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5 Tips on How to Take Candlelight Photos

written by: Ariala•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 1/30/2009

If you want to capture romance or soft candlelight events, this article will tell you how.

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    Beautiful Candlelight Photos

    Some of the most beautiful digital photos are taken in candlelight. There is a soft, magical touch that candles bring to people's faces, a room, or the object that is the center of attention. The problem is, many candlelight photos look good in theory -- that is, before you take the photo, but upon transferring the digital picture to your computer, you see right away that something just isn't right.

    In this article we will examine five ways to make your candlelight photos more successful.

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    1. Don't Use a Flash

    It's tempting for amateur photographers to turn on the flash in the dark. After all, that only makes sense, right? Wrong, not when it comes to candlelight photography. A flash destroys the soft ambient light. To capture the warmth, the glow, the beauty and resonance of candlelight, the first rule is always to turn off the flash.

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    2. Create More Light by adding More Candles

    Sometimes candlelight photos need a bit more light. Since you're not using a flash, the way to create more light is by adding more candles to your "set." This will allow you more flexibility when it comes time to set your shutter speed.

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    3. Slow Your Shutter Speed

    By choosing a slower shutter speed, you can capture more light, more movement, and more of your subject. Keep in mind that shutter speeds affect how pronounced the capture of your subject will be. If you set it too slow, you may emphasize more of the subject than you desired.

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    4. Get the Tripod on the Set

    The reason to use a tripod is to make sure no added movements and shaking occur. When shooting at a slower shutter speed, this is likely to happen, so by incorporating the tripod you will decrease your chances of taking a picture that is blurry and out of focus.

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    5. Consider backgrounds and tablecloths

    Be careful of the type of backgrounds and tablecloths you use because both reflect and cause shadows. Keep things as uncluttered as possible so that your subject is the focus, not a variety of background objects.