8 Ways to Capture Great Photos in Low Light
To be able to take stunning photos, you need to know how to work with your camera and your surroundings. It's not always guaranteed that you will have exceptional lighting so it's vital that you know how to make even the dullest of lighting work for you. Here are some tips that help you work with poor lighting that doesn't include using a brighter flash!
Use a larger aperture when shooting in low light. When the aperture is large, there is more light entering the lens. Shooting at f/5.6 allows more light in than shooting at f/18; the lower the number, the larger the aperture.
Slowing down the shutter speed allows for more light to be captured as the shutter remains open for a longer period of time. When slowing down the shutter speed, it is recommended to use a tripod to get clearer shots.
Add an external light source. When the natural lighting is dull and flat, external lights can help get rid of harsh shadows and add life to your photos. Additionally, keeping a portable reflector on hand is always useful. Reflectors are great for reflecting light onto your subject or object and will provide softness to your photos. These also help when there is direct sunlight - reflectors will bounce the light back onto your subject and reduce dark shadows.
If possible, move your subjects to brighter areas. You may not always have a reflector at photoshoots, so it's advisable that you look for areas with better lighting.
Use a faster lens. A fast lens has a wider aperture, typically f/1.4, f/1.8 or f/2.8 and these are great for low light photography as it enables your camera to capture more light.
Adjust the white balance settings on your camera. Shooting in poor lighting can have your photos look washed out or colorless. When you customize and adjust your white balance settings, you are dictating what white colors should look like in your photos and your camera will adjust accordingly in order to capture colors accurately.
Shoot in black and white! If you struggle to use external sources to help with poor lighting, black and white photography eliminates color issues and is a creative way to capture what you intend to.
Shoot RAW images. RAW images allow for more flexibility when it comes to editing your images post-photoshoot. This helps with low light photography as you can edit the exposure of your shots without affecting the overall photo quality.