The Only Thing More Annoying

than your flash going off in people's faces at a dimly lit party is the pictures you get from it. Get real: You're not going to get flattering, warm, candid pictures of your friends and family when you're bothering them. The solution? Turn off the flash! Most point-and-shoots are capable of shutter speeds longer than you might think, and more and more now have optical image stabilization. Here are some tips to get better shots in the dark: O BRACE YOURSELF. Hold your elbows tight next to your sides and hold your breath, or lean against a door to get steady. & GET YOUR SUBJECTS TO HOLD STILL! Yes, they can stay in one place for half a second. ┬ęSET THE WHITE BALANCE YOURSELF. If you don't like the warm tones that often show up in night shots under incandescent light when you use auto, manually set the white balance to tungsten. QTOO MUCH NOISE? Convert to black-and-white (see below). What used to be discoloration will look like grain, and your shot will go from messed-up to artistic in seconds.

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