Using Film Speed Effectively

So you have this great new camera. Now you're standing in front of a display of more film that you've ever seen. All you want to do is take some great family photos but you don't know where to start. Here's short guide to help you get started.

Film speed is a number that represents the film's sensitively to light. The higher the number the more sensitive to light, in that the less light is needed to take a well exposed photo. The number is also an indicator of the detail you will receive from the negative. The higher the number the more likely that you'll see a graininess to the print when enlarged. Film speed goes from 25 to 1600 speed film.

25 to 200 Best for still life and portrait work, in studio conditions where the lighting is controlled. This is not the film for family shots indoors even with a camera mounted flash. You'd really need a complete lighting set up to use this film effectively. 200 speed film is very good for outdoor sunny conditions when you're trying to get a shot of a beautiful landscape. It offers excellent detail and color saturation.

400 Considered the all purpose film. Most films touted as all subject or general purpose are really 400 speed film. When in doubt use 400 speed film. Though you may still be using your camera mounted flash in room lighting conditions. Also good for outdoor conditions, will give you some flexibility in darker conditions and where you are trying to capture a moving subject.

800 to 1200 Made for capturing fast moving subjects in all types of lighting situations. People running, playing ball, etc. This is the film you want if you want to freeze frame the action of a baseball game. This film speed can be used for capturing fast moving wildlife, like birds, but you will see less detail if you enlarge above a 16 by 20 size.

1600 This film is for super high speed shots. Unless you shooting a car or boat race you probably won't need this film. Don't use this for nature and landscape images the lack of detail will be obvious in enlargements.

Most of the time you'll only need a 400 speed film for basic snapshots. But it doesn't hurt to use the other speeds for special occasions, you'll notice a difference.

Copyright 2004 Kelly Paal Kelly Paal is a Freelance Nature and Landscape Photographer, exhibiting nationally and internationally. Recently she started her own business Kelly Paal Photography (www.kellypaalphotography.com). She has an educational background in photography, business, and commercial art. She enjoys applying graphic design and photography principles to her web design.

In The News:

Why are photographers so toxic?  Digital Camera World
Exploring mental health through photography  British Journal of Photography
Home photography ideas: Purr-fect cat portraits  Digital Camera World Australia
Pool Party Image  National Geographic
Drawing for photograph at the Art Center  Estes Park Trail-Gazette

Digital Wedding Photography: Myth Vs. Reality

1. Myth: Digital photos are pixilated or fuzzy. Reality: most... Read More

Hyperfocal Focusing: What Is It And Why Should You Use It?

When should you use hyperfocal focusing? Well, sometimes when shooting... Read More

Choosing The Right Digital Camera

Let's get something straight right out of the box. If... Read More

Specialized Styles of Photography

Outlined below is a list of genres that call for... Read More

Digital Camera Memory Cards

A digital camera accessory you should purchase is a spare... Read More

A Guide to Disposable Digital Cameras

Disposable Cameras (also called single-use cameras) first came on the... Read More

Landscape Photography - Capture the Beauty That is All Around

There are many different types of photography. You can take... Read More

9 Tips For Taking Great Digital Photos

IntroductionModern cameras are highly automatic in operation. They have auto... Read More

Taking Professional Quality Pictures

By now I'm sure you've used Either a digital or... Read More

Review of the Photek Product Shooting Tent

Here's the challenge. You have to photograph small items for... Read More

Panasonic Digital Cameras - The History Behind Their Cameras

Panasonic is a world-renowned consumer electronics company today. Its digital... Read More

Sony Digital Cameras - Always On The Innovation Frontier

Sony was the first company to introduce digital cameras into... Read More

Digital Cameras vs. Film Cameras- the debate goes on

One of the biggest debates in the photography world is... Read More

Portrait Photography: Tips and Methods

Portrait is defined as, "A likeness of a person, especially... Read More

Wedding Photography: How to Become a Successful Wedding Photographer

Once in while I receive e-mails or phone calls from... Read More

Digital Camera Metering

Looking at the most intricate details of the digital camera... Read More

Digital Cameras and Digital Photography

Before you rush into buying your digital camera this holiday... Read More

How To Become A Digital Photography Pro

Being a professional digital photographer is a dream many people... Read More

Make More of Your Photos

We all want to make the most of our wedding... Read More

The Primer on Digital Camera Printers

Once you have clicked photos through your digital camera, then... Read More

How to Easily Select the Important Photography Category for Your Home Based Business

You may have already started to make money from your... Read More

Olympus Digital Cameras - Digging Into The History

One of the oldest companies, Olympus has had a long... Read More

Bracketing and How To Use Tt Correctly...

What Is... Exposure BracketingExposure bracketing is a simple technique professional... Read More

Making Money With Digital Photography And Live Events

A few years ago I became interested in digital photography,... Read More

Disposable Cameras for Weddings

Disposable wedding cameras (also called single-use cameras) will never replace... Read More