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Our local church has a christmas tree festival which i would like to photograph,i am not sure what settings to use bearing in mind the church is quite dark and all the trees are decorated with only white lights.my main concern is the shots having to much noise,i use a nikon D40,thanks for any tips,Dane.
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Are you able to use a tripod?
If so use a lower iso/sensitivity.
In addition to the tripod make sure you use the histogram. The brightness of the lights will tend to make the camera underexpose the rest of the shot.
After you have taken a shot, check the histogram and make sure it is not falling off the left (underexposed). You will get a spike at both ends, one for the shadows and one for the lights, but you need to avoid there being more than just a spike at the shadow end.
As you are not sure of the settings I assume you are relatively new to photography and/or your camera, so instead of switching to manual use the exposure compensation feature. Don't be afraid to take several shots at intervals up to even +2.0 stops, you can always throw away the unwanted ones.
Another technique you may want to try, if flash is allowed, is a little fill in flash. Turn on your flash and set the camera so that in the flash status window it says 'Slow' or 'Rear'. This will allow the camera to expose for the general shot and the flash will pop a little extra light in for the shadows. Again be prepared to experiment, you may need to reduce the flash power to get the shot you want.
Hope this is clear enough and helps a little.
Up the ISO to 1600
Quote: Up the ISO to 1600
If he is photographing a tree he doesn't need to so why run the risk of increased noise?
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