Gillespie Photography - Top Colorado Mountain Wedding Photographers

Use the glass, not the flash

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This post is a tip for beginner photographers, and not really for my general readers.

By now you’ve hopefully realized how important light is to photography. There are different temperatures, qualities, sizes and sources of light, and they all have an impact on your photo. Tired of reading already? Skip down to the Gillespie Photography Tip.

Last night, a local middle school rented the Gillespie Photography Photo Booth for their graduation reception. I noticed a parent using a entry level dSLR with a 50mm 1.8  lens and a 430EX, which actually is a decent combo for event photography. Half way through, we crossed paths, and started talking photog. He showed me some shots, which were sharp, but a bit harsh and washed out. They looked similar to a point and shoot, which is ok… but why spend hundreds of dollars on gear to get average photos.

I took note of his exposure, 1/200th, f-stop 5.6, ISO100, which was basically forcing the 430EX to become the dominant light source. I set his camera to 1/80th and 2.0 and ISO400, which made the 430EX into more of a fill light-source than primary source.

Gillespie Photography Tip
You want to keep your shutter speed as high as possible. The higher it is, the sharper your photos will be. The general rule of thumb is, your lens focal length ,or higher. If you have a 35mm lens, you’ll want to be 1/40th. If you have a 200mm lens, you want to be 1/200th. Anything lower, and you’ll start to notice camera movement. The second part to this is keeping it just slow enough to capture ambient light sources. Adjust your aperture and ISO accordingly, but your shutter speed is a good starting point. Don’t go below 1/30th as you’ll start to notice a lot of subject or motion blur.

The below example are photos from last night. I think they feel a bit more natural than your average run of the mill flash photo.

In conclusion, use your glass, and not the flash.

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