Learn how to optimize the Canon SD770 IS for a night portrait scene
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When taking a picture of a night portrait you want to use the flash to illuminate the subject, but you also want to leave the shutter open long enough to properly expose the lights in the background.
There are two ways to do that with this camera. One thing is very simple, go into the function menu and normally you know that I like to use the manual mode, but in this case if you just press the right button to move over to night snap shot. Night snap shot is going to automatically optimize the camera for just this purpose. The ISO is set to automatic I don’t have access to my white balance, but the flash will fire, just go ahead and press the function button. It will allow the camera to get into a mode where the shutter speed is less than 60th of a second with the flash firing.
To make sure that the flash fires, right now is set to automatic. What I want to do is just press the flash button, the right navigation button to access the flash menu and choose flash on. And that’s going to force the flash to fire no matter whether the camera think there is enough light or if there’s isn’t enough light, so I just want to make absolutely positive that the flash will fire, so I turn that on and I just can go ahead and take the picture. However, because my ISO is set to auto, it could potentially get up to 250 which can be a little bit more noisy than I want. It’s not going to be as smooth as 80 that’s for sure. And the white balance is also set to auto, which means that the color of the ambient light maybe very yellow, very green, really depends on what kind of light source it is. So I don’t want that either, so what I prefer doing is go ahead and press the function again, go back to manual, this is the one I normally use, so I don’t really need to move that at all.
I have access to my ISO and my white balance, so I’m going to go ahead and set my white balance, appropriately two of the different types of lighting condition for the ambient lights that are in my scene, if it’s fluorescent, I’ll set fluorescent. If it’s tungsten, I’ll go ahead and set tungsten, but in this case, I’m going to go with fluorescent because that’s what I’m using. And I’m going to go ahead and escape this menu, just click the function button again.
Now you want to make sure that the flash is going to fire, so again if yours is not flash on icon just go ahead and press the right navigation button for the flash to access this little flash. Function menu, get to flash on and so the flash will fire for sure. ISO, go ahead and keep that at 80 with the flash there should be plenty of light on your subject. It’s really just the matter of the ambient light.
Now, what you want to do and this is very, very important is go into the main menu, and go down to flash settings and click either function or the right navigation button to access this. And at the very top you have slow synchro. Now, by default this is turned off, but in this case, you want it turned on, so turn that on either the right or left navigation buttons to highlight on, and then go ahead and hit menu to escape and menu again to get out of the main menu.
Now, what this does with the slow synchro set is allows the shutter speed just like when the mode is set to two night snap shot it allows the shutter speed to drop down below 1/16 of a second when I’m using the flash. So I’m forcing the flash because I don’t want to use that, but I’m also telling the camera to do whatever things it’s necessary regardless of the flash. So that’s very important when taking a night portrait picture.
Now, just like with every other picture, you want to press the shutter button halfway, focus on your subject, wait ‘till that little square turns green and then press the shutter button, the rest of the way to take the picture.
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