A lot of the time, if you're shooting photographs in dim light, you won't want to use your flash. The flash will only illuminate a small part of the photograph, and there may be too much contrast between the area of the flash and the rest of the picture.
If you can't add more light to a scene, you'll need to give your camera more time to bring what light there is into its lens. That means a slower shutter speed and a wider aperture. For a lot of people that use popular point-and-shoot cameras, that means putting your camera into dim light or night-shot mode.
When your camera is in those modes, the shutter stays open longer than usual. That means that any motion, whether it's your subject moving or you moving the camera, will be captured as a blur on your picture. If you're shooting in dim light, use something to steady the camera, like a tripod, or brace your arms on something stable. Press the shutter button slowly, and make sure your subjects are completely still. Having the shutter open longer increases the risk that your photo will be blurry, but it also lets your camera suck all the available light in from a dimly lit scene, which will result in a picture that's beautifully lit and evocative.
For more photography tips and information about other related subjects, follow the links below.
- Kodak.com. "Lighting for Portraits." (Dec. 16, 2010)http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=424
- Kodak.com. "Photographing in Dim Light." (Dec. 16, 2010)http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=38/13915/39/6370/183
- Ritz Camera. "Digital Photography 101." Ritz Pix. (Dec. 16, 2010)http://www.ritzpix.com/net/phototips/Lighting.aspx
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