Low Light Photography Basics – Tips and Tricks

low light photography

Low Light Photography Basics – Tips and Tricks

low light photography tips

Photo: Sean Molin @Flickr

What is Low Light Photography?

Low light photography is definitely a difficult task. Clicking pictures in low light causes an inevitable loss of image quality, and involves extra lighting and the use of ultra-large aperture lenses. But nowadays, there are equipment and techniques available that have an improved sensitivity of sensors. The photographer must be well acquainted with the tricks and have sensors that could capture pictures by the light of the moon.

For attaining a perfect picture in low light, set a high ISO setting, for instance, ISO 1600 or greater, and an equally large aperture. You then need to pay attention on artistic issues, rather than struggle with technical boundaries. In case your camera produces loud images at high ISO settings, you can apply the photography tips that are dealt with further in the article.

shooting in low light

Photo: Billy Wilson @Flickr

Beginner tricks of Low lighting Photography

The most fascinating aspect of low-light photography comes while perceiving color in low light, since it is then that the camera sensor is not subject to the same limitations as the human eye. In simple terminology, the trick to use sensors is useful because they see almost as much color in low light as they do in bright light, though due to noise increment there is a slight reduction in image quality.

This signifies that with the help of low light photography, you can record scenes that lack in color, or where the lights appear white, with much more color than you can probably see.

This trick is most helpful while recording the evening sky: you can make brilliant dark blues out of grey, and yellows, reds, or greens of colorless city lights. We will further discuss the photography techniques that will help you to learn the art of low light photography. Exploit the differences between your own visual experience of low light and the images that are captured on camera.

how to shoot in low light

Photo: LenDog64 @Flickr

Using Flash and Exposure

Another subject that poses difficulty for many photographers is to allow the dark subjects to remain dark. Speaking generally, you aim for low-key images, the key tones of which are darker than mid-tones. The sense of low light should be conveyed by the key tone. The cameras used in low light photography should aim at distinguishing important details while keeping in mind the fact that colored lights are not over-exposed.

Photography trick – Over-ride auto-exposure to -1 to -2 stops. In simpler terms, set the exposure as under-exposed to the usual meter reading from -1 stop to -2 stops, or even more. If there is any automatic flash in your equipment, remember to turn it off. Usage of the flash only destroys the character of the lighting.

photography in low light

Photo: Mike Gabelmann @Flickr

Working on Half-Light Darkness

The time between the day and the onset of full night; the half-light darkness period is truly magical. Photographers can easily balance foreground and sky light during this period. You should be well oriented with the photography tricks to capture this picture perfect moment. Colors seem much more intense than at any other time during this period, with the perceived radiance being captured by the sensors.

Tips for Indoor Low Light Clicking

A dazzling sunshine outside does not guarantee that the interiors of buildings cannot be dark. For instance, the case of The Casino, Venice – the interior of the building is dark and hence tips on low light photography come in handy here too. Tripods are not permitted in such spaces in most of the cases – the technique to capture images here is to press the camera against the mirror to keep it steady during the exposure.

You can always use standard software like Adobe Lightroom, Apple Aperture, and Adobe Photoshop for normal purposes as noise reduction filters. For obtrusive levels of noise, use Topaz Denoise or Noise Ninja since they are considered to be specialist software for producing a perfect image while photographing in low lights.

low light photography settings

Photo: Luc Mercelis @Flickr

Camera’s Night blindness – Color play

A scene that appears to be hopelessly dark to the eye can be relieved by the bright points of the city lights. Low light photography helps you illuminate the pale blue glow of the pools underwater. Expose at -1.3 stop to the metered reading, and your image shall reveal blues and purples in the distant hills and the city.

Night Sky Photography

While recording the sky when there is very little light, any attempt to capture will result in over-exposure of lights on the ground. For instance, if you wish to expose the street lamps correctly in low light, shoot the better-lit buildings as over-exposing and the sky as featureless to draw attention to your picture. Low light photography will prove to be workable at this point.

Related Tutorials: Street Photography Techniques, Macro Photography Tutorial

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