Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A shot in the dark

I shot today's photos with my Canon S90, a model that has now been superseded by the Canon S95.

The little point-and-shoot had two features that attracted my attention. One, it had an f/2.0 aperture available when emulating a 28mm lens on an SLR. This f/stop lets in twice as much light as the more common maximum aperture of f/2.8.

Two, it has a little trick up its sleeve that allows it in dark, picture-taking situations to treat two adjacent pixels as one. This ups the light sensitivity of the camera while cutting the photo file size in half. If all you want are snap shots, this is a good trade-off. When set to low-light, the camera also turns to a brute strength strategy and ups the ISO rating in use.

When I saw my granddaughter, Fiona, sitting with her grandmother, both engrossed in a television program, I thought picture. The light was poor; It was night. But with the camera steadied against the television stand, I squeezed off some shots. I should take Judy into Photoshop and brighten her face a little but overall I'm happy.

Later, I caught the little girl running up and down a "stone" path she had constructed through our kitchen using place-mats. Again, I grabbed my Canon S90, set it to low-light level photography, braced the it against a chair, and shot away.

Personally, I like the low-light level shots better than the ones illuminated by the little camera flash. The colour in the picture may be off a bit and there might be more grain or noise marring the image but it has the feeling of the moment. I have a personal hatred for direct, harsh, on-camera flash. Deciding to shoot available is not a difficult decision for me.

Don't let low light levels stop you from taking pictures. Make sure you have a camera eager to take a shot in the dark.

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