Tips for Coping with Special Situations When Shooting with Your Nikon D5300 - dummies

Tips for Coping with Special Situations When Shooting with Your Nikon D5300

By Julie Adair King

A few subjects and shooting situations pose some additional challenges you may not be readily prepared for when shooting with your Nikon D5300. Here’s a quick list of ideas for tackling a variety of common tough-shot photos:

  • Shooting fireworks: First off, use a tripod; fireworks require a long exposure, and trying to handhold your camera simply won’t work. If using a zoom lens, zoom out to the shortest focal length. Switch to manual focusing and set focus at infinity. Set the exposure mode to manual, choose a relatively high f-stop setting—say, f/16 or so—and start at a shutter speed of 1 to 5 seconds.

    From there, it’s simply a matter of experimenting with different shutter speeds. Also play with the timing of the shutter release, starting some exposures at the moment the fireworks are shot up, some at the moment they burst open, and so on.

    Be especially gentle when you press the shutter button—with a very slow shutter, you can easily create enough camera movement to blur the image. If you purchased the accessory remote control for your camera, this is a good situation in which to use it.


  • Shooting through glass: To capture subjects that are behind glass, such as animals at a zoo, you can try a couple of tricks. First, set your camera to manual focusing—the glass barrier can give the autofocus mechanism fits. Disable the flash to avoid creating any unwanted reflections, too.

    Then, if you can get close enough, your best odds are to put the lens right up to the glass. (Be careful not to scratch your lens.) If you must stand farther away, try to position your lens at a 90-degree angle to the glass.


  • Shooting out a car window: Set the camera to shutter-priority autoexposure or manual mode and dial in a fast shutter speed to compensate for the movement of the car. Also turn on Vibration Reduction, if your lens offers it. Oh, and keep a tight grip on your camera.

  • Shooting in strong backlighting: When the light behind your subject is very strong, the result is often an underexposed subject. You can try using flash to better expose the subject, assuming that you’re shooting in an exposure mode that permits flash.

    The Active D-Lighting feature can also help brighten your subject without blowing out highlights. And don’t forget that your camera has a built-in HDR (high dynamic range) mode, which blends two exposures to include more shadows and highlights in the scene.

    For another creative choice, you can purposely underexpose the subject to create a silhouette effect. Base the exposure on the brightest areas of the background so that the darker areas of the frame remain dark.