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Shooting in the shade


Foundations of Photography: Night and Low Light

with Ben Long

Video: Shooting in the shade

Shooting in the shade provides you with in-depth training on Photography. Taught by Ben Long as part of the Foundations of Photography: Night and Low Light
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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 5s
    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 36s
    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 1s
    1. Shooting lingering sunsets
      1m 43s
    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 9s
    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

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Shooting in the shade
Video Duration: 2m 55s4h 0m Intermediate Mar 29, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Shooting in the shade provides you with in-depth training on Photography. Taught by Ben Long as part of the Foundations of Photography: Night and Low Light

View Course Description

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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding how low light affects exposure, shutter speed, color temperature, and more
  • Preparing for a low-light shoot
  • Shooting in dimly lit rooms
  • Using the flash indoors
  • Shooting in the shade
  • Taking flash portraits at night
  • Controlling flash color temperature
  • Focusing in low light
  • Light painting
  • Manipulating long shutter speeds
  • Correcting white balance
  • Brightening shadows
  • Sharpening and noise reduction
Ben Long

Shooting in the shade

It's easy to think a low-light shooting as only a nighttime thing, but I am standing out here at five in the afternoon and I have got a low-light situation. I want to take Heather's picture here, but we are standing in shade. There is sunlight all around us, but the shade is sunk behind this building, leaving me in what is not a really difficult situation, but still a low-light situation. I am going to do a little quick metering here and I am finding that at ISO 100 with my f/4 lens, I'm at about a 40th of a second. It's a stabilized lens, so I don't need to worry too much about camera shake.

Heather is not loaded up on coffee so I don't have to worry about her moving around too much. Nevertheless, I think I am going to bump my ISO up a little bit, and that's probably only going to get worse as the sun gets lower. So I need to shoot this quickly. The main problem here is in shade auto white balance on my camera is not going to work very well. Let me show you what I mean. I am on auto white balance, so I am just going to take a quick shot here, and it's just not quite right. She doesn't have the warmth and the glow that she normally has, even in shade.

So Heather, we are going to do a manual white balance. I think it's our only hope. I have a manual white balance card here. I have a white balance card here. This is made by WhiBal, just a little gray card, and what I am going to do is take a picture of it, of the card, filling up a good amount of the frame. And now in my camera, I can tell the camera to do a white balance calculation based off of that card. Now the way I do this will vary from camera to camera. On my Canon camera, it's pretty easy to do.

On other cameras, you can actually store multiple manual white balances for different lighting situations. So now that it has looked at something that it's knows is gray, it should be able to calculate a more accurate white balance than what it was doing when it was in was in auto mode. So let's take another shot here and see. Still at ISO 400, and sure enough, this is a much warmer. She has got a much healthier skin tone. She looks much happier. So shade is almost always going to require a manual white balance. Now I have some other options here.

I am shooting RAW, so I could always correct the white balance after the fact. If I did that, I would still want her to hold up that card and I would want to take a picture of it. I need that gray reference during my raw conversion process. So I think the real thing to take away from this is to understand that low light can happen in the daytime. Then you'll probably need, if you are in shade, a manual white balance situation, and you need to think maybe before you go out about whether you're going to encounter a low light or not. If you are shooting in an urban environment and you're expecting to be on the late afternoon, particularly in the winter, you can expect that you are going to be in a shady situation like this, and so you might want to bring faster lenses.

You might want to make a different camera choice, if you are choosing between your SLR and your little point-and-shoot camera, because maybe your point-and-shoot camera doesn't do so well at higher ISOs. So don't forget, low light can happen at any time of day, depending on your surroundings.

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