February 2012
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Tips and techniques for taking photos in low light (contd) ..

Continues from previous tips on the subject of low light (link).

Tip 971 (Not only night photography): For shooting in low light conditions, you should be aware of where all you can face low light conditions. It is not only in the evening and night that you face low light conditions, you can even come across low light conditions during the day time. For example, if you are trying to take a photo indoors with artificial (tubes or CFL lamp) lighting, it would qualify as a low light conditions.

Tip 972 (Understand the amount of low light condition): One simple way of determining the amount of low light condition is to use the automatic settings of your camera. When I want to check, I would expect that an ISO of 100, exposure of 1/5.6 and shutter speed of 1/60 will be good enough for me to shoot without worrying about shake or the image feeling like it is shot in low light. Now, if you take your camera, set it in automatic or program mode, and then focus on the area you want to shoot, the camera display will show you the aperture and shutter speed. These readings are a quick way of determining whether the light conditions are good enough, or whether you need to modify the settings to handle low light.

Tip 973 (Extreme low light conditions and Bulb setting): Most Digital DLR’s and many other cameras have the B mode (the Bulb mode). This allows for opening the shutter for more than 30 seconds, ensuring that in very low light conditions (such as when shooting star trails), the camera shutter remains open and you get enough light.

Tip 974 (Bulb mode, cable release, and noise): The Bulb mode is very important for extreme low light photography, and with the cable release, it becomes even more easy. Using the cable release button on the Bulb Mode ensures that the shutter opens for as long as you want, and without any shake on the camera. However, with more time that the shutter remains open, the higher the amount of noise in the photo, which is something that you should monitor.

Tip 975 (Security, police and shooting): In today’s troubled situations, shooting in the cities, especially near important or strategic monuments bears a certain amount of risk, especially when you are trying to do so in low light conditions, when other people (tourists) are not nearby. Carry identification, if you have shot elsewhere and have some publications, carry a copy of those as well, all of which can convince security folks that you are a genuine photographer.

Continued in the following post (More Low Light tips)

The Low Light Photography Field Guide: The essential guide to getting perfect images in challenging light Night and Low-Light Photography Photo Workshop The Complete Guide to Digital Night & Low-Light Photography

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