Theme: Low Light
This week we are shooting in low light conditions in our 52 week Photography Challenge.
The rules are simple: Interpret the theme using digital photography on any device. Only minimal editing allowed. Since I am travelling this week, I have dug out a few of my favourite low light photos as well as shooting a few on the run too.
Making the most of less light.
Low light photography can be challenging yet very rewarding when you get it right.
You might think it refers to night photography, but it actually includes any context where there is less light than daylight. For example, the 'golden' and 'blue' hours of dawn and dusk feature natural lighting that is far less bright than daylight.
In bright daylight, often colours are washed out, however, low light conditions can yield beautiful, rich colours because the ambient light is softer and less intense.
Low Light photography requires one or more of the following settings.
A very large aperture (low f/stop number) to allow as much light into the lens as possible.
Slow shutter speeds or longer than normal exposure times- again to allow as much light as possible.
The problem with slow shutter speeds is that there cannot be any movement of the camera or subject while the shutter is open- otherwise we see blur. BUT, there are ways to fix this too...
To prevent blur with a slow shutter speed, you should always use a tripod with the camera on self-timer or use a remote shutter release. If you manually press the shutter button, the camera will move and ruin the shot- so using the timer gives you time to press the release and the camera to stop vibrating.
Another method to prevent blur is to increase the ISO settings. ISO stands for International Standards Organization, and it is a standardised industry scale for measuring sensitivity to light. This can be used in relation to how sensitive camera film is to light, but more commonly today, it pertains to the sensitivity of a digital image sensor.
If you increase ISO, your camera's sensor will be able to detect more light, often removing the need for a tripod. The difficulty with increasing sensitivity is that it produces 'grain'. The higher the ISO, the more grain so you need to find a balance based on the shooting context.
One final method to get the best shot is to use exposure compensation or bracketing settings if your camera will allow. I like to shoot in darker tones so to check my exposure accuracy, I set my camera to bracket, or expose the same shot with an increased setting- usually of 1 f/stop. I then have two images to compare to find the best result.
The essential difficulty when shooting in low light is the need to combine an open aperture- f/stop <4, with a slow shutter speed- <40.
- Use a tripod when possible
- Use a remote shutter release or the self-timer to prevent camera movement when taking the shot.
- Increase ISO just enough to capture the light without creating too much grain,
- Use bracketing or exposure compensation to provide more choice between your shots.
How will you shoot your next low light photo?
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- May 7, 2018 Frames: Week 18 of 52 Photo Challenge. May 7, 2018
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- December 2017
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