Filmmaking & Videography

Sometimes, having great lighting isn’t achievable. Some shoots must take place at night, or require a dark, dimly lit aesthetic to achieve the desired result. Regardless of the reason, all photographers want their images to be crisp, professional and the highest quality possible. So, how do you make sure this is the case even in low light? Shooting in dark environments can present a range of issues, so stay tuned to hear our top tips for shooting in low lighting!

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Tips For Shooting In Low Lighting

1. Adjust Your ISO & Aperture

With your camera, ISO determines the speed of which light reaches your camera’s sensor, and aperture determines how much light is let in. With this in mind, there are adjustments that you can make to help when you are shooting in low lighting.

Adjusting the ISO on your camera allows you to determine how sensitive the image sensor is to light. For example, if you increase the ISO to 800, you are allowing more light to reach the sensor than a lower ISO. Lower ISO produces sharper images though, and higher ISO’s will produce more image noise.

With aperture, a wider aperture (a small f-stop number) will help you to capture better quality low light photos without the need for flash.

2. Use A Lower Shutter Speed

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In order to achieve a clear photo when shooting in low lighting, try a slower shutter speed and turn off the flash. If you are trying this tip, be aware that you’ll need to keep your camera as still as possible so that you don’t end up with blurred images.

3. Camera Shake Reduction

As mentioned earlier, slower shutter speeds can lead to blurred images. Therefore, it’s super important to eliminate any camera shake in order to create sharp, professional looking photos.

Ways to achieve this includes:

  • Using a tripod
  • Built-in image stabilization for some cameras
  • Try to capture still subjects rather than moving, as this will be more difficult to capture

4. Incorporate Additional Light Sources

You can also help yourself when shooting in low light by adding light sources, or adjusting your subject to help.

If your subject isn’t stationary, try to position it nearer to (or facing) any light sources. Extra lighting is always a good idea, too – which means you can also move the light source closer to the subject. Be wary of where you are positioning your subject in relation to the light source, and bring along some portable lights (if possible) if you are shooting in a dark environment!

5. Different Lenses

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If you’re shooting with a DSLR camera and often find yourself shooting in low lighting scenarios, why not invest in a fast lens?

These lenses have a wide aperture, making them great for low light photography. As we mentioned earlier, a faster shutter speed and wider aperture is great for this – and these lenses will provide both. If you’re on a budget, you can always purchase some secondhand equipment!

6. White Balance

Some downsides of shooting in low light can be:

  • Washed out images
  • Images lacking in detail
  • Lack of color

You can tackle all of these issues by customizing your camera’s white balance. This involves telling your camera what white should appear as in your image, allowing your equipment to adjust accordingly. Adjusting your white balance will prevent your images from having colored hues or shades to them, and you can adjust to coordinate with the type of light you are using.

7. Shoot In B&W Or RAW

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If adjusting the white balance makes you a little anxious, you can still capture great low light images without a flesh by shooting in black and white. This will eliminate any color issues quickly and easily.

If you do want to shoot in color, though, and want to give your images a sharpness boost, try shooting in RAW. The quality of RAW images is higher than the JPEG format – plus you’ll have more post-processing options with this format.

Final Thoughts

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We hope you enjoyed our tips for your low light shoots, and found some helpful takeaways to help with your shoots. If you found this article helpful, we think you’ll love our articles on  Camera FiltersNikon NX StudioBuying Used Cameras & LensesShooting Slow Motion For BeginnersTravel Vlogging Equipment & Green Screen Lighting Tips!

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