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Photographer
Faceless Illusions
Posts: 43
Anoka, Minnesota, US


I have an idea to do a shoot with lots of candles and only the candles as my light. My question is at what Iso should I have the camera as mine goes up to 3200? Would 800 be enough? Also everyone is asking what camera I am using. I am currently useing a GE X400 w/14.1 megapixel. I am looking and shooping for an actual DSLR Camera but at the moment that is my current camera. For sats on the camera http://www.general-imaging.com/x400/ .
Apr 23 13 03:45 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Images by MR
Posts: 7,572
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Faceless Illusions  wrote:
I have an idea to do a shoot with lots of candles and only the candles as my light. My question is at what Iso should I have the camera as mine goes up to 3200? Would 800 be enough?

You can use any iso you want no matter what you're shooting.

Apr 23 13 03:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O H N A L L A N
Posts: 9,939
Santa Ana, California, US


I can't tell you the exact setting you'll want, but:
You probably don't want as high a setting from normal as you might think. It's doubtful you want the scene to actually be lit normally by candlelight. You likely want it to remain looking like candlelight.
Apr 23 13 03:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,338
Salem, Oregon, US


set it up and then adjust your settings until you get the "correct" exposure. partly it depends on the candles, partly it depends on the ambient (if any), partly it depends on the artistic intent. i like to manually bracket the exposures so i'm not stuck with just one take.
Apr 23 13 03:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
David Nelson Photograph
Posts: 348
Eau Claire, Wisconsin, US


Faceless Illusions  wrote:
I have an idea to do a shoot with lots of candles and only the candles as my light. My question is at what Iso should I have the camera as mine goes up to 3200? Would 800 be enough?

Depends on what you're looking for, Here's what I would do, determine what apateur you want to shoot at, set the camera accordingly, then determine the shutter speed you need to control the elements that need to be controlled and raise your ISO until the shutter speed you need is reached.  Just remember you shutter speed will determine the amount of ambient light (candles).

Apr 23 13 03:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Faceless Illusions
Posts: 43
Anoka, Minnesota, US


I found the image that I wanna try but not do the same thing.
http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/31063281
Apr 23 13 04:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ddtphoto
Posts: 2,408
Chicago, Illinois, US


You're going to want it to look like it's lit by candle light, not actually be lit that way. For this you mix the ambient reading you get to make the candles register the way you want them to, then cto ( sun gel ) the strobe lights and probably nd ( neutral density ) them too to get the proper ratio. Try using a grid light like a beauty dish for the talent so that it doesn't effect the look of the ambient scene.

I mean, you can crank your iso up and shoot with just the candles too but there is going to be a lot of slop and there is more craft and control in the way I mentioned. Plus likely your exposure on the flames will be blown out since ultimately you'll be exposing for the talent.
Apr 23 13 04:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ddtphoto
Posts: 2,408
Chicago, Illinois, US


Faceless Illusions  wrote:
I found the image that I wanna try but not do the same thing.
http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/31063281

Ok, maybe for that just crank the iso up. There really is no environment so it would work. How much noise you'll get at high iso's depends on your camera. Something like a 5d mark II starts getting noisey in shadows at about 800 iso. But maybe the noise isn't an issue, in which case crank it up!

Apr 23 13 04:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Blonde Pony Photography
Posts: 145
Los Angeles, California, US


Depends on whether you're going to hand hold or not. If not, setting the camera on a tripod will allow you to use a low ISO. Also, a fast lens will help with this, unless you plan on using a slow kit lens. If you use a fast lens, you can even try hand holding to 1/30th or 1/15th shutter speed at ISO 400.
Apr 23 13 04:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mark Salo
Posts: 8,197
Olney, Maryland, US


ddtphoto wrote:
You're going to want it to look like it's lit by candle light, not actually be lit that way. For this you mix the ambient reading you get to make the candles register the way you want them to, then cto ( sun tungsten gel ) the strobe lights and probably nd ( neutral density ) them too to get the proper ratio...

That was my idea - I didn't want to over-expose the flame.  I used a spot meter for the flame and incident meter for the speedlight.

18+
http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/27280358

Apr 23 13 04:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Atelier Hereau
Posts: 69
Stoughton, Massachusetts, US


Faceless Illusions  wrote:
I found the image that I wanna try but not do the same thing.
http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/31063281

This shot, the one preceeding it, and the one following it were all photographed with a mix of candlelight and artificial light under the control of the photographer.  I don't understand why nobody seems to consider doing it the easy way; using the unique abilities of digital photography.  Just light it.  Make an exposure.  View the shot immediately on the screen.  Make adjustments in exposure.  Repeat as needed.  Voila.  Just don't over-think or over-complicate the process.  Have fun.  An exposure you might not otherwise have considered could be more correct than the"correct" one.  You might even have 3 0r 4 correct exposures along a continuum of many stops "under" and "over" exposed.  Don't limit yourself to orthodoxy.

