Learn how to optimize the Canon SD770 IS for a dusk/dawn scene
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When taking a picture of a dusk or dawn scene, typically there is very little light. And what you want is all the colors out of the sky. So, what you’re going to need to do is go ahead and press the Function button.
Now, I’m going to use the Manual mode. I prefer this mode because this is the only mode that really gives me full access to things like White Balance and ISO. This is the mode I use for just about every picture I take.
Go ahead and go down, press the Down navigation button right here. Just scroll down to White Balance. Set it to Day Light. Day Light will get you the most accurate colors out of the sky. Once that’s set to Day Light, go ahead and exit the Function menu by pressing the Function button right here again.
And now, what you want to make sure you have is your Flash turned off. If you don’t have the No Flash icon, go ahead and press the right navigation button right here, or the Flash button to access this flash option, and just scroll through the different options until you get to Flash Off. Give it a second to go away or hit the Set button to make it go away a little faster.
Finally, the ISO should be set. Currently, you can see mine is set to auto. And this is probably not going to be good. I don’t want the camera choosing the ISO because it maybe higher than what I want resulting in a grainy image. So, go ahead and press the ISO button here at the top. Up navigation button to access ISO and just manually set that to 80 and that’s going to produce the best smoothest colors in the sky. So now, you’ve got your Flash turned off, your ISO is set to 80, and our White Balance is set to Day Light.
Now, sometimes with these scenes, there is so little light that because our ISO is set to 80, the Shutter speed will be very, very slow. Sometimes slow enough where you’ll even need to use a tripod. So, in case the Shutter speed is slow, go ahead and set your camera on a tripod. It can be small or large, it doesn’t really matter. Once you have the camera on tripod, you should probably use the Timer mode. Press down right here to access the Drive mode or the Timer mode is located. And just go down until you get to the two second timer. I don’t need the 10 second timer because I’m not trying to quickly get into the picture myself but the two second timer gives me enough time to press the Shutter button, release the camera and have the camera kind of stop shaking from my hands before it takes a picture.
So, the timer is set to two seconds. My Flash is turned off. ISO is set to 80 and my White Balance is set to Day Light. At this point, go ahead and press the Shutter button halfway. You’re going to need to put the focusing square on something with some contrast. In this case it maybe just the horizon. So, place the focusing square in the center over the horizon. Press your Shutter button halfway, wait for the camera to lock focus, the focusing square will turn green, and then you can recompose either tilt the camera up to see more sky or down to see more of the land. And when you’re ready, go ahead and press the Shutter button the rest of the way to take the picture.
Now, it really depends on the scene but if it’s really quite a bit before the sunrise or after the sunset and if there really is very, very low light in the sky you may want to go ahead and have a long Shutter exposure.
And in this case, the way you have the camera set up right now, the most it will get to is about a second. So, in order to make it longer than a second, what you would do is press the Function button here in the center again. Go up to Exposure Compensation and as it says here, press the Display button to access the long shutter option. And you’ll see here it says a second, you can press the left and right navigation buttons to change that figure. You can’t have it any faster than a second but if you press the left navigation button you can have it slower than a second.
So again, if it’s very, very low light there are still visible stars out in the sky, you can go ahead and crank that up to maybe even 15 seconds if you want and take a picture that way. Once you’re set go ahead and press the Function button to escape the Function menu. And as before, just press the Shutter button halfway, let the camera focus. Now, you can see that because my Shutter speed is so slow, it’s four seconds, the entire screen went white because in my case there is really plenty of light and that’s not necessary. The camera’s trying to guess how the picture would turn out with the Shutter speed set for four seconds.
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