Q&A: Shutter Speed For Night Photography & The Scariest Thing I’ve Ever Done

Here are answers to last Friday’s open Q&A on Facebook.  Hope you all had a great weekend.

1. Hannah D.:  What was the scariest thing you have ever done?

In college my friend had a coupon for a free haircut at a Beverly Hills Salon. It had her name on it (Apryl) and the coupon firmly said “non-transferable.” She told me to use it anyway. She had gone to this particular stylist before so I said, “Isn’t she going to know that I’m not you?.” She said that the stylist probably wouldn’t remember, plus “Asians all look alike,” right? When I stepped into the salon the receptionist asked my name. I said, “Apryl.” That is when I officially realized how much it sucked to lie. From the moment I walked in, all I felt was fear that they would find out and I would get kicked out of the salon. My hands were sweating, and I’m not a sweaty person! Long story short, they did find out, and I felt really stupid.

So I guess you can say the scariest thing I’ve ever done is flat out lie to someone’s face. Ok fine, not sure if that is THE scariest thing I’ve ever done, but it is notable because it was the only time in my life I’ve had sweaty palms.

2. Christine C.:  How do you decide if a photo should be black and white or color?

I don’t have a recipe, but I tend to turn classic timeless moments into B&W. I listen to my gut.

3. Teng V.:  What are your favorite lenses when shooting events?

The 50mm f1.2 and/or the 24-70 f2.8

4. Linh M.:  Would you teach photography over Skype or do a webcast?

Yes! That is in the works.

5. Michael D.:  I’m unsure about what makes a great picture. Taking a picture of something amazing?  Having a really advanced camera? Or using all the different functions on a camera…

I’m not sure either, but I do know that an advanced camera does not guarantee a great picture. I have friends who take amazing photos with 35mm point-and-shoot cameras, and even with their iPhone. What you say is true though – taking a picture of something gorgeous/beautiful/amazing is an easy way of making a picture more appealing. Less work on your side. 😉

6. Ranjini C.:  Where did you learn photography? I know this is a born talent, but your training seems amazing!

Thank you! My friend showed me basics about how to operate an SLR and I practiced from there. I read the manual and other photography books, and eventually took a few film photography classes. Working in the dark room helped a lot!

7. Christine C.:  How can we prepare for your workshop in SF? 

Can’t wait to meet you. You don’t have to do anything. Just show up with your happy self.

8. Shayne D.: At what shutter speed should you shoot at night or in low lighting conditions?

It depends on what you are photographing and what kind of result you want with the image. Do you want crisp or a little blur? Is there ambient light? Are you using flash? A very general rule I give myself is that any photo I take handheld (that I want crisp) must have a shutter speed of 1/125 or faster.

9. Perla B.: Do you have any tips on shooting weddings inside a church? Like lenses used and such.

Make sure to have a long lens like the 70-200mm f2.8. Sometimes photographers aren’t allowed to step foot onto the altar, and sometimes you are not even allowed inside the church! You have to shoot from outside the door. A longer lens definitely helps.

10. Mawiyah J.:  How did you get your photography business kick started? Ads? Word of mouth? Etc..

It was all word of mouth in the beginning, and then I used sites like Craigslist and Yelp to look for gigs.

11. Dolores P.:  What program do you use to edit your work and if you have any color settings in your camera or you work the color afterwards?

Adobe LightRoom, all the way! I put my camera setting on AWB (Auto White Balance) when I shoot and adjust color afterwards.

12. Ishani J.: Why did you chose Canon and not Nikon?

My first SLR was gifted to me (thanks Ma!) and it was Canon, so I stuck with it. I’m sure Nikons are great as well.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Great – great and great – thank you for responding to my question – I also learned a lot from the answers to the other questions 🙂 I heart photography!!!

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