How to Get Better Brighter Photos In Low Light

In the past, on this kind of cloudy day I would’ve just waited for a sunnier day to take my blogging pictures.  But then there were those times I couldn’t wait because I was taking pictures of our dinner meal that wasn’t ready until the evening and only using our awful kitchen fluorescent lighting.  So, I quickly realized I needed to figure this manual thing out.

You’ll be so proud of yourself when you stop using the flash for indoor pictures.  Of course, there are professional flashes and what not that you can use for indoor photos but I’m talking to you moms out who are just working with the basics.

Here’s what I tried at first and it worked fine. But then I was taking pictures of a couch and I didn’t have enough white poster board or the time to set up a sheet behind it.

1. Use white poster board behind your object, turn on all the lights.

So once I again, I was reminded that I need to learn my camera settings on my DSLR.  I own a Canon Rebel T3 and the lens I’m using is 18-55mm. I share more here about settings and what those big photography vocabulary means and what not….

What to do:

1. You will first need to pull out your camera manual if you don’t know how to adjust your aperture, ISO… or go here for my cheat sheets.

2. Set your camera on manual.  On my Canon I need to click a button on the lens and on the camera itself (the dial at the top that says M).

3. Then set your F-stop, ISO and shutter speed for indoor pictures on a dark day (see below for my settings).

Let’s do it – Take a look at this picture:

The picture below was taken with low outdoor light on a rainy day in the evening. The second picture is on auto using the flash and the first picture is on manual using no flash. I used these settings:

  • Shutter speed to 1/5
  • F-stop to F3.5
  • ISO 400

My camera lens only lets me go down 3.5 on my f-stop so then I had to rely on my ISO and shutter speed to let in the right amount of light.  If you go any lower on your shutter speed you may need to prop your camera against something.

Try it on your own.

  1. Use my settings first, if you’re feeling a bit unsure.
  2. Then only increase your ISO to the next setting and take a picture. It should be brighter if it’s not you did something else.
  3. Then leave all the settings the same but change your shutter speed and go one speed lower. (remember the lower you go you may need to prop your camera or lean on something  so the camera doesnt’ shake otherwise you end up with a blurry photo.) This should also make your picture brighter.

Now take a look at the 3 pictures and decide what picture gives you a clear and brighter picture, that YOU like.  Whatever setting you decide on, stick to that until you have more time to play with lighting.  I highly recommend you play with your indoor lighting at different times in the day so you can start becoming more comfortable and familiar with your settings. And before you know it you will know exactly what setting to start with for the amount of light you have to work with.   Note, the settings will probably be completely different if you are outdoors.

brighter photos

Remember: Lower ISO = less light comes in / Higher ISO = more light comes in. 

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2 Responses to “How to Get Better Brighter Photos In Low Light”

  1. January 11, 2014 at 4:12 am #

    Oh you are so clever! Thanks for sharing!
    Bek {Just For Daisy} recently posted…10 FREE Printable Calendars for 2014My Profile

  2. Inspired by Family Mag
    January 30, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    Ha! Hope it helps your photography.

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