January 6

Tips for Shooting in the Dark and in Low-Light Places

Tips for Shooting in the Dark and in Low-Light Places

Most new photographers are surprised to find out how difficult it is to shoot at night. Light is an extremely important aspect of photography, so the absence of light presents quite a few challenges. However, this does not mean you have to lose hope! In fact, there are quite a few different techniques you can use to create some truly incredible images in low light and dark environments. Check out some of these ideas and considerations to make when shooting in low-light settings to ensure you get some high quality, unique shots.

1. Decrease Your Aperture

Decreasing your aperture to the lowest setting (f/stop) possible will allow the maximum amount of light to enter your camera. Keeping your aperture at a higher setting will not allow enough light to enter, making it difficult to shoot at a faster speed. With the aperture decreased, you can shoot faster and create a clear image in low-light settings.

Night photograph of bridge over river with empty piers in city

2. Increase Shutter Speed

Shooting at a slow shutter speed in low light is a recipe for a blurry image. An increased shutter speed of around 1/200th of a second will typically be quick enough to avoid blurring in low light situations.

Street photography of local eatery from outside in Hong Kong

3. Increase ISO

ISO is the sensitivity your camera has to light. A low ISO setting means your camera will be less sensitive to light, which is ideal for a crisp picture is well-lit environments. However, you will want to increase the ISO when shooting in low light settings. This will make your camera more sensitive to light so that you are able to take the picture quickly and avoid image blurring – which is a common occurrence in low light settings.

3. Take Advantage of Light

Even in low light environments you may be able to find sources of light. For example, the light shining from a streetlight on a dark street, or the lights coming from buildings in the city. You can also try shooting right at sunset to take advantage of those last moments of natural light, which often have a beautiful effect. Use this light to your advantage to create a unique shot.

4. Take Advantage of Rainy Days

At night, the water from a rainstorm will make interesting reflections on the street. This is a great opportunity to break out your camera and experiment with the interesting color patterns and reflections you don’t normally get during the day. 

5. Register for a Learn Photography Canada Course

Learning the basics of your camera, such as aperture, ISO and shutter speed are all necessary if you want to take the best possible photographs. At Learn Photography Canada, we teach immersive one-day courses in photography for all levels. You will learn how to shoot in different environments in a hands-on course. This is the best way to pick up a skill that will last a lifetime, and it makes a great gift for the holidays! Register today or contact us to learn more.

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