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DPChallenge Forums >> Current Challenge >> Tips on shooting candlelight
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12/09/2005 11:15:09 AM · #1
Okay last night I tried a couple test shots for my candlelight entry and they turned out just terrible. The lighting was blown out and had an ugly orange cast to it. I only had about 5 minutes to practice so I'm hoping for some advice before I try again tonight. Thank you.

Alecia

12/09/2005 11:22:43 AM · #2
The colour cast will be due to the white balance chosen.

If you were shooting in complete darkness then the camera light meter will try to balance the scene to medium grey. With only a small portion very bright could lead to overexposure of those areas.

One suggestion is to spot meter on something in the same light as your main subject and use the settings derived there.

Good luck. You're ahead of me. I haven't tried any shots yet.

edit: Since most of the scene is probably darker than medium you'll want to use exposure compensation and underexpose. By how much depends on how dark the scene is. Bracket a few shots at say -0.5, -1, -1.5 and -2 and choose the one that looks best.

Message edited by author 2005-12-09 11:25:34.
12/09/2005 11:26:34 AM · #3
I tried some shots last night, managed to catch a glove on fire and droped my camera in the snow. To boot all my pics were grainy, the flame was fine but everything else was grainy. I used 400 ISO and 2.8 aperature from previous segestions. Thats the highest and lowest I can set them. Will try again tonight with different elements....fingers crossed...

edit...what should your white balance be set to?

Message edited by author 2005-12-09 11:27:15.
12/09/2005 11:26:46 AM · #4
White balance should be set manually to around 1,500K.
Other option is to take a white sheet of paper, and in that lighting, point the camera at it and set the white balance to the paper.
If all this fails, Photoshop can correct it, but it's best to set WB.
(don't for get to set it back after you are done)
12/09/2005 11:33:42 AM · #5
Is there any rule that says the candle must be in the photo. the challenge is to use candelight


12/09/2005 11:37:15 AM · #6
that would depend on the voters take on it. It does say to use candelight, not that it (the candle) has to be in the picture, but how could you prove that its candelight if its not there, it depends on voter interpretation.
12/09/2005 11:38:16 AM · #7
No rule but I'm guessing pictures showing the actual candle or flame will score higher. I could be completely wrong though.
12/09/2005 11:38:36 AM · #8
Try using flash as the main light - tricky to get it right, but that is how you can get teh candle flame to look right and not be blown out. gotta be careful to diffuse the flash so it is not apparent in the final image.

I want sooo bad to try this, but i have no clue what to shoot an image of.
12/09/2005 12:06:08 PM · #9
I wonder if using a flash would take away from the ambiance candlelight creates. Just thinking things through.
12/09/2005 08:56:06 PM · #10
I don't have the advanced membership, but I've been experimenting with candle light pics lately. I put the camera in manual mode, and just keep fooling with my settings until I get something I like.
12/09/2005 11:31:11 PM · #11
I'd watch the whitebalance. If you get it too "corrected" it won't look like candlelight. We probably want to see a pleasant yellow/orange cast to the picture.

I'd also totally accept a picture with such a cast even if it didn't show the candle flame itself. If it's obvious it was lit (or even made to look that way), it's fine with me.
12/09/2005 11:33:45 PM · #12
Originally posted by pearlseyes:

I wonder if using a flash would take away from the ambiance candlelight creates. Just thinking things through.


Yes I think so. Flashes are harsh and would completely wash out any semblance of a candlelight.
12/09/2005 11:37:48 PM · #13
Originally posted by DrAchoo:


I'd also totally accept a picture with such a cast even if it didn't show the candle flame itself. If it's obvious it was lit (or even made to look that way), it's fine with me.


In as much as a candle would create the "ambiance" or "feeling" in the photo, I tend to agree with the good Doctor regarding this issue. As long as I can tell that it's lit by candlelight I probably wouldn't take it against the image. Now if it's completely obvious that it was lit by something else, well that's a different story.
12/10/2005 04:00:02 AM · #14
Looks like I'll be the only one voting higher for pics that include the candle flame.

In my opinion it adds an extra degree of technical difficulty that I plan to reward with a bonus point.

bazz.
12/10/2005 06:39:18 AM · #15
Ok, here's a tip...

I don't have any candles around, but I do have some isopropyl alcohol, so I came up with this great idea to soak my finger in alcohol and light it on fire and snap a pic.

Here's the tip: It wasn't such a great idea to light my finger on fire (several times) and keep it lit while trying to work the camera - even with the remote shutter release, I think I got second degree burns.

Here's another tip: Great ideas RARELY come to you at 3:30am when you've had little sleep for several days and a couple beers in ya.
12/10/2005 09:41:41 AM · #16
Sounds like you need some adult supervision. Hope your finger is OK! LOL!

Originally posted by Art Roflmao:

Ok, here's a tip...

I don't have any candles around, but I do have some isopropyl alcohol, so I came up with this great idea to soak my finger in alcohol and light it on fire and snap a pic.

Here's the tip: It wasn't such a great idea to light my finger on fire (several times) and keep it lit while trying to work the camera - even with the remote shutter release, I think I got second degree burns.

Here's another tip: Great ideas RARELY come to you at 3:30am when you've had little sleep for several days and a couple beers in ya.
12/10/2005 10:10:42 AM · #17
I read in an article somewhere that for candle photos, you need to have a bunch of candles just out of camera to create most of the light, using a foil to reflect them onto the subject. Then just place the candles you want to show in the picture as you want them, and use a long exposure. I guess using a high ISO is pointless. Use reflectors to control light. Do not set white balance; the natural color of light given by the candles creates a good mood, and looks real. And please, be careful ;-)

Take care.
12/10/2005 10:25:54 AM · #18
if you would have waited a half an hour and taken a photo of your hand on fire, i would have voted it high for the 4-5 a.m. challenge!
; )
jeannel

Originally posted by Art Roflmao:

Ok, here's a tip...

I don't have any candles around, but I do have some isopropyl alcohol, so I came up with this great idea to soak my finger in alcohol and light it on fire and snap a pic.

Here's the tip: It wasn't such a great idea to light my finger on fire (several times) and keep it lit while trying to work the camera - even with the remote shutter release, I think I got second degree burns.

Here's another tip: Great ideas RARELY come to you at 3:30am when you've had little sleep for several days and a couple beers in ya.
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