This is an enormous chain and I’m sorry, but I need to say this:
The laws in the Old Testament were set forth by god as the rules the Hebrews needed to follow in order to be righteous, to atone for the sin of Adam and Eve and to be able to get into Heaven. That is also why they were required to make sacrifices, because it was part of the appeasement for Original Sin.
According to Christian theology, when Jesus came from Heaven, it was for the express purpose of sacrificing himself on the cross so that our sins may be forgiven. His sacrifice was supposed to be the ultimate act that would free us from the former laws and regulations and allow us to enter Heaven by acting in his image. That is why he said “it is finished” when he died on the cross. That is why Christians don’t have to circumcise their sons (god’s covenant with Jacob), that is why they don’t have to perform animal sacrifice, or grow out their forelocks, or follow any of the other laws of Leviticus.
When you quote Leviticus as god’s law and say they are rules we must follow because they are what god or Jesus wants us to do, what you are really saying, as a Christian, is that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was invalid. He died in vain because you believe we are still beholden to the old laws. That is what you, a self-professed good Christian, are saying to your god and his son, that their plan for your salvation wasn’t good enough for you.
So maybe actually read the thing before you start quoting it, because the implications of your actions go a lot deeper than you think.
This is a theological point that doesn’t come up often enough.
I really enjoy running this blog. It inspires me to take more photos and I love sharing tips and info. It is something I can still do with my especially poor health and it helps me feel like I have purpose. It has staved off the worst of my depression and I am grateful for that.
So many people…
There are several techniques you can try. It really depends on the effect you are going for.
The first option is a long exposure. As the flames move and change it will create a very dreamy effect. Close your aperture to something smaller like f/7.1 and set your ISO very low. Set your camera on a tripod and frame your shot. I recommend taking several exposures using exposure compensation. When photographing a light source it is hard to tell on that little camera screen exactly what you are getting. Start at 2 stops underexposed and go up a stop each picture. You can sort out which looks best on your computer later. If you want to make sure you get detail in the surrounding area, like the brick of a fireplace or something, get a few overexposed as well. If you have photoshop, you may be able to use the underexposed with the overexposed and combine them. HDR is also an option.
If you want to freeze the motion of the fire then you will need to do the opposite. A very short exposure. If the fire is big and roaring that may not be an issue. But if you are shooting a candle in the dark, you might have some problems. If you have a good low light lens, (f/2.8 or wider) that would be ideal. You want to get your shutter speed near 1/200th of a second or higher. You may need to raise your ISO and make your aperture as wide as possible. Again, do several exposures using exposure compensation. A fast shutter speed will give you sharp, crisp flame tips.
One other possibility is wanting capture a scene with a fire, but other stuff as well. Perhaps a portrait by the fire. This would be when an external flash would come in handy. If you can get it off to the side on a light stand or point it at the ceiling, that would be ideal. A straight on flash will not look good.
The trick with combining artificial and natural light is matching the exposures. The fire has an exposure and the subject has an exposure. The fire contributes its own light to its exposure, and the subject’s light is provided by the flash.
First concentrate on the fire without the flash. Dial in your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO until you feel the fire looks how you would like it in the finished photo. Remember that if you are hand-holding or taking a picture of a person, you can’t use a very long exposure. Try to stay at 1/60th of a second or faster. Take a few test shots until the fire looks acceptable. Your subject may look dark or be in silhouette, but that is exactly what you want. Now look at your camera and note the aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Switch to manual mode and dial those settings in.
Now you add the flash. If you have a TTL flash, it will do most of the work for you. Focus on the person, and your meter will tell the flash how much light is needed to expose them properly. Take a few shots and see how it looks. If the subject is too bright or dark, you may need to adjust the exposure compensation on the back of the flash. If the fire is too bright or dark, adjust your shutter speed. Faster shutter speed will make the fire darker, slower will make it brighter. The shutter speed will not effect the exposure of your subject because they are being lit with flash. With a little trial and error you can get a nice balanced exposure.
Some outtakes from Thanksgiving.
For the top three I just used a flash on a light stand in the corner of the room. I pointed it at the ceiling with a gold Sto-fen Omnibounce.
For the outdoor shots with the grill I used two flashes. One flash with a mini softbox pointed at my dad’s face, and another flash behind him to give him some rim lighting. It was almost pitch black out there and I think that turned out pretty well.
The portraits at the table were a basic two light setup. Just two flashes on stands on either side. I used white shoot through umbrellas and 1/2 CTO gels to add diffusion and warmth.