You can even have fun with your digital camera these days during power failures. All you need to do is light some candles and voila, you can get down to enjoying some serious or fun candlelight photography. It’s also a pretty popular thing for those who are in a romantic mood.

You can get some great results with the candles flickering off the faces of your subjects. It is a little challenging though since you’ll be shooting in low light.

The first thing you should do is turn your camera’s flash off. Since you’ll be taking the photos in low light, it means the shutter speed will have to be quite low, meaning you should use a tripod if you can’t keep your camera steady. A remote shutter release could also come in handy by reducing as much vibration as possible.

How to Enjoy Candlelight Photography

If you use more candles in your setting they’ll produce more light. This may allow you to take the shots with slightly quicker shutter speeds and lower aperture and ISO settings. If you use just one candle or place several candles close together, you’ll create harsher shadows upon the subject. If this is your goal, then this is how it can be achieved.

However, if you don’t want harsh shadows then you should spread out the candles. This is something you can experiment with though, depending on the specific effect you’re trying to get.

If there are bright items in the room such as curtains or tablecloths, they can act as reflectors, the same as bright walls, floors, and ceilings can. If you have more than one lens, you should try the fastest one you have. This will enable you to use a larger aperture to let more light into the camera and then use a shutter speed such as 1/15th of a second and a lower ISO. But remember, when the aperture is larger the depth of field in the image will be smaller.

You can create a desired mood in your photos by setting up interesting foregrounds and backgrounds. Once you’ve created the image you like, you need to remember all of the rules of low-light photography. This means the shutter needs to be open longer to let in more light and the aperture also has to let in as much light as possible.

The ISO setting might need to be increased, but the higher you go the more chance you will have of getting noise (grain) in the photo. If you can, try and keep the ISO at 400 or lower to keep the shots crisp and clear.

Try a few shots to get the exposure right. If your camera focuses on the flame of a candle, the shot might be underexposed. You may need to overexpose the image by an f-stop. You can also try experimenting with the camera’s white balance. Candles give off a warm light, which can create a romantic atmosphere or mood. You may need to set the white balance manually instead of using the auto settings and try shooting in RAW mode for more flexibility.

You have the option of placing the candles in the image or just use the light or shadows from them. If there’s not enough light to take photos, you may need to add some more light with a lamp or something similar. It might be possible to use the camera flash if you use a colored gel over it to diminish the impact of it and warm the glow.


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