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

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

Tip 981 (Using a diffuser for making the flash light less harsh): In indoor conditions, you may have to use a Flash for getting more light on your subjects. However, using the Flash (whether an external flash or the flash on the camera) can result in harsh light or shadows. In such cases, using a diffuser to get a more balanced light distribution may lead to a much better light. If you regularly shoot indoors, then you might want to consider getting such equipment. For example, something like HDE SB-430 Flash Bounce Cap Diffuser

Tip 982 (Take multiple exposures): One of the problems with low light photography is that there will be varied light objects inside the frame. There could be a light source and dark areas, and you may have to over-expose if you want to get details of the dark areas with details, and under-expose the rest of the photo if you want to get the lighted regions. However, if you take photos with different exposure levels, you can then merge them inside software such as Adobe Photoshop.

Tip 983 (Converting images to Black & White in case of High ISO): Sometimes, in low light conditions, you can change to a higher ISO enabling more light sensitivity and capturing of the photo. The high ISO allows you to get the photo, but comes with a price of a higher noise in the photos (although the better digital cameras come with good quality even at higher ISO levels). However, if you actually convert the color images into a different format such as sepia or Black & White, the effect of noise gets reduced, or atleast the perception is that the quality of the images is not so bad as it seemed to be in color. You would be surprised.

Tip 984 (Try manipulating the subjects): Sometimes people are so stuck at the low light conditions that they do not try to make such simple steps such as seeing whether the play of light can be manipulated. If you are shooting outside or some kind of indoor shot where things cannot be easily changed, it is a different matter; but if you are taking shots such as portraits, you will have a lot of leeway to modify the positioning of the subjects or sources of light in order to get more light in the frame and get a better picture.

Tip 985 (Zoom and low light conditions): A lot of people I know report problems withe higher zoom in low light conditions. The images are much more blurred than they expected, and where they were trying to get close ups in the case or portraits, instead, they got blurry shots that did not really print well. And why is this ? Well, it seems logical. Even in good light, as you increase the zoom, you will need to be more stable, since even a smaller shake will cause the far off object to get blurred more easily. In low light conditions, this gets increased. What to do ? Well, in low light conditions, especially when doing portraits or people shots, try not to zoom unless you are confident of the outcome. Better to have a photo that is a bit distant rather than trying to get a close up that is blurred.

Continued in this post (TBD)

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

Low light photography tips from Youtube (videos):

Photography Tutorial 11 ( Low Light Photography)

Low light event photography

The Secrets to Low Light Photography, Tips and Techniques

Low Light Photography – How To

Low Light Shooting

DSLR Tips: Night Photography

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