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  1. #11
    Senior Member
    JH Foto's Avatar

    Re: How to freeze acton in low lighting?

    Hello and welcome...............................Post a few few photographs for us to look at...


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  2. #12
    Senior Member

    Re: How to freeze acton in low lighting?

    How to freeze acton in low lighting?
    Quote Originally Posted by Nana39 View Post
    OK so:
    1. I've set my camera to "A", and I can't change the shutter speed so photos are nice and bright, but motion is blurred. My f does not go lower than f4.
    2. Then I set it to "M" and did all the things you said, and photos are now very dark
    When you set the camera to A it's slowing down the shutter speed to compensate for the lack of light. When you use Tv (Shutter priority) you can choose the shutter speed, and the camera will automatically open the aperture to it's max in dim lighting, so I recommend you stick with TV.

    The first question is, what ISO is the camera using? That's why setting auto iso and it's max are so important. If your camera is limited to a low ISO, your photos will be dark.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHQkF9iZD4E

    Theres a quick video on how to set Auto ISO. I'd start with a max ISO of 6400. Slow your shutter speed down to say 1/200 using TV and take a test shot. Shooting in lowlight with an APS-C Sensor camera and a slow lens is going to be pushing things to the limit - so from there it becomes a balancing act. Keep in mind however that if the photos are too dark they can be adjusted in post or you can also use EC - exposure compensation, on the camera.
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  3. #13
    Senior Member
    Horoscope Fish's Avatar

    Re: How to freeze acton in low lighting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nana39 View Post
    That's a pretty good question. I have been reading on it the for past week and I think I got the basics. I mean, I know what each one does by itself, but I haven't practiced enough to fully comprehend how they work together. I've practiced a lot during daytime and I'm happy with the results, but night time photography is a bit more tricky for me. Problem is, my husband belongs to this dance group and I am expected to shoot their performances, they are counting on me since I'm the only one with a decent camera, and I don't have the luxury of getting it wrong every time. I have to get this right and fast.
    Okay, from what i can tell both you and husband need to understand that good photography is at the very least, a learned skill-set. Having a good camera doesn't turn you into a good photographer any more than own a Fender Strat' makes you a rock star. I think the first thing you need to do is get a much more thorough understanding of the Exposure Triangle. Once you do you will be well on your way to getting great shots on the regular. I firmly believe that unless and until you fully understand this core concept -- Exposure -- all you will be doing is flailing about, hoping something will work. But even when it does you won't know WHY or if it will work the next time because you don't fully understand the principles of exposure.

    Here are a couple links to help you better understand how to achieve correct exposure:

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  4. #14
    Banned

    Re: How to freeze acton in low lighting?

    Quite why we are being given instructions for a Canon I don't know ( Tv)
    First A referes to aperture mode not Auto . So go to A ..menu Iso settings and put in 200-6400 min shutter speed 1/250.
    What you must do is pick instants when they are not moving too much ..ie end of a movement etc and put your camera on continuous and shoot in bursts. Tell them that they wont get good photos unless 1/ they let you use flash and not the one on your camera say a youngnuo 565 ( if you use iso 200 then when you put the flash on it goes to 800 and you will not need so much power or blind them ) or 2/ they do a white light performance ie with the stage lights turned up.
    Did you think of doing a video for them instead ? the D3300 is good at that ....

  5. #15
    Happy to be Canadian
    Super Mod
    Marcel's Avatar

    Re: How to freeze acton in low lighting?

    One thing you must understand is that photography depends on LIGHT. When there isn't enough light, you have to open the shutter for a longer period of time. This is what brings the blurriness of dancers.

    There is nothing to do with the lack of light except using a flash. But the camera's inboard flash is probably not strong enough for the distance between camera and subject.

    It's a bit unfortunate that sometimes people expect professional results without knowing the bases of photography. Exposure triangle is composed of: Amount of light<Aperture<shutter speed. These 3 are inter-related and when there isn't enough of one, the others suffer.

    So I'm really sorry to have to break the bad news, but I think you will have to experiment a bit more before you come up with the results you were hoping for. There are ways to use flashes triggered by the on-board camera flash, but you have to set them up in advance or have an assistant hold them in place for you. Since we don't know exactly what kind of "dancers" you are trying to photograph, it is almost impossible to give you a miracle recipe.

    Enjoy your Nikon.
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  6. #16
    Junior Member

    Re: How to freeze acton in low lighting?

    I'm talking about traditional Cyprus dances. Lots of jumps, quick turns, fast moving of hands, lots of synchronized moves (i.e. four people jumping at the same time.) Usually 4 - 10 people are on the stage at the same time.
    Keep in mind, I'm not looking for professional results yet, as I'm not a pro (yet). I only got my first camera two months ago. I have no problem with experimenting, and I do experiment almost every day, plus I watch tutorials and read articles. However, photographing moving objects at low light conditions is something that lots of people are having trouble with. All the articles suggest different solutions. They don't ever agree as to which setting is more suitable - is it S, A or M? So it would be nice if I at least knew where to START, so I can take it from there myself. I'm not looking for an easy answer, I'm looking for a starting point.
    Anyway, since I am not able to change the light and I don't own an external flash, I have decided that next time I will try the following:
    1. Set my camera to S
    2. Make sure the AUTO ISO is set to max 6400
    3. Start with a shutter speed of 500 and take it up from there if necessary
    4. Increase my EC to +1 or +2 if necessary
    5. Set my camera on continuous to take multiple shots
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  7. #17
    Senior Member

