Friday, March 5

photo magic

I learned something new the other day, and I really wanted to share it. This will NOT be a technical, complicated photography post, because I’m not qualified to do one of those. And it will be UN-technical enough to drive real photographers crazy. But it’s a neat thing to know.

I’ve been reading a lot about how all these pro photographers don’t use flash at all. And I agree with the reasons why, but didn’t know how to get around it short of traveling with a light kit and diffusers. But I found out I can forget the flash if I move off the automatic settings.

So what I did was this … I set my camera to Aperture Priority Mode (Av on Canon). I set my aperture pretty low, and took a shot. It was OK, but still not enough light. So I set the ISO to 800 or 1600, depending on the shot. My shutter speed was fairly slow.

The first photo is taken with a flash. It is a little flat, washed out, and the tones aren’t great. The second one is taken with no flash at all. I like it much better. You don’t get as clear of a shot with the higher ISO, but the photos overall look better, there is no glare from the flash, and it is less distracting than flashes going off all the time. Also, no red eye. (Warning: these are not great photos – I just wanted to show the color difference with out showing her face, since the Great Katie Photo Theft of ‘09. The difference on faces is tremendous. I wish I could show you, but the husband refused.) All of the photos are straight out of the camera with no editing.

There is even a difference when not taking people. The wall in the first photo is actually a soft creamy yellow. The flash whites it out.

It really works. Just remember to check your screen every so often to make sure the settings are working for you, and see if you need to make adjustments. If anyone needs more specific information on this, let me know and I will get back to you on exactly how to do it.

Also, I tried the bag last night. The Coach bag was too heavy if I am going to carry it all day, but the set up was great. The bag weighs a few pounds empty, which never really bothered me when I could stash it under a stroller. Since neither one of the kids would agree to that, I am stuck hauling my own stuff. I’ll be switching it to another bag tomorrow.




  1. I would love a professional camera to play with, maybe for my birthday, someone will get me one. at the mo I am using a Ricoh Caplio R7. Which is fine for a beginner like me. I love experimenting with it. I would like to think I have a good eye, I am now dreaming of going on a photography course. sigh....

  2. I never take a photo with the flash. I'd rather turn on all the lights and have things have a bit of a yellow tint than a bright washed out look.


  3. These are great Stephanie, I agree the photos are softer and warmer.
    More flattering on all three counts. Thanks for the tip, I will play with that one this weekend. I can photograph my Martha creations :)
    Had to laugh on your bag comment. A few years ago I was so proud of myself for buying a snazzy Coach bag with all the bells and whistles and I spent the next six months seeing a physio trying to determine why I had neck pain! I only use it for ladies lunches now...sad but true. Yesterday, I popped off my 18-200mm lense and put on the 18-55mm lense. Much lighter and i wrapped it in soft bag and popped it into my usual bag. All went well for a few hours but when the extra purchases went in I was in a bit of a quanundrum. There has to be a solution!

    Have a great weekend, thanks for you comment today!
    Jeanne :)

  4. Even though I have a point and shoot camera, I never take photos with flash. It washes everything out and makes the image bland. I definitely understand why prophotographers stay away from it. I also avoid instances where flash would be needed - so no pictures of night life for me!

  5. Stephanie, first of all, YOU ARE RIGHT! I made this discovery a couple of weeks ago as well and the difference is dramatic! I couldn't figure out why I didn't like my photos until one day my wonderful sister-in-law Nancy from FĂȘte et Fleur told me about the flash! NEVER AGAIN WILL I USE A FLASH! I can get wonderful results even in the dark with twinkly lights if I just put my camera on natural light mode! Secondly, thank you for coming to comment on my anniversary! It means a lot to me to share the love that my husband and I share and to have friends visit. It is like having a big party!!!

    Have a lovely day and continue with those fantastic pictures!!! Anita

  6. Hi Stephanie,

    I thought of you when I picked up a bag today. It is for my photo excursions. I bought it at The Gap. It is super light, has nice long strap to wear over the shoulder so you can swing it to the front of you to get camera supplies. Side pockets are good for accessores and perhaps lenses. You can fit journals, camera, name it, inside. Not the best photos here and not the most attractive bag but better than a backpack and easier on the neck with the long strap. My kids will say that I look like a 'dork' but hey....a gir's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!
    There are three versions of the same bag...look at the one with the longs strap. I check the website and it only shows one version. It comes in beige and black although I did not see the black. You may have better luck....

    Jeanne :)

    PS..I tried to find your email address but must have misplaced it. If you send a note I will attach photos...

  7. i don't like flash either. fyi, if you want more light, try going open more in your aperture or bump up your exposure compensation. great tools to know when you aren't a flash girl.