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Beginner Questions:
Its my friend's wedding today, so I decided to use my new sony A350 camera. However, end result turn out to be very disappointing. As the title of the forum stated, I am very new to the DSLR world, all my pics were taken indoor and I notice that all my pics taken today are either with the backgroud too dark or too yellowish thoughout the whole pics..

Maybe I should give some info: since I am newbie to DSLR, I was shooting with Auto Mode and Auto mode without flash the whole time. I noticed that in the afternoon indoor church photos, I get brighter pics with no flash then flash and at night's dinner photo. All the indoor pics turn out to be yellowish?!?! I don't know if it is caused by the chinese restaurant lights. If I set it to Auto with flash, seem like the backgoud is noticably darker. It seem like that I always have trouble shooting indoor pics with little light. What should I do to improve and what mode should I be shooting at???? Any kind of info will help and yes, I am very new to the DSLR world, so a detail descriptions will help!PS: I also left my CIR-Polarizing filtre on the whole time..

Comments (21)

For starters, I'd take off the polarizer. It's not needed in your situation and lessens the amount of light available..

As far as your yellowish tint, I'd guess you're seeing a white balance problem. Most digital cameras have a problem with incandesent white balance, your Sony being no exception..

Are you shooting in RAW? If you are, it's very easy to correct in post processing..

You can also buy a filter to correct this. Remember to take it off when not needing it..

You can also correct this in your menus. You'd take a picture and then apply a different white balance setting, and keep trying until you get it right..

Or read the manual on how to do a custom white balance for the place you're in..

If you're not shooting in Raw and you want to fix the images you've already taken, you can do so in Photoshop CS3 or Photoshop Elements. It won't be as good as if you'd used RAW, but it will work...

Comment #1

Gierre wrote:.

Its my friend's wedding today, so I decided to use my new sony A350camera. However, end result turn out to be very disappointing. Asthe title of the forum stated, I am very new to the DSLR world, allmy pics were taken indoor and I notice that all my pics taken todayare either with the backgroud too dark or too yellowish thoughout thewhole pics.Maybe I should give some info: since I am newbie to DSLR, I wasshooting with Auto Mode and Auto mode without flash the whole time.I noticed that in the afternoon indoor church photos, I get brighterpics with no flash then flash and at night's dinner photo. All theindoor pics turn out to be yellowish?!?! I don't know if it is causedby the chinese restaurant lights. If I set it to Auto with flash,seem like the backgoud is noticably darker. It seem like that ialways have trouble shooting indoor pics with little light.



As you have seen, you need to know a little what you are doing. You have a nice camera but have used quite a difficult situation to try it out..

1. With indoor lighting (tungsten lights) the colour is very yellow compared to outdoor light. There will be an option for indoor tungsten lighting on the white balance menu..

2. The built-in flash is not very powerful and the light it gives is not sufficient for large distances. So, when using it indoors, you see that your subject (a few feet in front of you) is brightly lit by the flash, but the background is very dark. In contrast, when you did not use flash, the light meter would have realised that the scene was quite dark and given a long exposure, and the whole scene is correctly exposed and appears quite bright..

3. You REALLY don't need a circular polarizing filter indoors in low light; it is about the worst thing you could do. It will cut out most of what little light there is and will not help in any way. A CP filter is for eliminating reflections and glare in bright, sunny conditions..

To take good pictures indoors in low light you can do one of two things..

1. Use the light that there is. You will beed to use a high ISO setting on the camera (say, 1600) to increase the sentivity of the sensor and compensate for the low light. Use aperture priority mode, and the widest possible aperture on your lens to let as much light in as possible. It would help if you had a wide-aperture lens like a 50mm f/1.8 which lets in a lot more light than your standard zoom. You need to makew sure that your shutter speed is fact enough to prevent camera shake which will give blurred shots.



Or....

2. Get, and learn how to use, a good external flash with a bounce / swivel head. Light that is bounced off a white wall or ceiling is much more diffuse and looks more natural than direct flash, but needs a lot of power. You cannot possibly get a decent photo of the inside of a church with a single flash, no unit will be powerful enough, and different parts of the picture will be differently exposed (the bits close to you will be bright and the bits firther away will be too dark, as you have seen). So you need to fill the frame with a subject (like a group of people) all of whom are the same distance away, and are illuminated to the same extent..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #2

Oic, just did a search online and now I understand more about white balance. The yellowish colour in the photo is probably cause by the indoor incandescent bulbs from the ceiling. Correct me if I am wrong, next time under the same situation, I should use the Preset WB = Tungsten setting?!?.

