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Photos for blogs
using a compact camera in low light
A compact camera.
A tripod or bean bag.
Do you need to buy an expensive SLR camera to take decent blog photos? Not necessarily. This beginners tutorial shows you how to take great photos for your blog using a compact camera on 'P' mode.
1. Harsh flash lighting
Your camera automatically pops the flash on if there isn't enough light to take the photo. The first step to better blog photos is to turn the flash off and use natural light.
First step - learn how to turn off your flash if you don't already know. This photo shows my Panasonic's menu settings:
2. Make the most of the natural light
Move the subject close to a window and surround it with white boards or sheets to bounce the light back onto it.
Still not enough? Shooting at night? You'll need to use a tripod.
3. Use a tripod
The reason you need to use a tripod is camera shake. When there isn't enough light your camera forces you to use a very slow shutter speed (1/30th sec or slower) to allow enough light to hit the sensor. Any movements the camera makes will make the photo blurred - natural vibrations coming through your hands, if you wobble, or just the act of pressing the shutter. The easy fix is to add light to the scene (flash) but as we've discussed this gives very harsh lighting.
These are the only 3 things you need to do to eliminate camera shake:
1. Put your camera on a tripod, or wedge it into a bean bag or bag of rice.
2. Use a high ISO (or intelligent ISO if you have it).
3. Use the self timer.
With these settings you can use shutter speeds of a whole second and more, and as long as you don't bang the table, you'll get a crisp photo for your blog. Let us know how you get on, and please shout via the comments if we've missed something, or something's not clear.