Low light photography is one of the most challenging aspects of photography. Not only do we struggle to find the right setting, but it can be hard to compose a shot accurately when the subject is moving. Once the subject has started moving, that’s when we need the most knowledge on this subject.
Let’s take a look at how low light photography can transform from a disappointing experience into a delighted one.
Low light photography tip number 1
Always study your lighting first, before you begin adjusting the settings. As light is everything, it is important to first look at the light around you. How much light do you have? What tone or hue is the light? Does the light change in intensity or colour, such as a Ferris wheel against a night sky?
Low light photography tip number 2
If you can’t use flash, then look at other ways you can increase more light into the sensor. ISO is a great way to get more light onto the sensor without using flash. Many times I’ve been hired to photograph music bands at night, with nothing but stage light. It’s a very hard situation to be in, especially if there is soft music and light used to reflect the mood and atmosphere. The lighting crew or stage manager will often turn the lights down to enhance the mood. Unfortunately for photographers, we struggle to master low light photography when this occurs.
Low light photography tip number 3
Use a fast lens. A fast lens means that you are able to get a fast shutter speed. And a fast shutter speed means you can widen the aperture to let the light in. It’s a funny thing to refer to a lens by use of the shutter speed. I always thought it might be more suited call it a wide aperture lens. It might make a bit more sense, but for the purposes of your education, we’ll stick to the official title.
A fast lens is everything in low light photography. A lens that may widen to F1.8 is considered a fast lens. A lens such as this is ideal for low light photography such as the example I gave you because you can capture the stage lighting, and be able to use a relatively good, suitable shutter. With a fast lens in low light photography, you don’t always have to increase the iso. You can keep it at a medium range.
You can see that low light photography is a very important aspect of photography. Low light photography does include sunsets and city night shots too. Most photography involves low light of some kind benefit from a fast lens or a high iso. Then, once mastered, low light photography can give you may year’s of happiness in your shooting.