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Preventing Dark Photographs

Have you ever been disappointed by a picture that was dark and foggy? Or discouraged by seeing only a silhouette of your loved one by the sunset? You were looking forward to it. But now the perfect moment is lost. Dark photos may seem like a waste. Well, it’s time to learn. Or maybe it’s not even your fault. But you’ve got to do all it takes to avoid future disappointments.

Let’s quickly run through the causes and remedies for dark pictures:-

  • The first thing you did was to doubt your flash. This is rarely the problem; but it does not hurt to check whether your flash is working properly. Off course, wait for your flash to recharge before clicking again, by looking at the flash-ready indicator. Most often the flash is not the problem.

  • Maybe your subject is too far. Try closing in on your subject to bring him within the flash range.

  • Does your room or location have enough lighting? Maybe you could move your subject a little closer to the window or use some extra lighting.

  • It could be that the light source is behind. This could happen when you are taking a picture with the setting sun behind your subject. The sun’s light is strong and will produce a silhouette. In such situations the flash automatically turns off due to the sunlight. Use the flash-on mode. Using a fill flash can illuminate your subject well.

  • Maybe your film is bad or damaged. Over time a film becomes less sensitive to light. Also, dampness, heat, x-rays or unintended light could be the problem.

  • Who knows, maybe your film was developed in a hurry. You can ascertain this by looking at the negatives. But this is not a foolproof way to find out.

Now let’s get a bit technical:-

  • Incorrect shutter/ aperture combination can lead to dark pictures. Since light intensity keeps on changing, it demands that your camera be adjusted. The same location that gave good pictures in the day may not give a good picture in the evening. Shutter speed determines how long your film or digital sensor will be exposed to light. A slower shutter speed means that the film will be exposed for a longer time; and maybe that’s what you need. Aperture size controls the amount of light hitting the film. A larger aperture size will allow more light to pass through the lens. You can decide the right combination by looking at the light meter.

  • Maybe your light meter is faulty. A light meter or indicator tells you whether enough light is reaching your film. If you are using a point-to-shoot camera, this defect can be corrected while processing the film. In SLR, you may need to adjust the shutter/ aperture combination using your experience.

  • Film speed plays an important role in avoiding dark photographs. A film speed of 100 ISO means that the film’s photo sensitivity is low, and therefore would require a lower shutter speed. So going in for a film with a faster speed may solve the problem. A film speed of 3200 ISO requires little exposure to give a well lit picture, so a higher shutter speed will work well. So changing the ISO settings on your digital camera may help.

  • As a last resort, you can use digital enhancer software to brighten your picture.

In order to click great picture, there is no substitute for experience.

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