In photography light is a very important factor, simply put, you can’t take a photo without light. The different sources of light can help you capture stunning images of different subjects. But this doesn’t mean that all photographs will be taken in areas flooded with light, in fact, some of the best photos ever captured were taken in low light conditions.
Some conditions that may require you to test your skills in low light photography are, at night or in the evening in areas where you can only see the brightest objects or, in your home and any place with a shadow e.g. under a bridge. Just remember that you can only edit in post what you capture.
A simple technique that you can start with is:
Start by adjusting your ISO as high as it can go, set your camera to RAW, the aperture priority should be set at the lowest f-stop on your fastest lens. If your shutter speed is low you should set the exposure to compensate, this will increase the speed.
To make the image clearer you should use noise reduction.
Go Manual and Crank up the ISO!
Getting sharp shots in low light conditions is not easy if your camera is set on automatic, shooting manually will give you more control over the results.
Cranking up the ISO to the highest number will increase your camera’s sensitivity to light, but this will create additional noise due to the high ISO. The trick here is to filter out the noise during post-processing.
The best way to keep the camera still is a monopod or a tripod, a monopod may be good but a tripod is better. If you use a tripod or monopod you could reset your ISO to a lower setting thus reducing the noise. But cranking up the ISO and removing the noise during post-production is a better option.
There are cameras that come with digital stabilization, but this is only limited to small movements. This can help under normal lighting conditions, but it won’t be that effective under low light conditions.
Under low light conditions if you can you should avoid using the flash, but if you have to you should consider using a diffuser to reduce the shadows.
Add Light and Increase the Aperture
If the conditions are too dark you should add light to the subject, you should also use a larger aperture. This will let in more light into the lens. It is important to understand that the larger the aperture the lower the number, the aperture on your camera is measured in what is known as f-stop values, for example, if you are using a larger aperture such as f-16, the aperture will be lower, but if you are using a smaller aperture such as f/4 the opening of the lens will be smaller hence reducing the amount of light entering.
The problem with increasing your aperture is that you will only be able to focus on a smaller portion of your subject. In real estate photography, it’s key to properly light your room if you want to create an emotional connection between your photos and prospective buyers.
Try Different Techniques
Most times the perfect shots are those done by mistake, therefore you should play with the different lighting conditions and take as many photos as you can. Don’t just focus on finding that one great shot, play with it and have fun photography doesn’t have to be that serious.