Low Light or Night Life Photography
Taking photos in low light, is a situation every photographer has to face in his life multiple of times. Whether you’re clicking pictures with a point & shooting during an evening outing, photographing a wedding function or capturing a landscape scene at dusk it’s quite significant for a Pro photographer to understand the techniques and tricks of shooting in the low light. Lighting is the soul of photography , shooting in low light is no different, as it offers many new prospects and chances to explore the creativity. Here we are going to give some helpful tips for this topic.
Before starting the chapter I would like to suggest to pay attention on the two most important variables of Photography, they are- Shutter Speed and ISO.
To control the duration for which light hits the sensor is the shutter speed. The duration for which shutter remains open affects the brightness of the picture. Longer the duration brighter the picture.On other hand there exists the factor of blurring the image as the camera may move. Hence this must be also taken into account.
The ISO value, as an other aspect, manages the electronic sensitivity of sensor to light. High ISOs allow us to brighten an image without altering the shutter speed, but always at the cost of a noisier picture.
Various Kinds of Low Light :-
1. Visible/Shadow –
These are the shadowy areas with darker effect found in the daylight. Shadows formed by buildings and trees and other heavy and big objects can be up to two stops of light than the well-lit space.
2. Low Light/ Deem Light –
After the sunset, areas may be visible but still they lack the light needed for capturing the shots. This may happen in case of indoor photography also.
3. Dark –
This is when only the brightest and luminous objects are visible at night-time or in dark.
Capturing pictures in the low light and less exposure can be very daunting and challenging. Almost all of your camera settings need to get changed even if you’re capturing the same scene and location you covered during the daytime. This article is all about revealing the camera settings, needed gears and tricks and techniques to photograph great pictures under low light scenarios.
1. Go for High Shutter Speed
Shutter speed controls the amount of light enters into a camera. The faster the shutter speed, the less light will goes inside the camera. If you’re capturing in a low-light area and scene, chances you may not be having a tripod with you. Choosing a very slow shutter speed may end up you in taking the blurry pictures. As a rule of thumb, the average person can capture a sharp, blur-free image by setting the shutter speed to a fraction of the focal length.
2. Larger aperture works well
The larger the aperture size, more the light is entering into the lens. Capturing at some f/5-6 , allows more light to enter than shooting at f/18 (keep in mind, the lower the number, the larger the aperture and more the light and vice versa).
3. Opt for higher ISO to get the perfect exposure
This technique is a bit trickier to implement on most cameras devices as, the higher the ISO, the more noisier the picture will be, which can be pretty ugly and unattractive. It would be quite a daunting task if you are looking for the desirable exposure by only adjusting the shutter speed and aperture, the best trick to perform is to adjust and raise the ISO. Do not forget how stops work though: doubling the ISO number doubles the amount of light that your device can see. I find that high ISOs on my camera aren’t very useful at differentiating the colors. That gives warm effect to the pictures, a kind of old feeling and the high ISO actually enhances this.Technically, I don’t raise my ISO above about 1600. If I need more light, then I use a flash unless it’s for artistic look and purpose.
4. To Capture More Light Use Camera with Larger Sensor
A sensor is something that captures all the needed information used for making up an image. It is apparent that the larger the sensor the more costly will be the camera. A basic point-and-shoot camera has a smaller sensor than a micro four-thirds sensor, which in turn is smaller than a cropped APS-C camera. A full-frame sensor, such as the one used in the Canon 5D Mark IV, will help taking the shoots with less noise. This kind of camera allow you to enhance the ISO to capture more light. No need to worry very much about the resolution, the sensor size is what matters and significant. Use this idea for capturing in low light situations and areas.
5. To get more light into a scene use Flashlight
A flashlight allows you to add more light to the scene with an external source. This is also called as the light painting and a very creative and artistic way to tackle low light and dark scenes. Setup the location as you would generally, use the torch to focus and then photograph the scene as you paint it using the light from the torch.
Few More Tips for Low Light Photography :-
1) From starting maintain the correct exposure
2) Try to go manual
3) Keep the reasonable shutter speed
4) Make your shot stable
5) Give edge to your white maintaining skills
6) Use the natural available light to your fullest advantage
7) Use flash should be very less and restricted to minimum
8) Avoid zooming
9) Use your native aspect ratio and resolution
10) On androids and windows use raw mode
11) Make the use of edits and filters wisely
12) Convert to monotone
13) Explore your camera features well and know the techniques
As the universal rule goes, practice makes it perfect. By understanding which lack of light area you are working with, you will see what is possible and where the limitations lie.Night time street photography is a great way to impress people by using a relatively small range of skills, gear and camera settings.A flashlight will need extra care and research in how to operate in the way you wish. Taking photos in low light situations and areas is one of the most interesting areas you can cover.