Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tips for Taking Photos in Low Light

If there is an interest for me beyond home and family, it would be photography. That said, I've never pretended to know a lot about it. Getting a great picture is usually  a result of a bit of a good eye and a lot of good luck.

It's not like I had someone lay the groundwork for a passion in photography either. The first camera from my earliest childhood was Mom and Dad's old Brownie. They rarely had time to use it; photos were generally limited to special occasions and vacations when we'd be lined up before the tree or on the beach, and with a quick snap the moment was saved for posterity. Looking back at those nostalgic treasures it's easy to see that technique and detail were not given much, if any, consideration. It was all about capturing a memory.

Given that I grew up in the age of Polaroids and little Instamatics, grainy black and whites and poor colour, it's a wonder I even know what a good picture is.  But when my future brother-in-law arrived on the scene  I started to realize photography can be much more. Working in the identification section of the provincial police force, he enjoyed stepping away from his version of 'still' life photography to exercise his creative side. Seeing the time he took to set up a portrait, the interest in getting the right lighting, etc., fascinated me.

That helped me when I went into the community newspaper business and became a writer with a camera. Then, I enjoyed learning a  bit more about shutter speeds and f-stops too. On the job, however, didn't allow a lot of time to delve too deeply and experiment with different settings. In this deadline-driven environment, one took the knowledge one had to get the best shot possible. No more, no less.

Away from work, I did take the opportunity with my own 35 mm to try a few different things. But when the digital camera came along I got lazy. The manual settings generally worked too well.

One area, however, where I have been challenged is low-light photography.  It has re-sparked an interest  in giving my camera an opportunity to show what it's capable of.  To that end, as always, I have taken a quick look online, and found a wealth of advice from a variety of sources. Here's a random selection:

DPS Get Better Photos in Low Light Without a Flash

Shoot in the Dark Without Flash and Image Blur

How to Take Sharp Photos in Low Light Without a Flash

YouTube Taking Photos in Low Light

PictureCorrect Low Light Photography TIps

Low-Light Photography Tips
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