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Learn How To Take Good Photos In Low Light

Learn How To Take Good Photos In Low Light.

Taking photographs under normal lighting conditions is fairly easy. But when it comes to low light the camera starts struggling or the demands of the situation exceeds your skill-set. Here are some very practical tips and tricks which will help your to get the best out of low light situations to get the best possible photographs.

1. Put your camera in Aperture Priority mode, this will ensure that you control all available options. Aperture priority mode is where you can control your aperture of lens ie how wide it will open. The camera decides rest of the settings.

2. Crank up ISO. This may result in image with additional noise, but this can be fixed with some post-processing. (Shoot in RAW if the option is available).

3. Use a large aperture. Larger aperture let in more light to the sensor.

4. Slow down shutter speed. The longer the shutter is open the more light that will get in. Avoid going too slow if you don’t want to blur your subject.

5. Use an off camera flash or light source. Try to direct the light so that it doesn’t hit the subject straight on and creates harsh shadows. Deflecting the light helps to soften it.
6. Use your camera exposure compensation capability. The scale on many of today’s DSLR’s allow from -3 to +3 stops in 1/3 stop increments. Dial the exposure compensation to the positive side to purposefully ‘overexpose’ the photograph.

7. If you are taking photos of non moving objects or shooting stars then use tripod along with remote shutter release or use timer to take the photograph.
What is ISO ?
It indicates how sensitive the camera sensor is to the light. (Read more about ISO here).

What is Shutter Speed (Exposure)?
It indicates how long your shutter is open, allowing light to reach the sensor.

What is Aperture?
It is the diameter of the lens opening which controls how much light gets to the sensor. See below for comparison.

Image Aperture Guide

Quick Tips to remember :

  • Shine a light on your subject and auto focus on that, then turn your light and auto focus off and then take picture.
  • Do not be afraid to turn up your ISO, crank it up as high as you need, do not worry about the noise, get the shot.
  • When using a flash bounce the light off a wall or other object will help to reduce harsh shadows on your subject.
  • Motion blur ca be cool effect, experiment with a moving subject and a longer exposure time.
  • If your camera has lens stabilization then make sure its on.
  • Make mistakes and then learn from it.
  • Hand held shot should not be slower then 1/60th of a second otherwise use a steady surface to reduce blur.
  • Buy a 50mm f1.8 lens. That the cheapest light sucker and one of the very affordable sharp lens.
  • If you aim your camera towards north star while taking long exposure, the stars will appear to spiral.Take photos like a Sniper :
  • Brace yourself and your camera against the wall, ground or other solid object.
  • Relax when you hold your camera, a tense hand causes more shake than a relaxed hand.
  • Avoid zooming in on your subject.
  • Take a deep breath, and exhale slowly then photograph.
  • Gently press the shutter button and leave your finger on it.
  • Triple tap your subject. Make a habit of taking more than one image.

Learn How To Take Good Photos In Low Light. Got any tips? Let us know in comments below.

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  1. I have read in a bunch of blog posts that the excess noise added by the cranked up ISO can be cleaned during post-processing. What kind of post-processing are we precisely talking about?

  2. “Thanks for these useful tips & tricks……i am a beginner….and i want to know about post processing softwares….”

  3. I blog frequently and I really appreciate your information. This great article has really peaked my interest.
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