Better Available Light Digital Photography: How to Make the Most of Your Night and Low-Light Shots

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Image Stabilization IS is any image stabilizer, whether in the lens or the camera, is designed to help you when you shoot with it. But he can give quite the opposite effect when you shoot from a tripod with long exposure. Stabilizer, depending on internal logic and, maybe, on the contrary makes a completely unnecessary movement and to ruin the frame. So shut it and be quiet. If the traffic and lights of the headlights require exposure to 30 seconds, then "star track" can take anywhere from 30 minutes and above.

There are two methods of shooting — one shot with the extra high shutter speed and a series of frames with a shorter, and their subsequent pasting. The first method you can use if the camera has the ability to "infinitely" shutter speed and noise reduction system at high exposures. But there remains the problem of parasitic illumination. Even at night, the sky is not as dark as we think.

And its light for a long exposure will lead to very faded and the bright sky. You can use a series of pictures and then glue them with the help of special software, such as Startrails www. Take photos at the shutter speed around 30 seconds and using burst mode if your camera has a noise reduction mode at high shutter speeds, turn it off.

The more time you spend and the more images will make — the better the end result. The using of the reflections on the water — is very effective way to add beauty. The reflection of lights in the river or lake doubles the number of lights and colors in your picture. Even in winter, the reflection of light on wet pavement or frozen puddles can greatly embellish your picture.

Zoom effect.

Especially interesting it is when you shoot moving lights. Try to begin shooting the "short" end of the lens and while the shutter is open, slowly summer white to the "long" end or Vice versa.

It is difficult to predict what will happen in the end, but the effect can be very interesting. On a moonless night, when there are only trees and rocks and there are no lights, you can help yourself by lighting. Conventional lights depending on the temperature of the light ordinary lamp, led, halogen, etc. In the winter, in the cold, batteries run down very quickly. Especially when you shoot long exposures. Not to be with a dead camera at the wrong time — keep spare battery.

So you may replace them if the primary goes down. Also, avoid frequent movement of the camera in from cold to warmth; it can lead to the formation of condensation and fogging, and in particularly sad cases, for the failure of the electronics. Of course you should make photo retouching and it is needed a lot of knowledge. Then go to settings, Vibrance and Saturation to make the image more saturated.

But do not overdo it. Recovery will help you to bring back to life the "lit" areas. The tripod is heavy to carry; it may not be at hand at the right time. Shooting with a tripod takes time. Shooting with flash gives a not too beautiful, flat lighting. In addition, the flash is able to illuminate only coming to us the objects, so that landscape with the flash to remove the useless remote objects will remain dark.

To shoot in the city at night without a tripod and without a flash, use only one camera and available light. Let's see how to do it better and what to pay attention to. When we take pictures holding the camera in hands, it is always a bit shaking. Such jitter frames may be blurred if you shoot at too slow shutter speeds. However, it all depends on the shooting conditions, from the steady hand of the photographer some photographers are able to consistently hold the camera at longer shutter speeds , the level of skills for example, an experienced photographer knows how to press the trigger smoothly, without fluctuations of the camera.

In addition, maximum exposure for hand-held shots depends on focal length of the lens. Than it is more — the jitter will be significantly stronger and the more shutter speed you want to use. Do not forget that if our object is moving, the shutter speed is to use a sufficiently short so that the subject is not blurred in the frame of its own motion. But on long exposures, with nicely blurred motion in the shot, without a tripod to shoot will not work.


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This is just to accept: artisanal methods such as placing the camera on railings and curbs will not give razor-sharp images, and this survey takes a lot of time. After all, have to shoot several times, achieving satisfactory quality of photography through trial and error. The camera will fall, leave the selected support, the horizon in the photo will necessarily be swamped.

Such torment is better to just take the shot on a tripod. At high ISO values not only introduce noise, but often worsens color rendition, sharpness, reduced dynamic range. You don't want to muddy the footage with the highest level of digital noise? So should not be too hard to overstate the ISO. Ensure that the sensitivity does not rise above the values of ISO The more light at your disposal — the better the pictures will be and the easier it will be to photograph.

Look for city places with good lighting: street lights, lanterns, illumination of shop Windows and advertising.

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All this — are the light sources. Use them! May they light your subject. If you are photographing a person, ask him to stand so that it fell, for example, the light from the Windows. Usually the best lighting is in the center of the city, especially on holidays. I shot at the Christmas fair on red Square. That's where I found this cute carousel with horses, and the lighting there is enough. Aperture is a characteristic of the lens, which means how wide you can open the aperture.

