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Photography/low light challenge


I need to shoot in a very low light (indoor) environment (nightclub). The few sources of light are neons, a few laser beam lights, a "disco ball".

I have a Canon T3i and will be using a Canon Fisheye 8-15mm.

I also need to use Auto Exposure Bracketing.

The goal is not creative shoots, only need to take pictures that wrepresent well the nighclub.

Is this realistic? and what else would I need to setup on my camera to make this work.

I am not a beginner but almost an intermediate photographer. Still a lot to learn.

Thanks so much for any advice


No problem here.

First of all set the camera ISO to 1000 or 1600. Even at those settings the Ti3 will give you sharp clear images.

Do not use the Autobracketing as it you won't get better shots, you'll just miss a lot of good shots as the camera wastes its time.


Try setting set your Exposure metering mode to spot and then focus on an important area of the picture and press the shutter button half way down to lock the exposure in and then take the shot.


Set the Exposure compensation button to -2/3 of a stop. In shooting stage lighting or other weird situations, underexposing will insure that dark areas stay dark and the camera doesn't try to overexpose everything. Try a few test shots before things really get going.


Another tip for really cool images is to go into the flash program and set the camera to "2nd Curtain" flash.

Now if you use the flash, you will get BOTH a sharp flash image AND overlapping it a blur of motion. When shooting with the flash pull the ISO back to maybe 800. This is great for dance shots and it adds motion and interest to even band shots.

Remember to experiment. Try shots and make adjustments. You can always delete stuff that doesn't work.



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Steve Meltzer


I am a professional photographer and I've been shooting for newspapers, magazines, commercial clients and artists for over 30 years. I have shot stock photography for dozens of years and in 1977 created West Stock (Seattle, WA) which was one of the first to produce stock photo CDs and later one of the first to establish an online stock photo slaes site. I have a new book on digital photography "PHOTOGRAPHING ARTS, CRAFTS AND COLLECTIBLES (Lark Books, 2007)which is available at, and in bookstores like Barnes & Noble and Borders. I have another book, CAPTURE THE LIGHT which will be puiblished in November, 2008. I write 20-30 feature articles and columns for regional and national publications a year. My education includes studying with photographers like Cornell Capa, Duane Michels and Oliver Gagliani (from the Ansel Adams Center.)

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