Low LIght Photography


As photographer Hillary  Grigonis puts it, “ If photography is writing with light, then low light photography is like writing a novel with a half inch pencil stub.”  As one of the most complicated style, low light photography is though but no less rewarding. 




Here are six tips and tricks to up-skill those brilliant shots taken in the dark.

  • ISO: The higher the ISO number, the more sensitive the camera’s sensor is to the light that is reaching it.
    In layman’s language, ISO is the artificial light created by the camera sensor. The additional noise that is generated by using a high ISO which can be filtered out somewhat in post-processing. one should also keep in mind that Don’t take your ISO more than 800 (low- end cameras) and 3200 (high- end cameras) to avoid grains.
  •  Use a larger aperture: The larger the aperture, the more light is entering the lens. Shooting at f/5.6 lets in more light than shooting at f/18. It’s important to (remember that , the lower the number, the larger the aperture.)
  • The shutter speed. More light is captured the longer the shutter remains open: Keep in mind that a A good rule of thumb for clear hand-held shots is to keep the shutter speed no slower than 1/60 of a second. Use a tripod if you’re shooting at anything slower than that, though you can have I have had success at slower hand-held shots using lenses with image stabilization.


  •  Avoid the pop-up flash: If one needs to use a flash, try to avoid the on-camera pop-up: It tends to flatten the appearance of the an image because the light is hitting the subject directly. Invest in an off-camera flash, angle light so that it is not directly in front of the subject, and use reflective surfaces and diffusers to soften the light. Strategically placed constant light,  (using soft white bulbs, ) work excellently for providing additional ambient light without sacrificing the atmosphere of the setting.
    In outdoor situations use flashes that enable a rare curtain. It will allow you to drop the shutter speed and still get a sharp image. Lowering the shutter speed will allow the sensor to capture enough ambient light and the flash will throw through just the right amount about of light on the subject.
  • Use your camera’s exposure compensation capabilities: 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.
  • Use of Tripod/Mono pod : Getting a clear and focused image in low light is a difficult task.The use of a tripod/mono pod would be a great help to get good, clear, and stable image in low lighting. The more focused and clear the image is, easier it is to edit it in post-processing.e.

Image Credits – Ayush Chauhan for DU Beat

Adithya Khanna