Apr 23 13 05:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ddtphoto
Posts: 2,408
Chicago, Illinois, US


Rich Images wrote:
I don't understand why nobody seems to consider doing it the easy way; using the unique abilities of digital photography.  Just light it.  Make an exposure.  View the shot immediately on the screen.  Make adjustments in exposure.  Repeat as needed.  Voila.

Lol. If it was this easy everyone would be doing it... oh wait... they are!

I guess some of us just still respect the craft of creating an image. And personally I find that more often than not the route you are talking about means more time with me sitting in front of my computer rather than behind my camera.

Apr 23 13 05:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Faceless Illusions
Posts: 43
Anoka, Minnesota, US


ddtphoto wrote:
Lol. If it was this easy everyone would be doing it... oh wait... they are!

I guess some of us just still respect the craft of creating an image. And personally I find that more often than not the route you are talking about means more time with me sitting in front of my computer rather than behind my camera.

I'm still kinda new and always learning, This is not an immediate shoot idea, just wondering how it can be done. I figured it would need to have the shutter speed up, but I never thought about using a beauty dish, so like I said I'm learning all the time. And as to Digital, I try to stay away and get the shot that I want the first time. All the post after is me just playing around with things and random ideas I like. big_smile

Apr 23 13 08:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Camerosity
Posts: 5,116
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


First, I wouldn't rule out using a tripod in order to be able to use a lower ISO. If I were shooting that, I'd use a tripod. The pose is not one that would be difficult for a model to hold for a period of time - even several seconds, although that shouldn't be necessary.

Second, consider using large, white reflectors - either frame-and-panel reflectors or Photoflex-style reflectors. The light they reflect will have the same warm quality as direct light from the candles. Not only will they beef up the light somewhat. They'll also serve as fill and lower the contrast and provide some detail in the shadows.
Apr 23 13 10:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
annie lomowitz
Posts: 257
WOODY CREEK, Colorado, US


Barry Lyndon ... Ei 200. That was pushed 5254,

See.  http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/sk/ac/len/page1.htm

So, direct answer. hell yes!
Apr 24 13 06:58 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 21,175
Portland, Oregon, US


There are lots of factors that determine the optimally perfect exposure.  The most important of these factors are...
   ...  The sensitivity of the film/sensor (i.e. the ISO)
   ...  The amount of light allowed to pass through the lens (i.e. the lens aperture
        or f/stop)
   ...  The length of time the light is allowed on the film / sensor (i.e. the shutter speed).

So, it's a balancing act.  You can set the camera's ISO anywhere you want, but the lower the ISO number, the longer the exposure will have to be (because you can't open the lens' aperture more that it's maximum). 

How to decide?  Start with the subject matter -- what are you lighting with those candles?  If it is something that won't move (e.g. a bowl of fruit), you can put the camera on a tripod & use a very long exposure.  On the other hand, if you are photographing a dancer, you will need a quicker shutter speed, and thus you'd have to crank up the ISO to the maximum.

The resulting images with varying ISO settings will differ.  Chances are, the graininess will vary greatly.  Also, pay attention to your color balance.
Apr 24 13 08:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
liddellphoto
Posts: 1,800
London, England, United Kingdom


ddtphoto wrote:
You're going to want it to look like it's lit by candle light, not actually be lit that way. For this you mix the ambient reading you get to make the candles register the way you want them to, then cto ( sun gel ) the strobe lights and probably nd ( neutral density ) them too to get the proper ratio. Try using a grid light like a beauty dish for the talent so that it doesn't effect the look of the ambient scene.

I think this is the best way and what candle lit scenes in movuies often are.

Apr 24 13 12:06 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
GPS Studio Services
Posts: 35,491
San Francisco, California, US


I never go crazy with the ISO.  I normally shoot 400-640.  I want a reasonable shutter speed, even with a tripod, yet I still want to keep the noise down.   The tripod stabilizes the camera, but it doesn't hold the model still.  An image can be soft because of her movement no matter how solid the camera is.

I will usually use a low power flash, exposed to the left, with the shutter dragged to bring in the candles to the level I want.  Also, if I under expose with the flash, the candles will bring in the subject a bit with a nice, warm glow.
Apr 24 13 12:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ForeverFotos
Posts: 6,621
Indianapolis, Indiana, US


http://i401.photobucket.com/albums/pp100/foreverfotos/dscf1007a-1_zpseba2e1bf.jpg

I think this is probably my best candlelit photo, there was no other lighting involved with this shot. I typically don't keep a record of exposure data, so I'm giving you my best guess. We used approximately 30 candles for this shot, so we had to light them very quickly to keep the shot even. There were about 8 to 10 candles on a ledge above and behind the model's head and another 6-8 candles at the foot of the tub that are out of the shot. We made sure that we had plenty of white suds throughout the set to add some reflectivity to the entire scene.

