Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video Introduction, part of Foundations of Photography: Night and Low Light.
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It's easy to think of low-light shooting as something that happens only at night, and there's a good reason for thinking that way. It's usually awfully dark at night. But low-light situations can happen at any time of the day and in lots of different locales and situations. In fact, most of your low-light shooting will probably be during the daytime, as you battle difficult lighting situations indoors. For example, a European vacation might take you inside dark cathedrals or marketplaces. Or maybe you want a shoot event in your office during the daytime.
These are all low-light situations most of the time. Indoor low light doesn't require a different skill set than outdoor low light; you still need to answer the same questions and solve the same problems that you face when you're shooting in low light outside. One of the great things about indoor low light though is that you can easily find low-light problems in your own home, so it's simple to practice dealing with them. I've invited a bunch of friends over for dinner tonight and I'm going to shoot the event. It will be nighttime and we're going to want some atmosphere in the room, so we'll have the lights down low.
This is the type of low-light situation that you might encounter anytime you have a family gathering or special occasion, and we're going to spend this whole chapter exploring how to get good shots. Now I've also invited my friend Steve Simon, a Canadian photographer and photojournalist. If you've seen my Foundations of Photography: Composition course, then you've already seen some of Steve's work. Now you're going to get to hear his take on how he handles tricky low-light situations. But before we get to that, I'm going to sit down with Steve and look at some of his low-light images and talk about what problems he faced and how he solved them.
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.
- 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