A Child on Christmas Eve

Indoors, with no Flash!
The holidays are upon us and I thought that a good topic might be to talk about family images indoors.
As those who take even my most basic courses will know, there are two ways to get good pictures indoors, one is to push your ISO, and the other is to use flash. The default for most, especially if they are using an “Auto” (or P) setting on the camera, is to use flash. The problem with flash inside sometimes is that direct flash will a. show up as a large light source and wash things out, and b. it will obliterate background details. In this image, I wanted my subject, our grandson, to stand out, but the key thing was he was also in front of the Christmas tree awash with anticipation of good things to come. I pushed my Nikon d800e a bit and cranked the ISO up to the 6000 range (yes, you can do that if you’re not going to blow the image up large), and then could shoot at 1/200th of a second (kids move and need a higher than normal shutter speed) and also use a shallow aperture (in this case f 2.8) to separate him from the tree, but yet have the bokeh of the tree lights plainly visible.
I sometimes say that those who rely totally on natural light may be those who don’t know how to use flash, but with kids and holidays, things move fast and flash may indeed not be appropriate. The one exception to the “leave your ISO low” rule I normally use. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season!