Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with exposure parameters in low light, part of Foundations of Photography: Night and Low Light.
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As light levels dim, your job as a photographer gets a little more complicated. However, if you're comfortable with basic exposure theory, you should be okay. There is nothing new that you need to learn on your camera. There is no new concepts that you need to add to your understanding of exposure theory. You still need to know about shutter speed and aperture and ISO, and you need to understand the compromises and trade-offs that happen as you change any of these parameters. Good exposure is always a balancing act.
On the one hand, you have a creative vision that you might be trying to achieve, but on the other hand, you need to think about motion blur and depth of field and noise. Well that's all true in low light, but as the light in your scene dims, your tolerances for acceptable shutter speed and noise and aperture, those all get smaller. In other words, when shooting in low light your margin of error is much less forgiving. So in this chapter, we're going to quickly go through all of your exposure parameters and look at what your low- light concerns will be with each one.
And if you're not already comfortable with the basics of exposure, check out my Foundations of Photography: Exposure course.
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