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Perfecting Your Evening Photo Skills

From work gatherings to holiday celebrations and dinner parties, December can be a busy time of the year for social functions. If you are like me and take your digital camera with you to every event, there are some tips to make sure all your nighttime shots are crystal clear and in tip top quality. Check out the suggestions below, so you'll be picture ready just in time for New Years!

  • Using the Nighttime Setting or Scene Mode
    On most digital cameras there is a specific setting to help you take great night pics. Check your manual to find out the mode for your camera. This one-touch setting will adjust to your camera settings, tuning it to low-light conditions and possibly allowing you to take.
  • For three more tips, just

  • Avoiding Optical Zoom
    Try to avoid using your digital camera's optical zoom when taking night photos, because the higher the optical zoom magnification, the longer the lens has to extend to shoot a photo. This also causes the digital camera to become sensitive to movement. With an extended lens, even on sunny days, the results of 'camera-shake' may be evident in blurry photos, while at night, this effect is magnified even more.
  • A Flash Isn't Always the Answer
    While a flash may be helpful in taking photos in low light conditions, there comes a point at night when the flash isn't much help anymore. Flash requires light to bounce off a subject. If your subject is a long way away, your small flash unit will never reach your subject effectively. An expensive external flash may help some in these instances, but consider using other digital camera features when taking night photos, such as decreasing the shutter speed, increasing the ISO settings, or using a preprogrammed night scene mode.
  • Gotta Love Self-Timers
    A digital camera's self-timer mode can reduce some camera shake when taking night photos. Most night photos, especially in situations where you cannot depend on a flash, require a shutter speed of half a second or longer or else the subject will be too dark. This is to compensate for the lack of available light. Unfortunately these situations can result in camera shake. However, if you use the self-timer mode, you might be able to get some acceptable shots just holding your camera very steady. Any shake caused by pressing the shutter button will be eliminated, as the camera will not take photos until several seconds after the button has been pressed.
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