    Re: How to freeze acton in low lighting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nana39 View Post
    I'm talking about traditional Cyprus dances. Lots of jumps, quick turns, fast moving of hands, lots of synchronized moves (i.e. four people jumping at the same time.) Usually 4 - 10 people are on the stage at the same time.
    Keep in mind, I'm not looking for professional results yet, as I'm not a pro (yet). I only got my first camera two months ago. I have no problem with experimenting, and I do experiment almost every day, plus I watch tutorials and read articles. However, photographing moving objects at low light conditions is something that lots of people are having trouble with. All the articles suggest different solutions. They don't ever agree as to which setting is more suitable - is it S, A or M? So it would be nice if I at least knew where to START, so I can take it from there myself. I'm not looking for an easy answer, I'm looking for a starting point.
    Anyway, since I am not able to change the light and I don't own an external flash, I have decided that next time I will try the following:
    1. Set my camera to S
    2. Make sure the AUTO ISO is set to max 6400
    3. Start with a shutter speed of 500 and take it up from there if necessary
    4. Increase my EC to +1 or +2 if necessary
    5. Set my camera on continuous to take multiple shots
    That's a good starting point I think. If you have photoshop or lightroom you can use either to adjust the exposure after the shot is taken. It works a little better with RAW files than JPGS but you can do it with either.

    I do highly recommend S mode for what your doing. While I prefer M (full manual) myself, the reason is I have a camera with two command dials - it allows me to quickly adjust either aperture or shutter speed on the fly. In your case your camera only has one control dial, and as a result you can only really make adjustments to one quickly. The camera will automatically open the lens as wide as it can in this shooting situation, so your better off being able to adjust your shutter speed and make sure it's high enough to stop the action, or at least come close to it.

    You can also go higher in EC, it won't cause anything to explode or anything like that. You'll most likely need to play around a bit and see what gets you the best overall results. But I think your at a good starting place here. If I can be of any further assistance, let me know.

    One final thought, when possible set your zoom lens to it's minimum focal length and if you need to get closer, move closer rather than zooming in. The lens you have is variable aperture, meaning the more you zoom out, the higher the aperture number goes and the less light it's taking in - so if possible try using it at the minimum zoom setting or as close to minimum as you can. This will result in a lower aperture number, which will mean more light for the camera to work with.

    Good luck, and happy shooting...
    Nikon D600 + Battery Grip
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    Teleconverters: Nikon TC-14E III & TC-20E II

  8. #18
    Senior Member
    Challenge Team
    cwgrizz's Avatar

    Re: How to freeze acton in low lighting?

    Pretty much agree with everything in the previous post with one addition. You don't have to have Lightroom or Photoshop to adjust exposure or play with RAW files to get the best of what you have available. Nikon's software Capture NX-d is pretty good for those adjustments and is free. It has come a long way from the original version they released.
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  9. #19
    Senior Member

    Re: How to freeze acton in low lighting?

    Quote Originally Posted by cwgrizz View Post
    Pretty much agree with everything in the previous post with one addition. You don't have to have Lightroom or Photoshop to adjust exposure or play with RAW files to get the best of what you have available. Nikon's software Capture NX-d is pretty good for those adjustments and is free. It has come a long way from the original version they released.
    Wow... WTG CWGrizz. Never used Nikon's software so didn't know it had that capability as well.
    Nikon D600 + Battery Grip
    Tamron 28-75 F/2.8 | Nikkor 70-200 mm F/2.8 VR I
    Teleconverters: Nikon TC-14E III & TC-20E II

  10. #20
    Senior Member

    Re: How to freeze acton in low lighting?

    I'm just catching up with this thread. Everybody has given good advice. As you have noted, there are many different settings recommended here and elsewhere. In the end it's all the same. S mode and A mode along with some exposure compensation can give results just like M mode. The key is understanding the relationship of shutter, aperture and iso. Once you have that understanding locked in, the modes of how to get there will show themselves to be more of a convenience or personal preference.

    I find 'exposure' much like baking bread. You can alter time and temperature within reason, but you need to change both in most cases. Raise the temperature and lower the cooking time. Lower the temperature and increase the cooking time. There will be trade offs depending which parameter you favor. The same with exposure. Shutter and aperture need to 'bake' a correct exposure. Change one parameter and the other must change as well. Eventually you hit a wall and changing settings any further to favor low light will result in dark or blurry pictures because there is simply not enough light to 'bake' a good exposure. This is when it is time to raise iso. Each time you raise iso, it is a new game with shutter and aperture. With each raise in iso, your camera becomes more sensitive to light. To get back to the bread, raising iso would be like changing your dough recipe to a faster cooking mix.

    Your settings in your last post are good. Shutter speed is your priority here because you must be fast enough to freeze motion. Aperture is less important, but you pretty much need to be wide open since the light is low. No choices, just go wide open (lowest #) on aperture. Auto iso will raise to whatever it needs to support the shutter speed you choose.
    Whatever settings you use to create the above situation are fine. I would choose shutter priority with auto iso. This will keep the aperture wide open in low light. You can play with shutter speed keeping it just fast enough to prevent blur. Auto iso will rise to support this if it can.

    You can practice this in your home. You won't have the motion to practice with, but you can snap some pictures to get a good feel of what auto iso is doing. As you make shutter speed faster, you will see iso rise. Slow the shutter down and iso will go down. See how low you can go on shutter speed with no motion. That shutter speed is your starting point. Try this at different amounts of zoom too. The only thing you will have to worry about at the next performance is raising that shutter speed just high enough to stop the blur.
    I must have a really good camera.





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