Tips for Better Results When Shooting in Low Light Conditions: Part 2

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In my previous article, I started off a list of tips that focused on tips for better results when shooting in low light conditions, so if you haven’t read the first article, click here.

This is a continuation of my previous article still with a focus on helping photographers take better pictures in low light conditions. Here are more tips for better results when shooting in low light conditions;

Use Back Button Focus

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Many rely on autofocus nowadays,  most especially if we have less than 20/20 vision. Both autofocus and manual focus have their merits and demerits.

For instance, when using autofocus, it is very easy for the camera to miss focus at wider apertures. Furthermore, when a scene lacks contrast, which is mostly the case in low lighting scenarios, the lens struggles to find focus. You can correct this by focusing on the edge of a brighter spot in your frame and then recomposing.

You will need to use focus lock, or back button focus so your camera doesn’t attempt to refocus once you try to recompose. Back button focus moves the trigger for focusing from the shutter button to the back of your camera. If the focus is not set with the shutter button, the camera will not attempt to refocus when you take a shot.

Low Light Portraits

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If there is a need to shoot portraits in low light without a tripod, try image stabilization if your lens offers this technology. Image stabilization neutralizes any minor vibration caused by shaky hands.  An image stabilizer aids shooting at a slower shutter speed that you most likely would with a lens that doesn’t have this operation.

Once shooting portraits, shoot at the lowest (widest) aperture possible. It will give you a confined depth of field, which will help you fade out a busy background by letting it fall out of focus. You could  use a reflector to bounce some light onto your subject’s face.  Post-processing can go along way toward counteracting some of the challenges faced in low light photography, but making effort to get things as perfect as you can in-camera, will save time and issues later.

Low Light Landscapes

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Taking snap shots at the golden hour or blue hour, when the light is low, is an perfect time to shoot landscapes. This also presents the same challenges in that a good, sturdy tripod is essential.There is a need for shutter release. Manually punching the shutter button will cause a vibration that will cause camera shake and this in effect will make the images less than sharp.  Shooting landscapes in low light conditions, calls for the use of Manual or Aperture Priority mode and care must be taken not to underexpose.

Bulb mode is another great way to shoot landscape photography. This mode is mostly used for long exposures at night and permits you to do an exposure longer than 30 seconds. The shutter can be kept open as long as needed to get the shot in this mode.  If image sharpness poses a challenge, take three identical images with different focus points and blend them together using the focus stacking function in Photoshop is an excellent remedy.

Low light conditions could make good photography sometimes but with my tips for better results when shooting in low light conditions, you have a great chance at creating something special.

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