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How to photograph: candles!

Think about a sunset.
And a cake.
And add some cosiness to both.
Now combine these two (or three, it’s what you like!), what do you get now?
Exactly, a burning candle!
·         The colour of the light which a burning candle emits looks just like that of sunset.
·         You put a candle on cake, something what I immediately thought about.
·         And when all the lights are down and the only light is coming from a candle it feels either cosy or romantic. Glimlach
This said, I’m going to divide this post in two parts:
·       How to take photos with the light of a candle (the subject of this particular post)
·       How to take photos of a candle (the subject of a post which I’ll post later this year)
Well, have a great time reading.
I hope you’ll learn something from it.

I didn't have candles, or knew where to buy them. I'm very sorry....

How to take photos with the light of a candle as light.

Attention: it must be as dark as possible in the room whilst you are taking candle light photos.
While this actually seems pretty logical, I forgot to dim the lights while taking the first photo a year or so ago. Glimlach

Ad some extra candles

A candle doesn’t emit that much light, so I advise you to put some extra candles nearby.
If your “main” candle is on the right of the subject than put the other candles on the right too.
If you don’t, you’ll get almost no shadows.
Which is one of the things what makes candle light photography so beautiful, the shadow.
You see, you cannot accomplish the same shadows without a candle.
I think that candle light shadows are the best for two reasons:
·       They are very visible (They are very dark!)
·       They have/show a nice contrast between them and the sunset colour of the candle light
In my opinion, the only way to accomplish this is by putting in some extra candles.
No flash!
Okay, I said earlier that one of the beauties of candle light photography is the …… candle light.
So why would you ruin this by adding in some rather cold and sometimes ugly flash light.
If you’re a “master” of flash photography than I’m sure you could make some pretty photos with a flash.
Those won’t even look cold I suppose.
But for those of you who haven’t got some type of expansive flashes, please don’t use the flash of your camera!
If you insist on using the flash, you can hold a brown/orange sheet of paper in front of it so the light will be a bit “warmer”
Quite nice isn't it!

Make sure you “see” the candle!

Candle light is beautiful, as I told you already.
But it is even nicer when you include the candle in the photo.
I know that you could make some beautiful photos without including the candle.
At least candle light pictures are a lot more beautiful when it’s clear that a candle is used to light the photo.
There are other ways to do this except for just plainly showing it.
But that’s where your creativity comes in!
Just take a photo, and look at it.
Do you think it’s necessary to include the candle?
Than include it!
If you think it can stay out of the picture than keep it out!
A pretty good compromise is to keep the candles in the background.
As some beautiful bokeh.
This is (simply said) done by setting the aperture to a low value, so the background will be blurred.
This way you also can add like a halo around an object or person.
But than a halo made from distant candles, quite funny I think! Glimlach

Some lawn near my place, kinda cool I think!

Keep the white balance in mind!

The light is beautiful, but it has a very specific colour.
If you don’t mind the white balance, than it will just look … well …. ugly!
So set your white balance on auto, or just experiment.
Some technical stuff.
So you’ve got the composition?
You’ve got enough light?
Well then head to the technical part!
There are a few things to remember when making candle light photos:
·       Iso
·       Aperture (bokeh)
·       White balance
·       Shutter speed
Set the Iso as low as possible.
For some of you it will feel unnatural, because it’s a rather dark scene.
But I think you should always keep the Iso as low as possible, since high Iso values produce lots of noise.
Then the aperture.
It’s nice to have some bokeh from the candles, if it fits in the composition.
But most of the time you want to show the environment.
Candles have an aura you know.
They represent and are surrounded by romantics but also by cosiness.
It’s nice to show this.
And that’s why you’ll mostly have a large aperture when you make candle light photos.
To show the “aura”
I told you already about the white balance.
Oh yeah, shutter speed.
Since there isn’t so much light coming in, you’ll need a slow shutter speed and a tripod to make good photos.
So make sure the shutter speed is set on a low value.

“Keep the aura in mind, do the technical stuff and make decisions. That’s what makes a great candle light photo!”


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