I used an ISO of 200, then bracketed my exposures using a Nikon 28-80 mm f/4 lens on a Fuji S3 camera (set wide open). The camera was on a tripod, and I used a cable release to minimize vibration. I used exposure times of 1 second to a full 6 seconds. If my memory is correct, the above photo was exposed for 2 seconds. (Yes, I did ask the model to hold her breath, she performed beautifully to get the expression you see here while not breathing.)
Apr 24 13 12:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Steven Velasquez
Posts: 22
Corona, New York, US


ForeverFotos wrote:
http://i401.photobucket.com/albums/pp100/foreverfotos/dscf1007a-1_zpseba2e1bf.jpg

Damn, your pic kicked my pic's a$$ lol.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130407/11/5161c1c07242d.jpg
Apr 24 13 01:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Caitin Bre
Posts: 2,081
Naperville, Illinois, US


Keep the ISO down. What lens are you using. I was just shooting a candle shot with a canon t2i a 50mm 1.8 (thrifty fifty) with a polorizer filter (for glare) and I was very pleased. Put the result up as the background on my website http://www.caitinbre.com the back ground image ( 2 minute edit). I had a very soft model light facing away about 10 feet away reflector silver. ISO 200. aperture stopped to 2.8. shutter 1/10 on a tripod. Manual focus. Black background. No skin tones though. Will be shooting that tonight. Will see how that goes. will probably be using my 5dmk2 with a 85mm sigma 1.4 as it will be better for skin tones and more forgiving with higher ISO.
But you can get the idea of how the flames and colors came out. The only thing I did in light room was bring the blacks and shadows down a touch.
Apr 24 13 02:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rick OBanion Photo
Posts: 1,351
Saint Catharines-Niagara, Ontario, Canada


I just use a pile of tea candles and do a white balance edit later and a filter for glare....Nifty Fifty and 3 or four seconds. I only did it to see if i could. Can fake it easier.
Apr 24 13 02:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
rfordphotos
Posts: 4,710
Antioch, California, US


mixed window light with candle light...  1/30th, f/4.5, iso 1250.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110927/11/4e8214005999b.jpg



100% candle light..... 1/40th, f/8, iso 12800

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110615/22/4df9902ed570b.jpg
Apr 24 13 02:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
sidney_k
Posts: 874
Paris, Île-de-France, France


Faceless Illusions  wrote:
I have an idea to do a shoot with lots of candles and only the candles as my light. My question is at what Iso should I have the camera as mine goes up to 3200? Would 800 be enough?

Light up your candles and do a test shoot.
With such a delicate lighting set up, I wouldn't rely on recommendations of the right ISO.
You can shoot a perfect image with one candle at 100 ISO but with a very slow shutter speed and wide open f/stop.
You could also choose your maximum 3200 ISO speed of your camera, with a faster exposure speed and/or higher f/stop, but you will obtain lower quality in your final image.

800 ISO on an amateur camera can be equal to 6400 ISO on a professional camera, thus, ISO can't be generalized.

Apr 24 13 02:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Jebbia
Posts: 27,612
Phoenix, Arizona, US


Post hidden on Apr 24, 2013 05:26 pm
Reason: not helpful
Comments:
Please stay on topic
Apr 24 13 03:35 pm  Link 
Photographer
Skydancer Photos
Posts: 21,906
Santa Cruz, California, US


Moderator Note!
Moving this to Photography Talk, which is probably the best forum for your question
Apr 24 13 05:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Faceless Illusions
Posts: 43
Anoka, Minnesota, US


Camerosity wrote:
The pose is not one that would be difficult for a model to hold for a period of time - even several seconds, although that shouldn't be necessary.

This is just one of many possible poses I was wondering about the lighting and camera setup.

Also I just thought of this but would shooting in Shutter Priority be better than Aperture Priority? Also I will try a few test shots tonight and post them later and everyone can tell me what they think

Apr 24 13 08:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,533
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


Faceless Illusions  wrote:

This is just one of many possible poses I was wondering about the lighting and camera setup.

Also I just thought of this but would shooting in Shutter Priority be better than Aperture Priority? Also I will try a few test shots tonight and post them later and everyone can tell me what they think

if you post, be sure to do it in Critique forum and not here. critique is not allowed here.  just post a link here to the thread you posted in

I dont think it really matters whether you are in shutter or aperture priority. either you have a lot of candles and can lower the ISO raise the shutter or...you dont. and then you have to decide whether you want to fill in with gelled flash or raise the ISO to keep it just candles. I dont know what camera you shoot with so I have no clue how it is with low light high ISO but thats basically the game changer.

Apr 24 13 08:33 pm  Link  Quote 
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