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Low light photographs .. ideas please

weltweit

Well-Known Member
"Low light" doesn't have to be outdoors. There are all sorts of dimly-lit interior scenes that you could look for. (Most interior scenes are technically low light compared to exterior daytime but just a photo of your living room probably won't get a very good mark.)
Yes, indoor scenes could well work thank you for the idea!! :)
 

weltweit

Well-Known Member
Nice. Mine was speeding I think.

Nice shot BristolEcho!
Also when I was out in the countryside at night it was quite fun finding electrical cables/pylons against the sky. Probably important to point out that I just make it up as I go along.
I will probably go out tonight with my camera and see what I get.

Good luck with your course. What course are you doing?
It is nothing official, just a group of us from my camera club that meet monthly and try out different camera techniques, this sessions topic being low light.
 

weltweit

Well-Known Member
I’m the same as neonwilderness - hand held street shots, so long exp & tripods are out. A good photographer friend of mine gave me the sound advice of “embrace the noise”, so up the ISO goes! My 6D really is a cracker in low light too.
My D800 is great at high ISO .. I am really impressed with it, especially compared to my last cam where 1600 was the max. In fact someone (D810) was saying recently that, with the wildlife photos they do, they routinely use 3200 in any light to get their shutter speeds up.
 

FridgeMagnet

Administrator
A few thoughts about night street photography:

* I use daylight WB in mixed lighting if I'm shooting colour - the combination of street lights, shop fronts and illuminated billboards doesn't have an actual WB and it's best to keep the mix IME. Maybe some slight tweaks afterwards.

* It's quite easy to blow highlights on digital when there are artificial light sources, particularly at high ISOs. This isn't such an issue if it's just the lights, but if it's highlights on someone's face, that looks rubbish. Some mirrorlesses make it easy to check this while you're shooting, but generally shooting at -1 EV has turned out to work okay for me a lot of the time when I know I'm after subjects who are lit.

* Further to that, in general you need to pay more attention to lighting and the sort of shot you want from a scene - are you after silhouettes or is the subject mostly in the shadows? What you see is not necessarily what you will get. Plus, unless you're deliberately going for an artificial look, IMO you should keep the scene looking like it _has_ been taken at night when doing post. Keep the contrast at a reasonable level, don't HDR it, don't pull up shadows or adjust curves so that it could have been taken in daylight.
 

weltweit

Well-Known Member
A few thoughts about night street photography:

* I use daylight WB in mixed lighting if I'm shooting colour - the combination of street lights, shop fronts and illuminated billboards doesn't have an actual WB and it's best to keep the mix IME. Maybe some slight tweaks afterwards.
I haven't experimented much with white balance if I am honest. I used to shoot jpeg so it was perhaps more important then but I generally liked my Fuji's AWB setting. Now I am shooting raw so theoretically have the ability to change WB at will after shooting, but so far I haven't felt the need. However I now have a calibrated monitor so I might feel more confident than I used to playing with colours.

* It's quite easy to blow highlights on digital when there are artificial light sources, particularly at high ISOs. This isn't such an issue if it's just the lights, but if it's highlights on someone's face, that looks rubbish. Some mirrorlesses make it easy to check this while you're shooting, but generally shooting at -1 EV has turned out to work okay for me a lot of the time when I know I'm after subjects who are lit.
Yes, I think there is no doubt that mirrorless are the future. I tend to shoot manual and spot a lot in low light, it just seems quicker to get to an exposure. I do use EC in PAS modes though also.

* Further to that, in general you need to pay more attention to lighting and the sort of shot you want from a scene - are you after silhouettes or is the subject mostly in the shadows? What you see is not necessarily what you will get. Plus, unless you're deliberately going for an artificial look, IMO you should keep the scene looking like it _has_ been taken at night when doing post. Keep the contrast at a reasonable level, don't HDR it, don't pull up shadows or adjust curves so that it could have been taken in daylight.
I do find colour tricky when there is artificial light or mixed lighting and often end up making a black and white from a seriously muddled image. But I do like blacks in low light images, while I sometimes move mid tones I have never yet tried HDR :)
 
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