Low light photography
- Arush Agarwal
Clicking photos when there is low light is a little difficult. But, the perfects moments do not wait for the perfect lighting situation and sometimes, the darker scenes make into amazing photographs. Some people believe the low light issues during photography occur only at night but that`s only just one instance. Even during the day, there are dark areas usually created by shadows of building and trees. After the sunset, many areas may still be visible but yet too dark to capture. The same problem occurs while indoor photography also. But whether it`s taking a photo during nighttime sightseeing, or in a basement, great photos can be taken, they just need a little more work. DSLRs do not need any introduction. They are great for capturing low light scenes with large sensors and the potential for adding a good low light lens. A photographer should always go with a device which best suits him. Given below are a few tips one can use while clicking low light photographs:
Low light photography gives best results when done after a little pre-hand preparation. If all the questions such as, what kind of light will there be, what`s the best time to take the photo, are answered the job becomes a lot easier. Although one can`t choose the best time to take all the images. Some subjects like night landscapes can be timed. The warmth of a sunset, dusk for a blue tone or full night can benefit from choosing the right time.Low light photography gives best results when done after a little pre-hand preparation. If all the questions such as, what kind of light will there be, what`s the best time to take the photo, are answered the job becomes a lot easier. Although one can`t choose the best time to take all the images. Some subjects like night landscapes can be timed. The warmth of a sunset, dusk for a blue tone or full night can benefit from choosing the right time. Low light photography is much easier with the right tools. One should plan in advance to bring a tripod, flash and the fastest lens. A flashlight is also a helpful tool so that it`s easy to check the controls in the dark.
A cure to blurry images:
Light affects shutter speeds. Low light results in slower shutter speeds which results in camera shake. The cure to blurry images is a tool called a tripod. Tripod will prevent the blurring of images due to camera shake. Tripod also allows one to use slower shutter speed and still get a sharp image. The shot can be made steadier with a remote release or a timer because even one`s hand can be the reason of a blur. Moreover, you can always turn on the stabilizer for a more steady photo.Although, if a person is out and about there are high chances that there would not be a tripod around. In such a situation to take sharp, blur-free images, just set the speed to a fraction of the focal length. For example, to take a photo at 20mm, the shutter speed of 1/20 of a second is perfect. Moreover, the shutter speed will have to be increased if the object is moving.
Manual mode or shutter priority is better:
In low light, it is better to get off auto mode. A manual mode is a great option but for that one needs to learn the manual modes and also utilize the shutter priority mode. Using manual mode allows the choice of choosing the right shutter speed for the shot. It the object is moving to keep the speed high but if a tripod is available and the subject is motionless, a much slower speed can be used. Shutter priority also makes things easier as the mode makes sure that the shutter speed remains at the level set by the user while adjusting all the other settings accordingly. A much more experienced user can even use the whole manual mode without the shutter priority.
A noisy picture is a price paid for a blur-free picture:
There can be noise from a high ISO setting or the blur from a slower shutter speed. The choice is of the users. A high IOS means a noise resulting in a sharp image which is a lot better than a blurry one. Blurs result in kicking a photograph down a few steps which makes all the difference while clicking the perfect photo. Photoshoot is a tool which can be used to reduce the noise, but the sharpness cannot be copied. A blurry image can never be converted into a sharp one post-processing.
An artist should know his tools:
A photographer should know everything about the camera being used by him. Some camera`s have the ability to perform great at a high ISO, while others result in a grainy and splotchy mess. Knowing which category, the camera being is used in is very crucial. Knowing the features of the camera can help one decide how high the ISO can be pushed while being confident that the photos won`t be a mess. A few practice shots at each setting and then viewing on a computer can help. Moreover, every lens has different specifications so choose them wisely.
Flash: asset or liability :
Flash is a great tool if used properly. Most photographers are after to use the feature because of the numerous, disaster photos around. Flash is an asset which can turn into a liability if not used properly. Manual mode is the key to that. Learn how to adjust the flash using the manual mode. Even if the flash is of the pop-up kind, just adjust the flash to half the power so that the bright flash look can be eliminated.
Use the blur smartly :
Blur when captured correctly gives the photo a live feel i.e. a sense of motion. While capturing moving clouds around the moon at night or moving water with the reflection of the night sky, a blur can create very effective images. Every photographer should experiment with this sense of motion that a blur creates. Keep the shutter speed low to capture a great blurry image. Low light photography gets harder with the decrease in light. Even though it`s a difficult task, low light photography produces one of the best shots. Such shots showcase a range of emotions. A scene shot at night will result in a very different capture than the same scene shot at night. Both the shots will also spark different emotions in the eyes of the beholder. So it may be hard, but the results of low light photography are great.
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