Photographing People in Low-Light without Flash

When I photograph using my cell phone, I avoid using flash as much as possible.  Unless, I wanna create a vampire demonic look, red-eye is annoying.  During a DJ gig, I photographed this young lady at Lil Indies in Orlando, Florida. For her photograph, I used the cell phone’s flash.

Woman in a bar

Usually, I correct red-eye with Windows Photo Gallery, one of the easiest ways. As the corrected photo may be passable, some folks may not care for the woman’s unnatural look.  As you can see, the flash makes her face an unnatural white near her left eye.

smiling brunette in a bar

When I choose avoiding flash, I ask the “model” to pose in whatever light’s available.  This could be a lamp, ceiling lights, etc.  One night at Wally’s, an Orlando bar, I asked the bar manager to pose for me.  For the record, her name is Jenna. For her photograph, I avoided flash and used the bar’s lights.

Jenna, bar manager at Orlando's Wally's

Unlike flash photography, Jenna’s photo appears realistic. Like I mentioned before, flash creates an unnatural look.

For these pics, I used a cell phone.  With a DSLR camera, I suggest at least an 800 ISO setting, especially if the photographer isn’t using a tripod.    Usually, because they allow more light into the camera, fixed lenses are better at low-light than zoom lenses.

Now, you see why I avoid flash sometimes.  Using available light sometimes creates a better photo.

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