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Exploring the role of lens stabilization

From: Foundations of Photography: Night and Low Light

Video: Exploring the role of lens stabilization

(cross talk) By now, you should be pretty aware that the big problem you're going to face in low light is simply blurry images. When the light gets low, your shutter speed slows down, and it becomes much harder to freeze motion, and you introduce the problem of camera shake. There are a lot of different things you can do to try and mitigate that. Steve, you're very excited about your VR lens. Steve: I am. You know, VR is a technology that really has enabled you to get sharp images, hand holding at slower shutter speeds. And even though we've upped our ISO, mine a little higher than yours, the shutter speed that I'm shooting at is still not one that I'm convinced movement will not be introduced by the camera. Obviously VR lenses that stabilize and allow you to shoot at slow shutter speeds by keeping the camera very safe with the VR mechanism, it won't freeze movement of your subjects, but it'll keep your camera shake from causing blur. And blur is often a dealbreaker in a photo.

Exploring the role of lens stabilization

(cross talk) By now, you should be pretty aware that the big problem you're going to face in low light is simply blurry images. When the light gets low, your shutter speed slows down, and it becomes much harder to freeze motion, and you introduce the problem of camera shake. There are a lot of different things you can do to try and mitigate that. Steve, you're very excited about your VR lens. Steve: I am. You know, VR is a technology that really has enabled you to get sharp images, hand holding at slower shutter speeds. And even though we've upped our ISO, mine a little higher than yours, the shutter speed that I'm shooting at is still not one that I'm convinced movement will not be introduced by the camera. Obviously VR lenses that stabilize and allow you to shoot at slow shutter speeds by keeping the camera very safe with the VR mechanism, it won't freeze movement of your subjects, but it'll keep your camera shake from causing blur. And blur is often a dealbreaker in a photo.

Sometimes it can add to the atmosphere of the situation and it's okay. But often, it will take away. So you don't necessarily want it. So VR is just one other technological tool that we can use to make sure that we keep our images sharp. Ben: And I think in a situation like this, you can also even just start employing more brute-force techniques. These are all people I know. They know that I'm here. It's okay to get my elbows on the table and really stabilize the lens any way that I can. This is probably not the case where I want to start dragging out a tripod or something.

I want to say moving. I want to stay flexible. I don't want to disrupt the dinner too much by dragging much gear around. So that's another case where VR or IS, if you're a cannon shooter, can be a really great way to take care of camera shake. But them there is motion blur. There is the fact that our shutter speeds are low enough that these people are moving around, and as the evening wears on, they're moving around more. What can we do to try and mitigate that problem? Steve: Well, if you're forced to use a shutter speed that maybe isn't as fast as you want, one of the things that I often do is I'll do a burst of images.

Because if I know I'm at, let's say, 60th, 30th of a second and I take a bunch of image in sequence, I will put my shooting mode into a continuous high, and often one of those frames is going to be best. One of them is going to be sharpest, and sometimes it takes shooting a little more, especially when you're forced to shoots in low-available-light situations, where something's are not as good as you want, in terms of fast shutter speeds that freeze the movement. Ben: I think another option is to intentionally underexpose.

If I meter the scene and it's coming out of the fiftieth of a second, I can dial in a -1 stop exposure compensation and probably both my shutter speed up a little bit. My image is going to be dark, but another advantage of these great low-light sensors is that I can go into my image editor and crank up the brightness and probably not suffer a terrible noise penalty, and that's going to get my shutter speed up a little bit. So these are all a few different techniques you can try to help deal with the fact that people in your scene are going to be moving around.

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This video is part of

Image for Foundations of Photography: Night and Low Light
Foundations of Photography: Night and Low Light

55 video lessons · 37387 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
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  1. 2m 27s
    1. Welcome
      2m 27s
  2. 6m 20s
    1. What can you shoot in low light?
      2m 17s
    2. What you need for this course
      4m 3s
  3. 28m 54s
    1. Working with exposure parameters in low light
      1m 13s
    2. Working with image sensors in low light
      4m 35s
    3. Working with shutter speed in low light
      3m 3s
    4. Considering motion blur
      1m 14s
    5. Working with ISO in low light
      2m 29s
    6. Assessing your camera's high ISO capability
      4m 52s
    7. Working with in-camera noise reduction
      2m 4s
    8. Working with aperture in low light
      2m 10s
    9. Understanding dynamic range
      2m 2s
    10. Working with color temperature and white balance
      1m 11s
    11. Exposing to the right
      4m 1s
  4. 34m 39s
    1. Introduction
      1m 36s
    2. Talking with Steve Simon about low-light photography
      13m 46s
    3. Shooting by candlelight
      1m 55s
    4. Choosing a mode
      4m 34s
    5. Exploring the role of lens stabilization
      3m 1s
    6. White balance considerations
      3m 27s
    7. Flash considerations
      1m 18s
    8. Problem solving
      1m 35s
    9. Understanding aesthetics and composition
      3m 27s
  5. 30m 4s
    1. Introduction
      2m 20s
    2. Preparing for the shoot
      5m 25s
    3. Act I: adjusting to the light
      3m 48s
    4. Intermission: reviewing the strategy
      1m 53s
    5. Act II: moving to the back of the house
      2m 35s
    6. After the show: lessons learned
      1m 18s
    7. Reviewing the performance images
      12m 45s
  6. 19m 18s
    1. Shooting in the shade
      2m 55s
    2. Street shooting
      2m 52s
    3. Shooting flash portraits at night
      4m 5s
    4. Controlling flash color temperature
      2m 50s
    5. Adjusting exposure to preserve the mood
      2m 34s
    6. Dynamic range considerations
      4m 2s
  7. 41m 0s
    1. Shooting lingering sunsets
      1m 42s
    2. Exploring focusing strategies
      5m 17s
    3. Composing and focusing at night
      10m 42s
    4. Shooting the stars
      9m 27s
    5. Practicing low-light landscape shooting
      9m 55s
    6. Focusing on the horizon in low light
      3m 57s
  8. 13m 4s
    1. Light painting: behind the camera
      7m 34s
    2. Light painting: in front of the camera
      2m 13s
    3. Manipulating long shutter speeds
      3m 17s
  9. 1h 4m
    1. Correcting white balance
      8m 49s
    2. Correcting white balance with a gray card
      3m 50s
    3. Correcting white balance of JPEG images
      2m 0s
    4. Blending exposures with different white balances
      7m 13s
    5. Brightening shadows
      9m 8s
    6. Reducing noise
      7m 44s
    7. Sharpening
      9m 14s
    8. Correcting depth-of-field issues
      9m 32s
    9. Correcting night skies
      6m 39s
  10. 53s
    1. Goodbye
      53s

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