Too bad, I shoot it under FINE(JPEG), cannot make adjustment I assume..

What about the dark backgroud I am getting?!? what can I do to eliminate this? seem like the problem is worsen if I am using flash(objects closer will be clear but sourrounding are noticeably darker). Is it b/c the flash is not strong enough?!? what is the best setting I should be shooting at indoor under low light?..

Comment #3

Thanks Mike, the above questions are very helpful. Yes, I am using a very nice camera but I got a lot of learning/praticing to do. I did mange to understand the White balance now after playing around with the pre-setting in my camera inside my room with (tungsten) bulbs in the ceiling. I yield a much whiter pic with camera's preset tungsten setting..

So to take good pictures indoors without having a powerful flash, I should try to avoid using it instead? is it reasonable to assume that if I set the camera in aperture priority mode and with proper setting, I should be able to capture a photo with much better lightning in it? anyway I can use the flash but still allowing the light meter to realised that the surronding was still quite dark to give a proper exposure?..

Comment #4

Photography is hard, and it really is a shame that clueless people think buying an expensive camera will result in good pictures right out of the box..

The camera makers should be ashamed..

Do you understand that light gets dimmer as it travels farther from the source? That why the table lamp in the front hall privides enough light to find your keys, but doesn't now provide enough light to find your shoes in the next room..

Same with flash farther it travels, dimmer it gets. So if you want to take a picture of your keys in the front hall, and your shoees in the next room, through the door, you need to decide if the camera should be set to expose the keys,nearby, or the shoes, far away. BEcause, light a table lamp, it can't do both..

Anyway, I've been summoned for breakfast book store, Tom Ang or John Hedgecoe books; look inside to check that there are not too many pictures of computer screens. Thos books are for later. Look for pix of cameras and lenses and charts and graphs explaining how photography works..

BAK..

Comment #5

Gierre wrote:.

Oic, just did a search online and now I understand more about whitebalance. The yellowish colour in the photo is probably cause by theindoor incandescent bulbs from the ceiling. Correct me if I amwrong, next time under the same situation, I should use the Preset WB= Tungsten setting?!?.

Yeah but there might also be a wb for flash as well. Try out all the different wb settings in various lighting situations and see what effect they have on the image..

Too bad, I shoot it under FINE(JPEG), cannot make adjustment I assume..

You can easily correct the white balance in .jpgs with a program like Lightroom..

What about the dark backgroud I am getting?!? what can I do toeliminate this? seem like the problem is worsen if I am usingflash(objects closer will be clear but sourrounding are noticeablydarker). Is it b/c the flash is not strong enough?!?.

Yes, you can also try slow sych flash..

What is thebest setting I should be shooting at indoor under low light?.

Try higher ISOs..

You ought to get a book or take a photography class. You need more background than just getting a few tips on settings. Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson is very good..

Good luck and enjoy learning a new hobby. Mary..

Comment #6

Gierre wrote:.

Oic, just did a search online and now I understand more about whitebalance. The yellowish colour in the photo is probably cause by theindoor incandescent bulbs from the ceiling. Correct me if I amwrong, next time under the same situation, I should use the Preset WB= Tungsten setting?!?.

If your camera can do custom white balance settings, then I would recommend you do that. Since there is still a wide variation of color temperatures that can be called "tungsten.".

Read your manual. Most likely the setting is very easy to make. It just involves finding the setting in your menu, pointing at something "white" and hitting the "enter" button. Then you will get perfect white balance for THAT particular lighing. Just remember to switch it back to "auto" when you finish shooting in that light..

This is a good example of how important it is to learn how to use your camera. The SONY Alpha 350 is an outstanding camera, which is capable of really superior results, but if you don't know how to use it, then you will get better results from a $99 Samsung Point &Shoot camera set on "full auto." Spending more money on a camera just gets you more options and flexibility.... but unless you know how to use those things, you don't really gain very much..

The good news is.... it is fairly easy to learn. My advise is to practice a lot shooting any subject you can find handy. Then try out all the settings. Fine tune your results. The more you practice with this camera the better you will get..

A wedding is a fairly important photographic opportunity, and it's best to use a camera you are very familar with. I'll bet that you get much better results at the nest wedding you shoot pictures at.Martyhttp://flickr.com/photos/7735239@N02/Panasonic FZ7, FZ20, FZ30, LX2.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #7

Mary....

