Tips for Different Low Light Situations

Basically low light photography can be split into four branches:

  • Hand help;

  • Sky;

  • Street and cars;

  • Indoor and interior.

For each of these situations you need to special eqipment and settings.

Hand held photography requires the manual mode in your camera and high ISO. Unless you plan to sell your image or print it in larger format, higher ISO settings like 3200 should not become a problem. You can always reduce the noise produced by higher ISO in post processing of your photos, Lightroom or Photoshop. See Photoshop tutorials on how to reduce noise. It is also important to have a good lens. Your kit lens will not work well in this situation. Choose if you can something with fixed aperture of 2.8 or 1.8.

Sky and stars photography requires a heavy tripod that is not afraid of wind. There is no need to jump up the ISO. As for the lens, you need it to be as sharp as possible. The aperture does not have to be 2.8, actually if you do have a lens of 2.8 aperture, set it to 8 because it will be sharper.

Street and cars photography requires a tripod and a good lens with vibration reduction since passing cars will generate a lot of vibration. Then you will be able to achieve cars' lights' trails using longer shutter speed.

For interior indoor photography you need a good lens as well (preferably 2.8 or 1.8) and higher ISO.

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