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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.
In the last movie, you saw us paint a subject in the frame with a flashlight. You couldn't see the flashlight itself, but you could see the light that was hitting Heather as she sat in the frame. A long exposure like this in low light, we can create another effect by making the light itself visible. That burns a nice light into the image which we can then play with. We are going to try that right now. Jacob is going to go into frame with his flashlight and do a little bit of light painting directly into the camera, and I think when that happens, this is all going to make sense to you. Jacob, are you ready? All right! Jacob: Yeah.
Can we kill this light over here? Again, we've got artificial light on so that you can see me. All right, Jacob, you're going to have 20 seconds. Now as in the previous example, we have all--I've already calculated the ambient light exposure settings, so that I know that with this 20-second exposure, I'm going to have a lot of nice ambient light on the tree. So, what we're capturing now is that ambient light plus what he's about to do with his flashlight. And the shutter is open. So he just turned his flashlight on.
He is holding his thumb in front of it so that it's not too bright, and he's writing. Now if you're real stickler for penmanship, I want to you to cut him some slack. He is writing in the air with a flashlight. My exposure is not done. He's done writing what he was going to write and he's run out of frame. Because he is out of frame and the exposure is still going, we're going to gather enough of the ambient light that was where he was standing that he will hopefully disappear and all that will be left is this writing, right, hanging in air. And it's red again because of his thumb in front of the light. And if his thumb had not been there, from our experiments just some test shots we done, we found there was just way too much light coming from the light directly into the camera.
Greg, hit the lights. So a very simple example. There are lot of different things you can do with this technique. Any way that you can get the light in front of the camera is going to burn an image in. It's fun playing with sparklers. It's fun throwing light around, twirling it around. This is a great technique to experiment with. Try shining the light through gels, through your hand, putting diffusion in it, lots of different things. You can paint images basically directly onto your image.
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