Light is one of the most important factors in photography and shooting different pictures requires different kinds of lighting. Low light photography is a creative way of clicking pictures but shooting in low light requires certain skills and techniques. Here we have listed down 5 basic low light photography tips that can help you to click great pictures with low light.
Whether you are shooting indoors or outdoors, low light photography poses certain challenges. To improve your low light photography skills it is important to get some basic knowledge of shooting in low light. If you learn about some basic tips and ideas used in shooting with low light you can click creative pictures. In low light photography you can click creative portrait shots, aesthetic vintage photos, landscape shots and much more. Read on further to know some basic low light photography tips that can help you to master the skills required in shooting with low light. These tips can benefit beginners as well as experienced photographers.
One of the most basic low light photography tips is to keep the ISO number as high as possible. When shooting with low light if the ISO number in your camera is set at low then it won’t be possible to shoot well lit and clear photographs in dark. The higher you set the ISO number, the camera’s sensor will be more sensitive to the light that is available. In shooting with a high ISO the pixels of the photograph might break increasing the noise but you can reduce it during editing. The increased noise and grain effect in pictures sometimes look really attractive so you can add or reduce the grain/noise effect while editing according to the shot.
Slow Shutter Speed
The shutter speed controls the amount of light that can enter the camera lens. Slow shutter speed will allow more light to reach your camera’s sensor. If you are shooting with low light then it is ideal to set your shutter speed to a fraction of the focal length. For instance if you are using a 30 mm lens then set the shutter speed at 1/30. However, slow shutter speed might cause motion blur in images due to a longer exposure time. To avoid this try using a tripod and not setting the shutter speed below 1/30. Motion blur is not always bad as it does look attractive in pictures shot at night in busy streets, road etc. If you do not want to get a crisp, clear shot with low light then you can experiment with the shutter speed and capture creative motion blur shots of moving subjects.
Wide aperture allows more light to pass through the camera lens hence making it easier to shoot with low light. The lower the f-number, the wider will be the aperture. For instance, setting the f-number at f/4.5 will allow more light to pass through the camera lens than shooting in f/16. Widening the aperture will help you in capturing images with good exposure in low light. You can take stunning landscape shots in the evening and during sunset/sunrise with wide aperture. But wide aperture may also cause shallow depth of field which can make the background and distance subject look blurry. To avoid it you can set the f-number to a medium point (for example f-6 or f-8) where the aperture is wide enough to let the light in without blurring the background too much.
Night mode and Auto Focus
Wondering if it is possible to shoot in low light without a DSLR? Well it absolutely is! You do not need to buy a brand new DSLR to click great pictures in low light. The quality might not be top notch but you can capture great pictures from your mobile camera in low light. With technological advancements many Mobile phones these days have an inbuilt camera feature called night mode which enables you to click decent quality pictures at night/dark in low light. You can do an amazing low light photo-shoot using your mobile phone. To get the best results while shooting from smartphone in low light try to keep in mind the following tips:-
- Avoid zooming in too much as it can pixelate the picture
- Try using a tripod for better stability
- Avoid capturing objects in motion when shooting in low light
- Tap on the screen to focus on the subject for better clarity
The first idea that comes to the mind while shooting in low light is to use a flash. It is one of the best ways to shoot in low light as you can capture bright pictures in the dark. If you are shooting from mobile you can turn on the mobile flash to capture great pictures of subjects at close distance. If you are shooting from a DSLR then you can get even better results and can even use speed light for more exposure. You can also play around with the camera flash and make the photograph turn out more creative. For instance, you can shoot in vibrant areas with low light using flash and shake the camera to capture blurry vibrant images.
However there are certain restrictions when it comes to flash photography for instance, you cannot use direct flash in certain places like zoos, wildlife sanctuaries etc as it can alert the animals. Also using flash in events when it is dark might disturb the people around. So, it is better to use flash only when it is necessary and not just completely rely on it.
Another great low light photography tip is to use artificial lighting. When shooting indoors in low light you can use different artificial lights as props to capture aesthetic pictures. For instance you can use flash light and drape it with a coloured net cloth to add a coloured tone to your pictures. You can also create shadows by placing the flash/torch near the window panes or in some other object so that the shadow falls on your subject’s face and then you can click creative vintage shots. You can also make your subject pose with fairy lights and capture beautiful pictures in low light.
So, these are some of the best ways to shoot in low light. You need to take care of a lot of aspects in low light photography and only with patience and practice can you master the skills of shooting in low light. Going through these low light photography tips can help you in clicking great pictures.