A quick tip on when to use your camera's flash and when to avoid it.
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This is a tip for anyone who has ever taken a picture in a stadium of a sporting event, of a concert, of anything where you’re up in the stands and that you’re subject is far away and you have your camera. This is a nice camera. You have your camera set to automatic and the flash goes off.
Basically what you’re going to end up seeing, you’ve probably seen this before, all of the people’s heads in front of you are very well lit and the subject on the main stage in the stadium is pretty dark. So, what you want to do, this is true for anytime you take a picture of anything when you’re farther than about 10 or 12 feet away from the subject. And when you’re up on those stands, you are much farther away than that and the flash isn’t going to help at all.
So, the first thing you want to do is turn off the flash. Usually, these cameras are set to automatic and that’s great, it’s fun, it’s very easy but it will use the flash in these situations because of things that there isn’t enough light and the camera zooms that the flash will help. It will provide all the light necessary in this case because the subject is so far away, it just won’t provide the light necessary.
So, the first thing is press the Flash button, turn the flash off. In my case, I’m using a Canon so my Flash button happens to be here. In your case, anywhere the Flash button might be, go ahead and use it to turn the flash off.
If you are in a darker setting and you find that you take a picture with the flash off and everything is blurry, it’s because the shutter speed is too slow.
Now that we’re not using the flash, the camera has to deal with the ambient light and it needs to deal with ISO. What you want to do is going to a slightly more Manual Mode. These cameras are coming with fully automatic modes but you can hit the Function button in my case and go to a slightly more Manual Mode. You can see that now, everything is highlighted and I can access things like White Balance and ISO, so hit Set.
Now that I have access to my ISO, I’ll go ahead and press the ISO button in order to change this. I go up to 800. Again, I’m assuming we’re in a very low light situation and I’m going to try 800 and see how that works out. If it still comes out a little bit blurry, you can use a slightly higher ISO if your camera has that function. For example here, I can move up to 1600 but just know that the picture will be very, very grainy and probably a little bit softer than what you are used to because of the cameras noise reducing algorithms.
So, know that the flash will not affect anything at all. You don’t want to use that and the only other way of increasing the shutter speed in order to stop motion is by increasing the ISO. So, you’re going to have to cut down the flash, increase the ISO, and basically just hold the camera as steady as possible. And hopefully, there will be enough light to capture the image.
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