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?
- December 2018
- November 2018
- Oct 29, 2018 Symmetry: Week 43 of 52 Photo Challenge. Oct 29, 2018
- Oct 22, 2018 Conceptual: Week 42 of 52 Photo Challenge. Oct 22, 2018
- Oct 15, 2018 Point of View: Week 41 of 52 Photo Challenge. Oct 15, 2018
- Oct 8, 2018 Black: Week 40 of 52 Photo Challenge. Oct 8, 2018
- Oct 1, 2018 Flowers: Week 39 of 52 Photo Challenge. Oct 1, 2018
- September 2018
- August 2018
- Jul 30, 2018 Street Photography: Week 30 of 52 Photo Challenge. Jul 30, 2018
- Jul 23, 2018 Shadows: Week 29 of 52 Photo Challenge. Jul 23, 2018
- Jul 16, 2018 Geometric Shapes: Week 28 of 52 Photo Challenge. Jul 16, 2018
- Jul 9, 2018 White: Week 27 of 52 Photo Challenge. Jul 9, 2018
- Jul 2, 2018 Best so far: Week 26 of 52 Photo Challenge. Jul 2, 2018
- June 2018
- May 28, 2018 Yellow: Week 21 of 52 Photo Challenge. May 28, 2018
- May 21, 2018 Organic Shapes: Week 20 of 52 Photo Challenge. May 21, 2018
- May 15, 2018 Movement: Week 19 of 52 Photo Challenge. May 15, 2018
- May 7, 2018 Frames: Week 18 of 52 Photo Challenge. May 7, 2018
- May 1, 2018 Street: Week 17 of 52 Photo Challenge. May 1, 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- Feb 26, 2018 Leading Lines: Week 8 of 52 Photo Challenge. Feb 26, 2018
- Feb 21, 2018 Can you learn to be Creative? Feb 21, 2018
- Feb 19, 2018 Black and White photography: Week 7 of 52 Photo Challenge Feb 19, 2018
- Feb 14, 2018 Photo Challenge Week 6 of 52 Feb 14, 2018
- Feb 5, 2018 Photo Challenge Week 5 of 52 Feb 5, 2018
- Jan 29, 2018 Photo Challenge Week 4 of 52 Jan 29, 2018
- Jan 21, 2018 Photo Challenge Week 3 of 52 Jan 21, 2018
- Jan 19, 2018 Photo Challenge Week 2 of 52 Jan 19, 2018
- Jan 19, 2018 Photo Challenge Week 1 of 52 Jan 19, 2018
- Jan 15, 2018 Top 5 Tips to Organise your Photo Files Jan 15, 2018
- Jan 7, 2018 52 Week Photo Challenge Jan 7, 2018
- December 2017
- Nov 22, 2017 Calling all Creatives Nov 22, 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- May 20, 2017 Smartphonography Workshop Coming May 20, 2017
- April 2017
- Mar 29, 2017 Upcoming workshop Mar 29, 2017
- September 2016