WEEK 47 of the 52-week photography project.
NIGHTTIME AND LOW-LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY
A lark in the dark is a good way to get to know your camera and take advantage of the available light (the lack of it) to get some different images. Most modern digital cameras handle low-light situations very well. Auto modes built into cameras will raise the ISO to allow them to ‘see’ almost in the dark. They will open the aperture wider to let more of the available light in. The downside to these modes is often the increase in ‘noise’; the speckles that appear in your images that usually look fine on screen, but are more distracting when printing your photos.
Add a tripod to the mix, stabilise your camera, and then you can manually lower the ISO, close the aperture, and use slower shutter speeds to get lovely low-light and nighttime shots. Closing the aperture down to f13 and smaller lets your camera capture ‘starburst’ effects from lamp light and other sources. Achieving this is often an exciting milestone in discovering nighttime photography! Using slower shutter speeds lets you capture trails from moving light sources, again quite often a milestone achievement.
Your practical challenge this week is to experiment with photography at night. This is a great photography club activity. Use your camera’s in-built features and auto and semi-auto settings and judge the results. Then switch to manual and tweak the settings to get the results that you want.
Some milestone moments in a photographer’s nighttime journey!