Happy Monday and welcome to another edition of “How I Got This Shot”! Today we explore shooting in low, available light using one of the scariest methods know to photographers: handheld! Seriously though, shooting handheld in low available light can be tough. I’ll explain how I got this shot doing just that, then you can apply it to your own techniques to see what you can come up with.
I took this shot at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Yes, it was the same place I took the B&W shot I posted last week. I really dug all the vibrant colors and I wanted to take it all in. There was just one problem though, I didn’t bring my tripod. What did I do? I’m improvised! As much as I hated to, I set my ISO to 800, aperture to f 3.5, shutter speed to 1/15 (YIKES!), and my focal length at 18mm. I was afraid of the outcome. ISO 800 on the D40 is about as high as I dare go because beyond that the images get REALLY noisy. 1/15 of a second on the shutter is about as low as I dare go when shooting handheld. Any slower and it’s near impossible to get a shot that isn’t blurry somewhere in the frame. To help counter camera shake, I pulled my elbows in tight to my body and gently squeezed. This provides a quite stable platform for holding the camera and minimizes the chance of camera shake. In this case I got lucky and got the frame I was looking for. Now, I would have liked to remove the people, signs, and other distracting items before taking the shot. Since I wasn’t shooting for them, there was no way that was going to happen.
That’s it for today folks. Come back and join me for tomorrow’s edition of Tuesday News Reel and find out what’s going on in the wide world of photography!