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It was quite a struggle to take photos of my glow-in-the-dark earrings because I had to use the manual settings on my camera. Fumbling around in the dark is not the best time to try to figure out ISO and aperture. So after uploading my photos on Friday I did a bit of research. I have been doing more with the manual settings and I think I’ve seen a huge improvement in my photos!

Earrings by Cate van Alphen

Earrings by Cate van Alphen

For some reason I had always thought that if the wibbly camera icon showed on the camera screen it meant there wasn’t enough light to take a decent photo. I knew higher ISO was for low lighting, so I’d up the ISO till the icon went away. It turns out this has the side effect of making the picture grainy. In the pictures above they have the same aperture, but the one on the left is ISO 400 and the one on the right (taken in worse light) is ISO 100. I think the second one looks cleaner.

Glow in the dark earrings by Cate van Alphen

Glow in the dark earrings by Cate van Alphen

It wasn’t completely dark when I started taking the glow-in-the-dark pictures, and although it was too dark for me to see the background, at the slower shutter speeds the camera could. So it turns out that instead of increasing the ISO for lower light, I just needed to use a tripod and a slower shutter speed! Doh!

I took some new pictures of a necklace I made back in 2010 using beads made from the same glow-in-the-dark cane as the earrings.

Glow in the dark beads


Glow-in-the-dark necklace by Cate van Alphen


Woah! You can literally spot the difference. From now on ISO 100 is my friend 🙂

You can find this necklace in my Etsy shop. I thought it might make a nice companion for the earrings.