Learn how to shoot beautiful photos in low light
By Samantha Francis
Low light photography can be incredibly frustrating, but also very rewarding. If the thought of capturing fireworks or star trails leave you shuddering in memory of all the blurry shots you’ve gotten, here’s a consolation — you can get it right.
With practice and the right techniques, you’ll be capturing stunning shots of the scenery as well as your loved ones in no time.
While the use of a flash is the biggest solution to low light photography, not all situations will benefit from it. Watch this video for some tips on how you can capture the best pictures even in low light scenarios.
1. Use a tripod whenever you can
Shooting in low light means you need longer exposure so that your camera sensor can capture all the light detail. Using a tripod will achieve image stability and help eliminate any camera shakes that will risk ruining your photo. You can even use the built-in self-timer in your digital camera to trigger the shutter after you’ve pressed the shutter button, so as to avoid any possible shakes.
2. Bump up your camera’s ISO
ISO settings in your camera determine the sensors’ sensitivity to light. If you want to capture more light, you need to increase the camera ISO to make the sensor collect light faster. But the problem with most cameras is when you increase your ISO level, you introduce sensor noise which will make your final photo look grainy. By using cameras that are built specifically to handle high ISO photography, you can record images in spectacular detail, from shadows to highlights, with barely any noise.
3. Use a fast lens
The speed of a lens and how ‘fast’ it is refers to the maximum aperture of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture, the faster the lens is. For example, the Sony FE 55mm F1.8 lens has a 55mm focal length and large F1.8 maximum aperture that allow you to take very fast exposures in low light. In other words, you can shoot handheld in low-light conditions while still getting outstanding sharpness and clarity.
4. Use an app
There are many apps out there in the market that work with your camera. For example, you can download Sony’s PlayMemories Camera Apps for low-light shooting directly onto your Wi-Fi compatible Sony camera to make it more convenient. One such app is the Star Trail app that allows you to shoot a series of starry sky still images at intervals then combines them into one movie – you don’t even need to use a computer or an editing software to do so! Alternatively, you can use the Light Trail app to capture light trails from fireworks or the headlights of moving cars in a single magical photo.
Tips brought to you by Sony.