day 320 - so they all rolled over and one fell out $

It's that time again - midnight shift. I started the night with Ava in bed along with her bed hogging companion, Mr. Bear. By 2 am Owen had climbed in with us and by 4:30 he was sleeping horizontally across the bed and his legs were somehow tucked under my neck.

A few weeks ago, a very nice blog reader asked me how I take my pictures in low light. Here is what works for me and I hope you find it useful:

You don't need a fancy tripod. I lost my tripod mount months ago. I have no idea where it is and I don't need it to take pictures in low light. All you need is something sturdy to balance your camera on. I took the above picture with my camera sitting on a spindle of DVDs on my night table. The picture I took last night? I propped my camera on the bed rail of Owen's bed. These shots? Taken with the camera on the foot board of my bed.

Shoot wide open. Let as much light in as possible. I have two lenses that are perfect for low light. The primary lens I shoot with is a Sigma 17-70 mm that opens up to f2.8. The other lens I use is a Canon 50 mm fixed lens that opens up to f1.8. Both lenses are perfect for low light and great if you want to avoid using your flash at all costs like I do.

Don't crank your iso too high. Go with a lower iso and a longer shutter speed. You'll end up with more light and less noise. I shot the picture above at 400 iso and a 5 second shutter speed. I could have shot it at 1600 iso and a shorter shutter speed, but the picture would have been grainy and if I had to lighten it at all, the noise would have become more pronounced. My subject is lying still and I'm not hand holding the shot so I can afford to leave the shutter open longer.

Tell your subject to sit still. Ava is usually cooperative so I often ask her to sit as still as possible while I take the picture. Other times I just wait until she is totally immersed in whatever she is doing before I take my shots.

Take a pile of pictures. I wasn't too worried about this morning's picture as Owen was lying completely still, but taking a picture of a person who is awake is a different story. You'll want to take lots of pictures just in case. You'll have some terrible ones right off the bat. And others will look good on your camera screen and then not as sharp as you'd like when you open them on the computer. Increase your chances of capturing a great shot by simply having more to choose from.

Hope this helps!

Here's my other picture from today - my sons helping me get ready for work this morning.


Mari said…
Cute pictures and great advice! The boys are looking old!
Hasson said…
some people might say that you seem to know a lot about taking low light shots in the bedroom with a camera propped on your footboard...

not me, just an observation