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Photographing with bad light

photography design scrapbooking

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#1 Jennifer Larson

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 12:08 PM

I loved the last episode I listened to about pets, but I admit I got a little frustrated listening to the photography advice, mainly don't use a flash or only photograph when the light is good. I live in Minnesota, and I have almost no windows. For about 6 months in the year, I go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. I would never take photos if I had to use the light! And the indoor light just isn't the same, even with an iPhone.


It's almost May, mostly cloudy and snowy, and barely above 40F, so I could be suffering from Seasonal Grumpiness Disorder, but I would love an episode about taking decent photos without special equipment when the light is crap. Or design advice about scrapbooking those less-than-stellar photos. Thank you!

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#2 IAmMikki


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Posted 29 April 2015 - 10:13 AM

I would love to hear about photography in bad lighting! It used to kill me going to the local kids museum and the lighting was just awful florescent yuck. How to take a good photo when there is absolutely no natural light to work with.
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#3 bestcee


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Posted 29 April 2015 - 10:36 AM

My mother's living room is bad lighting. The whole side is straight windows, which sounds nice but in truth results in a ton of overexposed pictures because of the design. It's hard to get the window behind me. My mother in laws house is just dark. Even with lights turned on. I've found that as I've practiced I've found certain ways to compensate for the lack of light without a flash. It's taken a lot of shots though!

#4 Noell



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Posted 30 April 2015 - 05:51 PM

Don't forget, Tracey gave some really good tips for how to fix your flash so you can use it with better results. Did you hear that part?

I take photos in lower lighting situations, but I still do it without a flash. I haven't used a flash in almost a decade at least. But I do have a camera that is highly capable. If your camera cannot do that, try one of Tracey's tips for filtering the flash.


When I'm working with photos that are dark and there's nothing I can do to fix them, I use light colors, like white or cream backgrounds. This enhances the lightest tones in the photos.

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#5 anandi


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Posted 22 May 2015 - 12:23 PM

I'm in Seattle so bad lighting is the story of my life as well.  I use halogen lamps (4 or more) and something to diffuse  the light - like a homemade lightbox with tissue paper sides, or even bouncing the light off a piece of white cardstock behind the item.  You have to play around with having enough lights and their position so you don't get shadows.  I also bump up the exposure on my camera by 1/3 or 2/3 to get a brighter look to my photos.


I recently attended a "product photography" class and he talked about using big diffusers and moving the light sources further away to help with the shadows as well.  So it may require some more equipment if you're serious about it - lots of lights, light stands to position things better, and big fabric diffusers.  You can buy a lot of it on Amazon.  He recommended those super bright "shop lights" that you see at Home Depot.

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#6 bestcee


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Posted 22 May 2015 - 03:20 PM

My husband bought me a little light bouncer - it folds up pretty well. It helps bounce the light, or at least brighten a portrait!
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#7 littletoki


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Posted 30 July 2015 - 08:01 AM

Family get togethers, dinner with friends, all these photos usually turn out terrible yet I really want to scrapbook them because of the memories they hold. I loving finding inspiration from layouts shared by designers but their photos often feature portraits and beautiful lighting. When I turn back to my photos, the rush of inspiration kind of dies when I see my yellowy, blurry, chaotic photos. I too would love tips on how to scrap these photos!

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#8 Izzy



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Posted 01 August 2015 - 04:24 PM

Sounds like two possible episodes to me:


1) How to take photos with less-than-ideal lighting.


2) How to scrap poorly lit photos.



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