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Hearth and Home

By ctxuk  
Low light shot using candle lighting only for atmospheric picture
Pattern Metered

Tags: Still life Glass Bottle Top Close-up and macro Candle Fir cone Landscape and travel Hearth Night and low light


ctxuk 10 7 1 England
14 Jan 2011 8:30PM
Pattern Metered

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banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4042 Canada
15 Jan 2011 12:52AM
A nice moody image, especially if you drank the Ale!

I would think including all of the candle base would have been a good ideal, - or even shooting this as a landscape mode.

Its benefits with some more sharpening, which Ive done in the mod, and Ive added space to the left, cropping a little off the top and the bottom, and cloned in the candle bottom.

I lightened it a touch to show the glass also.

A good effort, and I hope you find this helpful,



Hope you
paulbroad Plus
12 131 1285 United Kingdom
15 Jan 2011 10:28AM
I like the idea very much, but the candle is a bit too close to the left for my taste. Could do to be a bit further into the image to the right. Then a touch more on the bottom and tone down or crop the bright bar on the bottle/container on the right.

Rarely helps to have the highlights too near the edge.

ctxuk 10 7 1 England
15 Jan 2011 12:02PM
Thank you for the feedback given, i haver a couple of questions mainly regarding the use of the candle. I had to do a little processing in raw and specifically the candle light was very blown despite the metering used so i had to recover that a fair bit, should i have left it blown?, is it possible to capture the light and not have it blow the white point? I am sure any hints you could give would come in useful in that regard for the future.
banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4042 Canada
15 Jan 2011 4:49PM
Heres a good link with lots of info Martyn:

You used a metering mode that averages the scene, so if you wanted the candle itself not to be blown. you would either need to spot meter the candlelight, or fill the frame with the candle using pattern, read the cameras settings, then re compose and enter these reading manually, - or use exposure lock. Then you would have the opposite effect, a nicely exposed candle, and a very dark background. I retrospect, you should have placed the candle further away from the bottle. and used a landscape format as suggested above.

Good luck

ctxuk 10 7 1 England
15 Jan 2011 5:38PM
Thank you Willie for the guide link, it should prove useful as i can see some errors from that with the wb setting.
I avoided using landscape for two reasons, what was out of shot on the right, and because i wanted to capture the taller bottle shadow as best i could on the wall. If i read right from what you have posted last, perhaps i should have shot more than one frame, one for the candle itself, and one for the subject with differing metering, and combined the two frames in HDR style.
banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4042 Canada
15 Jan 2011 8:08PM
You could have done that, or simply made sure the bottle was all in in landscape, widen the lens, step back, and just crop out what you dont want. The idea of merging two pics is actually called exposure bracketing, and is not an HDR image, - but I understand you point.


DRicherby 11 269 726 United Kingdom
16 Jan 2011 12:10AM
Lots of good tips and advice above which I'll not repeat.

One technical thing: I thnk your white balance is 'too good'. Smile Candle light is very warm and orange and I don't think your photo really captures that feeling. My usual advice is that, if the colour of the light is an integral part of the shot (such as for a sunset), you should shoot in daylight white balance. I think that might be a bit extreme, in this case, but I do think it's worth tweaking the white balance to give more warmth.

One non-technical thing: does the arrangement of objects make sense? In purely photographic terms, it looks fine, to me, subject to wanting the whole candle in the frame, as is discussed above. But, as a beer-drinking experience, it seems odd to have the full glass lurking behind the bottle where it's awkward to reach. They don't seem quite at home sitting by the fire but I realise that can be a convenient place if there's an armchair next to it and no table. Smile

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