I just had the BEST two days. A really wonderful, fun, relaxing New Year's Eve bash, followed by a really wonderful, fun, relaxing New Year's Breakfast hosted by my church. Breakfast turned into a mini piano recital, then a mad volleyball game, then lunch at McDonald's before we all finally parted ways.
Of course, I took a ton of photos.
That I'm very unhappy with.
I can't say I'm all that excited about the photos I took over Christmas either, and that's just sad.
I'm sorry, but since I first picked up a camera I have been unable to figure out how to take photos in low light settings or gymnasiums. It is my giant Achilles heel of photography. I keep trying, I keep experimenting with lenses and settings, but I have yet to hit upon that magic formula that will get me great photos.
The fact that the teenagers with cheap point and shoots who were also snapping photos like mad have already posted their photos to Facebook...photos that are WAY BETTER THAN MINE is just salt in the wound. When the camera phone photos are better, it's probably time to throw in the towel.
I've read books, I've practiced and practiced, I've listened to friends (the suggestion at the party was that I turn my ISO all the way up, and it helped a bit, but the noise is still gastly), but unless I drag my subject outdoors it seems I am a very incompetent photographer indeed.
Can you help me? What do you do to get great party photos? Be specific, what settings do you actually use? Or do you leave the dSLR at home and just take the point and shoot?
I'll be anxiously awaiting your ideas. In the meantime, I'll keep dragging my kids outside if I want a photo. Who cares if it's winter? Oh, and I think I'll be saving my pennies for an external flash. And maybe converting some of my photos to black and white.
Oh, and seeking therapy.