How to work around low lighting in digital photography: Part 2

In my previous article, I started off with a list that focused on How to work around low lighting in digital photography, 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 get better results when taking  pictures in low light conditions. Here are more low light photography tips or how to work around low lighting in digital photography for better results.

Use Back Button Focus

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

For instance, when using auto focus, 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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In low light photography, if there is a need to shoot portraits 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.

Once shooting portraits in low light photography, 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 can 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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In low light  photography taking shots at the golden hour or blue hour, when the light is low, is a perfect time to shoot landscapes. 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 photography, 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 in low light photography settings. 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 (check this image).  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. It is an excellent remedy.

Shooting in low light conditions with my tips you have a great chance at creating something special!

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