The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square is the perfect place to take magical photos that will last a lifetime. Enjoy these tips on how to take a picturesque portrait from our friends at The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center.
TRIPOD: It can’t be overemphasized! MOST low light shots require slow exposures: 1/4 second, 2 seconds, 40 seconds, 2 hours, beyond. Get the camera fastened securely and make sure the tripod itself is stable (all levers locked, center posts locked, and feet firmly placed.)
SELF-TIMER: If you don’t have a cable release or remote, BY ALL MEANS employ your camera’s self-timed release. Consider setting the timer to just 2 seconds so you don’t have to wait an eternity for the shutter to fire. Any vibration should cease by the time the shutter releases. Many cameras can be customized to 3, 4, or 5 seconds etc. for the delay. HANDS FREE!
ISO: Low ISOs (50, 100, 200) are usually the recommended setting for night and low light photography. If using a tripod, go ahead and take advantage of the smoothest possible color tones your camera can produce. There are cases, however, where middle ISOs (400, 800, 1600) might be prudent. Perhaps you need to stop the motion a bit and can’t afford such long exposures. In the past few years, some cameras can now produce better quality images at ISOs 400, 800, 1600 than they do at lower ISOs. Why? Because our sensors can heat up over a long exposure and will produce noise at low ISO settings (all cameras have their own personality!). Finally, don’t avoid the super high ISOs (3200, 6400, 12800, 25600, beyond.) You can freeze motion at these heady heights and grain/noise might actually be instrumental in the expression!