The larger the aperture wider aperture the more light passes through the lens. The more light passes through the lens, the shorter shutter speed we can use the less ISO we need. For shooting without a tripod in low light and night city such conditions , it is best to use high-aperture lenses. They give excellent image quality, even at night allow you to shoot at relatively low ISO, do know how to blur the background.

A lens equipped with a special system that dampens the vibration of the camera in the hands of the photographer. Optical stabilization is very handy when shooting stationary objects.

10 Tips for Shooting Night Photography

But we must remember that we often shoot moving objects, such as people. And if we try to remove the person on a long exposure, he likely would be blurred from its own movement: petrify people cannot, even if you really ask. So the aperture is still more useful than stabilization: it allows you to shoot handheld at low ISO and short shutter speed. Stabilization — during a long exposure and low ISO, but often in photography need just a short excerpt. Progress does not stand still. What once seemed impossible now becomes public. With cameras in the same situation: with each generation of digital cameras give less digital noise at high ISO.

So, help make more high-quality shots in any light. In addition, the new cameras are equipped with much more sophisticated sensors autofocus, which leads to the sharpness quickly and accurately. In paragraph 1 we have told that the closer only when shooting at night without a tripod is to monitor the exposure. To directly control the exposure, set it however you desire, you can shoot in S mode shutter priority. Then the camera will take over the management of other exposure settings. Setting the light sensitivity can also be placed under the control of automation.

Very convenient that it is possible to limit the maximum ISO value that can put automation: so we will insure yourself from pictures with a strong digital noise. I suggest to put the maximum value for auto ISO in the district.

Here we tell you information about some night photigraphy tips and tricksespecially headshot photography. The main feature of shooting people at night is a different exposition of the model and the background. In mode, night portrait, despite the fact that automatically turns on the flash, the shutter speed is still very long. When shooting night portraits with flashthe main object illuminated by the flash. Power built-in flash is enough for illumination of the object at a distance of from 3 to 5 meters. To the background left black, you need a long exposure, as if you were shooting a night city.

Mode night portrait mode can be called double exposure. In night portrait mode we get a photo where the people in the foreground exposed with the light of the flash with very fast shutter speeds, equal to the pulse length of the flash. For shooting background, we use a long exposure as when shooting night city.

My low light images are blurry. Would a better lens alleviate the blur?

And if you don't want to get a blurred background because of the shaking of the camera during exposure, the background on a long exposure, a tripod or rigid support necessary, despite the fact that you have included the flash. If your camera does not have a mode "night portrait", but there are manual modes for exposure, shoot in aperture priority mode with flash enabled. Of course you should think also about portrait retouch it is necessary in professional photography, so you can read more about retouching in our blog.

Here you can also see some examples before and after retouch. The first rule is the necessary equipment. You've probably already guessed that the usual "soap box" beautiful night portraits with flashsimply impossible to do. If you don't have a SLR camera, simply rent it. In addition, you must have a fast lens with an aperture of not less than 1. For picture quality, the flash will not work.

Therefore, it is necessary to purchase an external flash.

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If you want the light from the external flash get soft, then use a diffuser on the flash. The higher your ISO, the more sensitive it is to light. As you can see, the image on the right is brighter. We recommend taking a few test shots on location so that you can make sure your image quality is good, and your settings are exactly the way you want. Some lenses are better suited for low light conditions than others. The only problem with these lenses is that they can get quite expensive.

It really helps to take a beautiful wedding photo with no blurs, especially when you have low light and you are working with long shutter speeds. You can use tripod for multiple purposes. Once you mount the camera to the tripod, you can take photos by holding it up or capture the moving shots, where the light is available in these situations.


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  • Practicing shooting in different scenarios will help you to handle even the most difficult situations at a wedding. Look for the places with the best possible lighting, however be prepared to make the best of a difficult situation. For example, if you are shooting at night or in a dark church, then you may find some candles you can use to add a soft glow to your photos. For more tips to make the most of minimal lighting, check out how to use low key lighting for dramatic photography.

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    You may want to check out 9 best photo editing software for wedding photographers. We hope this guide has helped you to learn how to light wedding photography without a flash. You may also want to check out our tutorial on how to start a wedding photography business step by step. If you like this guide, then please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more photography tips and resources. We're glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our privacy policy , and all links are nofollow. Do NOT use keywords in the name field.

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