Saturday, May 25, 2013

Tips On Low Light Photography: Shooting Action

Children and Fireworks  F5, 1/50, ISO 1600
Shooting action in low light is simple. There is not much difference from shooting in the daylight. You are only required to maintain an adequate shutter speed to hand hold the camera. This will be from about 1/50 to 1/125, depending on the subject movement and the availability of surrounding light. Also use a large aperture, suitably an F2.8 to F5.6 to accommodate more light through the lens. 

A major difference from shooting in daylight will be the application of high ISO speed. Depending on available light, you will have to increase the ISO to produce a suitable shutter speed for hand holding the camera for snapping the images. The tip provided here is for capturing images without the aid of a flash, but do make sure the available light source is in front of the subject.

This method is useful for concerts, dances, fireworks or any night activities. If you are shooting in JPEG, it is advisable to bracket your shots to avoid highlight and shadow clipping.

A child at the Loy Krathong Festival     F2.8, 1/100s, ISO 6400

A finale of a dancing performance at small village      F5.6, 1/200, ISO 6400

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Low Light Photography Tips: Shooting Landscape

A watchtower across a river at night.

Low light photography is when you are shooting in a low light situation, such as the night. If you want to portray the location as it is, then a flash or additional lighting will not be needed. Some of the popular activities for this is photographing the city at night, monuments lit by the floodlights, and others. Shooting landscape at night will result in not having enough light that provides adequate shutter speed for hand holding your camera. You can use high ISO speed to overcome this, but at the risk of having unwanted noise in your images.

The guide here can be used for all kind of cameras, from compact to dslr. The only difference will be the camera model's limitation. A compact might have limited exposure speed up to 15 second or less. A bridge camera might have better option to overcome the problem. A dslr camera will be the best.
Accessories needed:
  • Tripod: to ensure your photo's sharpness as the speed will be really low. 
  • A cable release or a remote: to prevent shake resulting from your hand touching the camera.
Let us review the Exif data of the photo above:
  • ISO: 200 was chosen. This is to increase the shutter speed. The number is still low enough to avoid noise.
  • Aperture: f22, to ensure sharpness across the depth of field of the image. 
  • Shutter Speed: 30 seconds.
At your chosen location, set your camera on the tripod and compose your shot.
  1. Set the ISO to the lowest. Some camera will have 50 as its lowest. This is to ensure noise free images. Increase the ISO if the shutter speed is too long, such as more than 30 seconds. The best is to bracket using the ISO as a safeguard against noise.
  2. Set the exposure mode to Aperture priority (AV) or P for compacts. Do not use the auto setting. The camera's algorithm will choose the highest ISO and smallest f number instead.
  3. Set the camera's aperture number at it's biggest, such as f22. A compact or bridge might have from f8 to f16.
  4. Just shoot. Best to bracket the exposures.      
A fountain at a city at night..f22, ISO 400, 20 seconds.