly, and your requirements for the subject will be from the category “you want too much “.