Lighting & my camera

Last updated on November 16th, 2023 at 04:50 pm

Here we are again, another week has passed, and I am still attempting to get the lighting right on my photos, in various situations. I thought this week instead of practicing on my impatient children, I would focus on decorative items throughout my house. Each room in my house has different light availability so I thought it would be the perfect way to practice how to change ISO, SS, Aperture to accommodate my surroundings. Some rooms have windows available but some don’t, so I had to really focus on where the limited light was coming from and use it to my best abilities. Below are some of my test shots and underneath is what I had my settings set to. Most of these have the same shutter speed as none of my subjects were moving! 😉


Henry the Giraffe: 1/25, f.3.8, ISO 200

Henry is my newest test subject, and is a great listener. He was looking out the window, deep in thought here. The natural lighting is the easiest to work with so far.


Chandelier: 1/25, f 3, ISO 400

I lowered the f stop to blur the background more, but had to up the ISO to 400 to add a bit more light since I was taking the picture towards the window instead of using the light from the window. It gave it a shadowing effect.


Owl: 1/25, f.2, ISO 200

For Mr. Owl I used the light from the window in the dining room similar to Henry in the kitchen. I lowered the f stop, to blur the background. It’s one of my favorite effects, can you tell?


Lantern: 1/25, f.4.5, ISO 200

The lantern sits on the floor in our sitting room. I tried to use the same shadowing effect I did on the dining room chandelier. The f stop is higher because I didn’t need the background blurred, I wanted it more sharp, and more in focus.


Budha: 1/40, f.3.5, ISo 6400

Mr Budha was harder to photo. This is in my hallway, where there is no windows, and hardly any light at all. The fake light available is very yellow, so pictures turn out quite grainy. I changed the shutter speed on this just slightly to see if it changed the photo any. I also, had to put the ISO up as far as I could so that I could allow as much light as possible into the shot, as it’s a very dark area. I love had the white candle is blurred and the rest is in focus. I would have preferred a little more light in this shot.


Elephant: 1/30, f 4.5, ISo 3200

I love my random elephant, in my front room. It sits guarding my fireplace, and when turned on in the winter, it gives off a lovely golden glow from the fake flames. (I know a real fireplace is better but I have little babas, safety first).  I got as far down on the carpet as possible, keeping in mind last week’s lesson on angles. I wanted to look up to the elephant, like it was in charge of everything and make it appear bigger than it really is, which is the size of my hand. I had to keep the ISO quite high because my living room has horrible lighting and hardly any natural light.


Clock: 1/25, f.2.2, ISO 800

I have a small obsession with huge clocks. If only I had more space on my walls for more. This is my favorite shot, of my practice shots, mostly because half the clock is in focus and the other half is out of focus. I have the f stop at 2.2 to gain this affect and had to have the ISO semi-high at 800 because I wanted the photo really light. I love photos that look airy/full of light.


Curtain Tie Backs: 1/25, f 3.2, ISo 400

I struggled with the curtain tie backs. I was trying to achieve more light into this one, but the left side had none and the right side had too much from the sliding glass door, therefore, if I put the ISO up, the picture was way too light to see the crystals, and if I put it lower the photo itself was too dark. This was the only balance I could get, but I still wasn’t happy with the results. I had the f stop at 3.2 to semi-blur the window so you couldn’t see the grass outside.

What do you think? If you are experienced with photography and see a shot that could have been better, please let me know what you would have changed the settings to, to make it a better photo. If you are inexperienced, please I would still love your feedback on what you think of my photos. Do I have weird angles, do you like my angles, do you think my photos are all too close or far away? All honest opinions are welcome, as this is a learning process for me and the only way to learn is through constructive criticism.

16 thoughts on “Lighting & my camera”

    • Thanks Colette, I do love little one of nick-nacks as my momma would call them. Pain to dust, but makes me feel homey at home. Things Mr P finds pointless to spend money on. lol I still don’t know much either. Not even sure I understand the concepts I wrote about hahaha.

  1. hi, sorry i missed your reply on the other post..i am in liverpool and am actually running a workshop this weekend! But will be doing others! I love that you are looking for the light in your house, this is SUCH a great way to train your eye to look for the light. One thing i would suggest, i dont know what lens you are using but your shutter speed is quite slow. A general (but not totally limited) rule is that your shutter shouldnt go below the max focal length of your lens. Theres nothing wrong with a slow shutter but if you are hand holding you might struggle with camera shake?
    I love the clock!

    • Thank you so much Sarah for that tip. I would have loved to join your workshop this weekend. Sad face, maybe next one!!! I think the lens was 5mm 1.8 I think??? Is that even a lens. I am borrowing my best friends camera and she has three different ones. I noticed if I up the SS the picture gets too dark I don’t know why? Is this normal?

    • Well I thought it would help me focus on lighting and not the children smiling or moving and blurring the photo. lol Stationary items are easier. lol OH and I can’t practice now with Henry. lol He is my photography buddy.

  2. I am a snap happy mummy too, and got my first Canon DSLR a couple of weeks back. I too am trying to get my head around all the manual settings. I love how you have taken photos of objects around the home, I think I could benefit from doing this rather than rushing to snap a good shot of a wriggly 9 month old!

    • Exactly. I struggle with my 2 year old and 7 month old. Never still. To get good I have been practicing on household items and outdoors first then I will move onto them. It’s easier to concentrate on the settings this way and not the smiling, and don’t move. hahah Thanks for stopping by Georgie.

    • Thank you so much Bex that’s sweet of you. Well pop over to ReadingResidence every Wednesday she does a little lesson, to try and then I go practice it, take a few shots and link up!!! We are all learning together!

  3. I see we share a clock obsession! Before I read your post, I looked at the pictures and just stared longingly at the clock for a moment before I went back to read! I just love, love, love clocks! I need to convince my husband that clocks are the most awesome thing on the planet so that I can decorate my house with more of them!

  4. I was so ensorcelled by the clock that I forgot what I was going to say about the shots this week! They look great! I love how some of them have part of the shot in focus and part of it blurred – like Henry’s ear, the back of the chandelier, and half of the clock! I bet it is much easier to get these pics of decorative items as opposed to cranky kids that just want to play! I know my kids always want me to take their picture but they can’t sit still long enough for me to get an un-blurred shot…it’s as if they don’t understand that the initial click isn’t the actual picture being taken. I suppose I should just disable to click lol!

  5. You’ve inspired me! I particularly like the chandelier photo. Thanks for writing down the ISO etc… That will help me with my own photo experiments! Xx


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