7 Top Tips for Low Light Photography

Low Light Photography for Beginners

2015’s summer looks to be ebbing away – certainly in the evenings as it’s dark by 8PM now!

So last night we started our summer-winter transition and showed a group how to shoot at night.

What we did…

Kicking off at Clarence Dock, or New Dock Leeds, as the re-brand calls it, we created:-

  • dusk shots of the old docks.
  • night shots of the docks – 30 second exposures, to smooth the water
  • a bit of light painting at Knightsway bridge
  • car light trails.

Here are some examples:-

The Low Light Photography Tips

  1. Using the tripod is essential
  2. Use the lowest ISO you can as this give less noise
  3. use LIVE VIEW and the LIVE HISTOGRAM to anticipate exposure. The histogram will have a “U” shape, lots to the left, lots to the right. Make sure not too much is off to the right.
  4. start at 30 seconds exposure and work out the F-Stop from that – viewing the live histogram to do it
  5. shoot, then review and understand the histogram – in a nutshell, everything off to the left is underexposure and will be noisy, everything off the right can’t be recovered and will always be white.
  6. composition in a built environment – getting verticals right, rule of thirds and use of lead lines. Set up an interesting shot then wait for cars to pass to leave light trails… light trails on their own are boring, they just add to an already good shot
  7. using road furniture (arrows etc.) and reflections as part of your composition. We tell stories in pictures, these are part of the story

We’re off to Salford Quays next – then onwards to teach you how to Light Paint and lots of other nocturnal goodies over the darker months


One thought on “7 Top Tips for Low Light Photography

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed the evening at Clarence Dock and hopefully will be able to put into practice what you showed us. I will try to use RAW so that I can edit them.

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