Generally speaking, the built in flash on any DSLR is insuffient to light up a church. So, either you need a very powerful external flash, or you need to shoot in available light. Plus, some churches will not permit flash photography since it is so distracting..

I agree that it sounds like he should have used a much higher ISO setting. That camera is capable of very good results up to (and sometimes over) ISO 800.Martyhttp://flickr.com/photos/7735239@N02/Panasonic FZ7, FZ20, FZ30, LX2.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #8

Marty4650 wrote:.

Mary....

Generally speaking, the built in flash on any DSLR is insuffient tolight up a church. So, either you need a very powerful externalflash, or you need to shoot in available light. Plus, some churcheswill not permit flash photography since it is so distracting..

Hi Marty - yeah I wasn't talkin about lighting up a church. He mentioned a chinese restaurant..

I agree that it sounds like he should have used a much higher ISOsetting. That camera is capable of very good results up to (andsometimes over) ISO 800.Martyhttp://flickr.com/photos/7735239@N02/Panasonic FZ7, FZ20, FZ30, LX2.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #9

Gierre wrote:.

So to take good pictures indoors without having a powerful flash, Ishould try to avoid using it instead?.

Generally, yes. If you are taking a close up of a person, or a small group of people close to you, the built-in flash will be OK; otherwise, as you found, it rapidly rins out of power and the backgrounds are dark. Using available light is much better, and is fine if the room is brightly lit (or there is some daylight through a window). As mentioned above, you will need high ISO (800 or 1600) and the widest aperture possible..

Is it reasonable to assume thatif I set the camera in aperture priority mode and with propersetting, I should be able to capture a photo with much betterlightning in it? anyway I can use the flash but still allowing thelight meter to realised that the surronding was still quite dark togive a proper exposure?.

This is quite hard. If the forground is lit mostly by the flash, and the background is lit mostly by the room light (because the flash has faded out over that distance), then you need to learn how to balance the two to get an exposure in which both sources of light are balanced. Have a look at this for some further explanation..

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1002&message=26533006.

Best wishesMike..

Comment #10

Gierre wrote:.

Maybe I should give some info: since I am newbie to DSLR, I wasshooting with Auto Mode and Auto mode without flash the whole time..

Indoor low light pictures can be tricky for a beginner. Personally I think auto mode is a good place to start for a beginner. But I'd start with outdoor, nonmoving scenes in good light. The best light would be early moring or late afternoon/early evening light. You will get some pictures that you'll be very happy with in auto mode in this situation..

For indoor lowlight pictures I use a prime lens and higher ISOs rather than flash which I am not that good at...

Comment #11

I have not yet read any of the responses .... but from the OP, it appears that every mistake in the book was made..

(and you may have created a few unique mistakes that are not yet in the "book").

I don't have time to fully respond now, will be back later..

Gierre wrote:.

Its my friend's wedding today, so I decided to use my new sony A350camera. However, end result turn out to be very disappointing. Asthe title of the forum stated, I am very new to the DSLR world, allmy pics were taken indoor and I notice that all my pics taken todayare either with the backgroud too dark or too yellowish thoughout thewhole pics.Maybe I should give some info: since I am newbie to DSLR, I wasshooting with Auto Mode and Auto mode without flash the whole time.I noticed that in the afternoon indoor church photos, I get brighterpics with no flash then flash and at night's dinner photo. All theindoor pics turn out to be yellowish?!?! I don't know if it is causedby the chinese restaurant lights. If I set it to Auto with flash,seem like the backgoud is noticably darker. It seem like that ialways have trouble shooting indoor pics with little light.



Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? )..

Comment #12

JoePhoto wrote:.

I have not yet read any of the responses .... but from the OP, itappears that every mistake in the book was made..

(and you may have created a few unique mistakes that are not yet inthe "book").

I don't have time to fully respond now, will be back later..

Gierre wrote:.

Its my friend's wedding today, so I decided to use my new sony A350camera. However, end result turn out to be very disappointing. Asthe title of the forum stated, I am very new to the DSLR world, allmy pics were taken indoor and I notice that all my pics taken todayare either with the backgroud too dark or too yellowish thoughout thewhole pics.Maybe I should give some info: since I am newbie to DSLR, I wasshooting with Auto Mode and Auto mode without flash the whole time.I noticed that in the afternoon indoor church photos, I get brighterpics with no flash then flash and at night's dinner photo. All theindoor pics turn out to be yellowish?!?! I don't know if it is causedby the chinese restaurant lights. If I set it to Auto with flash,seem like the backgoud is noticably darker. It seem like that ialways have trouble shooting indoor pics with little light.



Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? ).

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? )..

Comment #13

Gierre wrote:.

Its my friend's wedding today, so I decided to use my new sony A350camera. However, end result turn out to be very disappointing..

You mean you expected better..

Asthe title of the forum stated, I am very new to the DSLR world, allmy pics were taken indoor and I notice that all my pics taken todayare either with the backgroud too dark or too yellowish thoughout thewhole pics..

Why would that be so?.

Maybe I should give some info: since I am newbie to DSLR, I wasshooting with Auto Mode and Auto mode without flash the whole time..

I see... camera, do your magic..

I noticed that in the afternoon indoor church photos, I get brighterpics with no flash then flash and at night's dinner photo. All theindoor pics turn out to be yellowish?!?! I don't know if it is causedby the chinese restaurant lights. If I set it to Auto with flash,seem like the backgoud is noticably darker..

I am sure there must be some pretty good explanation for that..

It seem like that ialways have trouble shooting indoor pics with little light..

Have you considered the meaning of the term "photography"? It means drawing with *light*....

Whatshould I do to improve and what mode should I be shooting at????.

Well, first thing is grab the nice camera manual and read it a few times. Than, after you are familiar with the printed word, try to understand it.That should probably enable you to take decent pictures in decent light..

In order to take decent picture at a wedding, you need AT LEAST to understand how photography works. The conditions are a bit less favourable than in daylight. So, you'll really need to understand how it works..

Anykind of info will help and yes, I am very new to the DSLR world, so adetail descriptions will help!.

I am afraid in this particular situation there is no easy way in. If you don't understand how it works, you won't be able to practice photography in challenging conditions. There is no "wedding" switch on the camera..

PS: I also left my CIR-Polarizing filtre on the whole time.

That's REALLY the cherry on the top of the cake. Could you please ellaborate why you had a CP on?.

Look, it's the beginner's forum. You did screw up quite spectacullary. No problem. If you put some time and effort into it, you'll learn quite fast. It's not really rocket science..

My evaluation is that it will be a GREAT learning experience both for you and for the other beginners if you would describe each decision you took and what were your expectations. Some very important points would be:.

- why did you take the camera to the wedding and what you expected- why you shot on auto and what you expected.

- what kind of answers you expected on this forum (you notice you have said NOTHING about the lens, flash or other hardware)- why did you kept the CP on and what you expected (my personal favourite).

/d/n..

Comment #14

This is a beginners forum. Why does it surprise you that there are beginners here?..

Comment #15

Devnull wrote:.

I don't know if it is caused by the chinese restaurant lights..

You can't shoot "Chinese" lights with a Japanese camera !!!.

There is no "wedding" switch on the camera..

Obviously a camera manufacturers oversight. We all need to "petition" them to add a "wedding" program-mode. (hell, they already have a program-mode for everything else).

PS: I also left my CIR-Polarizing filtre on the whole time.

That's REALLY the cherry on the top of the cake. Could you pleaseellaborate why you had a CP on?.

God, I really want the answer to that also ......

It's not really rocket science..

It's not ??? ..... I thought it was !!!.

My evaluation is that it will be a GREAT learning experience both foryou and for the other beginners if you would describe each decisionyou took and what were your expectations. Some very important pointswould be:.

- why did you take the camera to the wedding and what you expected- why you shot on auto and what you expected- what kind of answers you expected on this forum (you notice youhave said NOTHING about the lens, flash or other hardware).

- why did you kept the CP on and what you expected (my personalfavourite).

That is my favorite also !!!.

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? )..

Comment #16

I did not say anything about the camera will do any sort of magic. As you can see, I am totally new to the DSLR world and I am in the process of digesting all the terms/techniques of capturing a good photos. I thought by posting some questions in the beginner forum will help, I guess not now since I am getting so much negative feedbacks. I mean this is a beginners forum right? I mean everyone make stupid mistakes before, especially for a newbie. But thanks for all the tips anyway...

Comment #17

Gierre wrote:.

I did not say anything about the camera will do any sort of magic.As you can see, I am totally new to the DSLR world and I am in theprocess of digesting all the terms/techniques of capturing a goodphotos. I thought by posting some questions in the beginner forumwill help, I guess not now since I am getting so much negativefeedbacks. I mean this is a beginners forum right? I mean everyonemake stupid mistakes before, especially for a newbie. But thanks forall the tips anyway..

