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Join photographer and teacher Ben Long as he describes the tools, creative options, and special considerations involved in shooting with a DSLR camera at night or in low-light conditions, such as sunset or candlelight. The course addresses exposure decisions such as choice of aperture and shutter speed and how they impact depth of field and the camera’s ability to freeze motion.
Ben also shows how to obtain accurate color balance in tungsten and fluorescent lighting situations, and how to postprocess the images in Photoshop to remove noise caused by higher ISO settings. He also demonstrates accessories that can greatly expand your low-light photography options.
If you were shooting JPEG images, you'll still need to correct your white balance most likely, if you've been shooting in low light, unless you were able to get an accurate white balance while you were shooting. Unfortunately, you don't have as much latitude for white balance correction when you're working with a JPEG file, but in Photoshop, correcting white balance in a JPEG image is much easier than it used to be, because you can now actually do that in Camera Raw. Now that may sound little strange, but take a look at this. I have a JPEG of one of these images here in Bridge, and you can see that the white balance is definitely off. It's way too red.
If I go up to the File menu in Bridge, there's an option to Open in Camera Raw-- or I can hit Command+R or Ctrl+R--and when I do that, this JPEG images is actually opened in the Camera Raw dialog box just as if there was a RAW file. However, some of these sliders don't work the same way as they would if I was working with a RAW file. For example, I have no highlight recovery, but I can use the white balance controls. So I'm going to grab the white balance dropper over here, and I'm going to do what I did before. I'm going to try and find something white or gray. I'm going to go with the white of an eye again and click right there and right away my image is pretty much there.
Now this is an image that worked very well; it's managed to clean up pretty handily. Not every JPEG image will. If the white balance is way off, you may find color shifts in one place or another. You'll also find that the way the sliders work, they are a little bit chunkier; they're a little more blunt. They don't have as many fine gradations. Most importantly though the big difference here between correcting this white balance in a JPEG and correcting white balance in a RAW file is that I've used up a bunch of image editing latitude here with this edit.
If I now go into Photoshop and try to do more edits, I'm going to start seeing posterizing and tone breaks much sooner than I would have with a RAW file. Nevertheless, I managed to save this image. Now I can go on with the rest of my editing.
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