Professional Tips For Low Light Photography

Tips For Low Light Photography

Low light photography is a photography technique that uses low light environments as its main attraction — resulting in stunning and aesthetically pleasing images. This photography method plays with light and shadows and is perfect for both indoor and outdoor settings but one cannot attain the best outcome right off the hook now, can they?

And so, some equipment and adjustments can take your dark photography experience to a whole other level. That said, our article today is solely focused on shedding light on some proven tips for low light photography to further enhance your skills of photography in poor light conditions.

Where To Use Low Light Photography?

Low light images can be used in many situations. You can click portrait images, still life images, bokeh images and so much more using this versatile photography method. You can also change to a fast lens for even better results but our mentioned ideas for low light photography were mostly focused on working with objects that are already available to you.

So, to close the curtains all we would say is to make good use of our tips and to keep snapping!


Proven Tips for Low Light Photography

As beginners, you may want to explore different photography ideas to carry out a fun and creative projects on a low budget. With low light photography, you do not have to look too far because all you necessarily need is a digital or DSLR camera.

And so, we have devised an 8 tips guide to help you on your journey which we will be discussing and listing right below.

  1. Effects of ISO

  2. Adjusting the Shutter Speed

  3. Changing the Aperture

  4. Camera Shake Reduction Using A Tripod

  5. Tweaking the White Balance

  6. Shooting in RAW

  7. Alternating Focus Modes

  8. Using Long Exposure


1. Effects of ISO

Effects of ISO

ISO is one of the three elements involved in controlling your image exposure. It is a function present in the most basic of cameras.

Changing your ISO may darken or brighten your photograph but along with that, the lower you go in the ISO ladder, the sharper your image becomes, and with higher ISO, your image will have a greater amount of noise and grains.

For low light photography, 800 ISO reading is usually seen to work best. If your ISO is too low, your shutter speed will be low as well, giving you a blurry image in turn.


2. Adjusting the Shutter Speed

Adjusting the Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is the speed at which your camera shutter closes. This directly affects the amount of light exposed to your camera sensor.

The slower your shutter speed, the more light enters your camera — causing motion blur in turn. One trick to optimize the shutter speed can be adjusting it to a fraction of the focal length, but this is only valid for full-frame cameras.

So, to end up with a good image in low light conditions, you have to level up to a high shutter speed for a sharper and striking image.


3. Changing the Aperture

Changing the Aperture

Aperture in photography means the size of your camera’s lens opening. This, along with shutter speed controls the amount of light entering your camera. The openings are set in f-stop values.

1 stop means 3 clicks. That said, if you shift from f/5.6 to f/2, the almost thrice shift will mean that almost 8 times more light will enter your camera.

Though it can be a bit tricky to understand how aperture works, you must overcome the fear and shift your aperture to the largest opening available to get optimum low light photography results.


4. Camera Shake Reduction Using A Tripod

Camera Shake Reduction

While you do not necessarily need a tripod, using one is highly recommended even with the tedious extra work you need to put into it.

A tripod is helpful in low light settings since it will allow you to have a reduced camera shake. Your camera stabilization will be top-notch and the photos you capture will blow your mind since you can shoot in very dynamic ranges.

And so, we recommend investing in a heavy tripod to get the best out of your low light situation. A good heavy tripod may start from $100 and can easily get into a higher budget range.


5. Tweaking the White Balance

Tweaking the White Balance

White balance is the function with which a camera adjusts your image’s color balance by removing unrealistic color casts from your image.

Usually, artificial lights may give your image more of a warm tone. By adjusting your white balance, you can achieve getting accurate white tones by targeting cooler photo temperatures.

For low light photography, the WBAuto setting works well in most low light ambiances since several different light sources exist. But there is no harm if you go exploring other white balance modes and click what you like best in a manual way.


6. Shooting in RAW

Shooting in RAW

RAW in photography means an unprocessed image file format allowing you to have a high-quality image resolution that works great for future editing purposes that you are sure to do for perfecting your low light images.

The best attraction of shooting in RAW mode is that it minimizes the noises in your image — giving you a sharper image. This fits well with the high ISO setting we previously mentioned. It also adds some extra exposure that can look great on your image.

You can also create 14-bit files by shooting your image in the RAW mode which means your image can have up to 16 million color variations.


7. Alternating Focus Modes

Alternating Focus Modes

Focus plays one of the essential roles when it comes to photography and no I am not talking about your focus to click the best possible image.

While autofocus may work in visible light conditions, it isn’t such a great choice for low light photography. You may end up with blurry results even if your ISO and shutter speeds are perfectly set up.

Hence we recommend alternating to manual focus instead with a central focus point. This is the first step in taking sharp low light images.


8. Using Long Exposure

Using Long Exposure

Long exposure basically means taking pictures by keeping your camera sensor exposed to light for a longer period of time.

This may mean using a slow shutter speed. While this may contrast what we said about shutter speeds in the previous tips, some situations give better results if the photos are shot in long exposure. Using long exposure also means using a lower ISO reading.

Night sky photos are one example of low light photos shot in long exposure. The stars and the moon look straight out of a fairy tale in this way if you are lucky to have clear skies.

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