You are correct, and you are WELCOME here to ask questions. I sincerely hope we can help..

I think the biggest problem, and one of our biggest peeves is that you shot a WEDDING, as a beginner..

We have seen this 1000 times, and the story is always the same. So you are not the first to have done it..

I hope the bride had back-up photos. or at least knew of your inexperience. (I don't think you commented on what the brides "reaction" was.).

A wedding is a VERY IMPORTANT event .... an event that cannot be repeated. As professionals we pride ourselves on supplying a professional product, our livelyhood depends on it. We feel threathened when a "beginner" intrudes into our world .... and I can't deny we may enjoy hearing about the disasters..

BUT .... we still do want to help. But read the manual first .... and then ask questions you don't understand from the manual..

BTW .... to start with .... a Polarizer (or Circular Polarizer) is ONLY for outdoors, in bright sunlight. It removes glare from windows, water, and can deepen the blue sky, but also only works 90 degrees from the sun. A polarizer cuts the f/stops by almost 2 stops, so will make a difficult indoor (no flash) situation even worse..

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? )..

Comment #18

Just to rescue the white balance issue..

If you have Photoshop or Gimp (free) you have the Color Balance. There you have three sliders and three radio buttons.The three sliders ar for the balance:- Red-Cyan- Green-Magenta- Blue-Yellow.

If you have a yellowish cast on the photo it means that you used a higher than actual color temperature and you have to move the first slider towards the Red and, with the same amount, the third slider towards the Yellow (let's assume you use +5 on the first slider you must use -5 on the third one)..

You have to make the adjustments for shadows, midtones and highlights (the three radio buttons) and to preserve luminosity for all..

Sometimes to get a good indoor picture you also have to move the second slider towards magenta..

I hope you were not the only one that took photos at the wedding. I'm not professional (photography is just a hobby) but you have done all the mistakes you can do all in the same time..

It seems that you are not familiar with the basics of photography not a newbie to dSLR. The dSLR cameras give you more opportunities to mess up (see the CP mistake).VictorBucuresti, Romaniahttp://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m268/victor_petcu/http://picasaweb.google.com/teodor.nitica/..

Comment #19

Gierre wrote:.

I did not say anything about the camera will do any sort of magic.As you can see, I am totally new to the DSLR world and I am in theprocess of digesting all the terms/techniques of capturing a goodphotos. I thought by posting some questions in the beginner forumwill help, I guess not now since I am getting so much negativefeedbacks..

I don't think you got significant negative feedback. Well, maybe Joe went a little over the top, but he appologized, and maybe I shouldn't have said the cherry thing, and I'll appologize for that as well.  Chums?.

I mean this is a beginners forum right? I mean everyonemake stupid mistakes before, especially for a newbie. But thanks forall the tips anyway..

I am still not sure you do properly asses the situation. Let's skip the normal car analogy and do a guitar comparison, shall we? It's very much like:.

- buying a new Stratocaster- taking it to a friends party (of course, without knowing the ropes).

- finding out the friend does not have a guitar amplif, so let's stick the guitar in the MIC entry on his karaoke machine- being dissatisfied with the results- posting for help in beginner forum on electricguitar- "and, by the way, I had my capo on"..

The best advice you can get is "read the manual" - of course, the camera is a bit more complex than the guitar - and "read a beginner's book or take some classes"..

Advice like "sound pitch get higher as your left hand gets closer to the body", while correct, won't help you..

Of course, it's your right not to use the forum again - or even not the guitar - but that won't help you at all..

You'll get help for your problems and misunderstandings here. Most people will rather see and answer photography-related questions than the endless "what to buy" that seems now to be 90% of the beginners forum..

However, the help will be much less substantial for questions like "how to photograph"... or like your original post. There's not much one can help with - exactly like the guitar situation I described..

The situation assessment I adviced you to do was not in jest. It was meant to get you to think about the camera and light. If you don't want the exercise, that's fine, as well..

And the polarizer was indeed the capo on the strings .

/d/n..

Comment #20

It is understandable that you would be deterred from seeking help in this forum due to the arrogant, useless responses from several of those who responded to your questions. You can learn a lot by reviewing other peoples comments and for the most part about 90% of the time you will get helpful information...

Comment #21

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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