taking pictures in a church

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by gelindo, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. gelindo macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2009

    sunday i need to take pictures in a church, but i was wondering in what mode i need to set my camera in tv mode or manual.

  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    What is the event or is it just the services?
    Churches aren't real well lit, the lot of them, I would suspect you'd want a fast lens and on shutter priority to control motion (hopefully).
  3. gelindo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2009
    it's the baptism of my cousin , i have a fast lens.
  4. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    Any mode will work. Manual will give you the most control over exposure.
  5. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    My vote is Av or Manual. I never trust Tv in the dark. Assuming you are shooting fast primes, it may open them up all the way and most of the picture will be out of focus. With Av, I know the DoF and rough exposure time that I have and shoot accordingly. Manual helps to avoid the shots where it is especially dark and the camera decides a few seconds is a good exposure time. Set your ISO to the highest setting you find acceptable to keep your shutter times down.

    Check with the priest/minister/paster/etc. before the service. Some get very upset about photography in a church (especially during a religious service).
  6. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    Practice shots?

    Visit the church at about the same expected time of day, go to the baptismal location, and shoot a few test shots. It won't be exactly the same because the humans will absorb and reflect light differently than empty space, but it should give you an idea.
  7. amoda macrumors 6502a

    Aug 9, 2006
    I would recommend sticking to Av mode and setting it on the widest aperture you have.

    Depending on the how fast your lens is this may give you a narrow to very-narrow depth of field, but it'll likely be needed for the low light inside the church.

    Of course if you want group shots that won't work very well, but you can raise the ISO a bit and stop down a to f5.6 or 6.7 for those shots.
  8. davegoody macrumors 6502


    Apr 9, 2003
    Reading, Berkshire, England
    Church photos are challenging !

    Hi OP, you do not say what camera / lens combination you use, however choosing an exposure that gives you good DOF and also allows a decent exposure time is the real challenge here. I tend to get to the church early, take some test shots (on either Aperture or Shutter Priority). I find on my backup body (Canon EOS 40d) that I can get away with ISO1600 so long as I accept that the images will be noisy, NOT the same as Film Grain, however on my 7d I find that I can get better results still using ISO 3200. Better to get the shot with noise, than not to get it at all.
    If you are prepared to do some post-processing (and have Photoshop) then you can use Topaz DeNoise - it is amazing....... it gets rid of the digital noise with no loss of sharpness. You could also try Bibble Lab's Bibble or Bibble Pro, this includes Noise Ninja which does a similar thing. One other thing you could consider is converting the images to Black and White, the noise seems a lot less obtrusive when in Black and White, (as most Digital Noise is a mix of coloured speckles anyway). Some of the images that have been largely unusable in Colour still look fantastic and pop-out when converted to mono or duo-tone.

    Hope this helps, please let me know if you need any advice (I am a wedding photographer and I encounter this problem every day).
  9. mtbdudex macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2007
    SE Michigan
    When I take pictures in church for events.

    -No flash is best - IMO, need a prime lens, my Canon 50mm f1.4 does decent, if you don't have one try and borrow/rent. Or a fixed 2.8 wide zoom.
    -I agree on test shots for lighting/conditions/composition. IF not days before than still before the start of the event. Yes, it's hectic but that's part of being a photographer.
    -I've had success with setting shutter speed at 1/30 sec- that freezes people motion enough in a church setting, hand held with IS on, ISO 800. Again, test shot to confirm your exposure, shooting in RAW you can PP if slightly underexposed. My T1i looks grainy at ISO 1600, so I try and stay lower than that.
    -Get in 1st/2nd pew, if you have one a monopod is sweet to steady your shot, especially if you take combination of stills and video. Nobody likes looking at shaky video.

    For ref, here is a picture taken during xmas service last year
    50mm f 1.4 lens, shutter priority @ 1/60 sec, ISO800, my T1i camera selected f2.2 for this shot
  10. Gold89 macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2008
    What lens exactly? On what body?
  11. gelindo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2009
  12. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2008
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    That sounds good, just make sure you are careful on where you are focusing if you open it up to 1.4. Also like others have said, turn up your iso to an acceptable setting to you, and de-noise the photos in post processing. Are you going to be photographing sitting on the church benches or are you allowed to be near the baptism pool?

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