Let’s face it. There will always be a time to shoot with very, very bad light. Whether it’s a wedding reception, an event at a nearby bar, or a concert performance, taking images can be really challenging. If you don’t have the faintest clue on what to do, you may end up with a photograph that nobody will ever understand or comprehend. Fortunately, here are some helpful tips on how to come out of bad lighting conditions with images that you can use.
Find a Source of Light
No matter how hard it may be, look for a source of light that can help you out. It can be that spotlight moving across the stage or a strategically-placed candle illuminating a laughing lady. Whatever that may be, you have to be alert because these sources of light can be gone in a second so you need to capitalise on it right away.
Create Your Own Light
If all else fails, go ahead and create your own sources of light. That’s right, just jump the gun and invest in a speedight or a video light to help illuminate those wedding reception images. With this tip, you need not worry about murky photos anymore. All you need is an assistant to hold and direct that light source for you.
Slow That Shutter Down
Another great tip to combat bad lighting conditions is to use a slow shutter speed whenever you’re shooting. Although it can be really hard at first, with constant practice, you can be sure to shoot at around 1/25 shutter speed in a dimly-lit environment. Furthermore, there can be some cool effects to your image if you use a slow shutter speed when people are losing themselves on the dance floor.
Crank that ISO up
So, you think a slow shutter speed isn’t for you eh? Don’t worry though because you need not stand still for that technique because you can always raise your camera’s SO to get an image during bad lighting scenarios. With cameras these days, you’re sure to have a clean photo at around ISO 3200 with a minimal amount of noise. Plus, if you need to take your ISO levels higher, the noise would really make your picture more artistic and unique.
Invest in Gear Designed for Bad Light
Last on our list is a long-term solutions to fighting bad light during events or concerts – buy new gear. That’s right folks. You can’t expect equipment designed for a beginner to capture professional photos. With that being said, a good starting point is to invest in lenses with a wide aperture. These lenses suck in more light and gives your images a dreamy look that you won’t get anywhere.
Another option you can think about is upgrade to cameras good in low light. Some features you might be interested are fast auto-focus speed in badly-lit places, ease of use, and of course, its high-ISO capabilities. Just make sure to get the best low light digital camera you can afford, you’re comfortable using and one that seamlessly adapts to your current system.
Shooting in bad light is something every photographer will have to face and master one day. It takes a great amount of patience, cunning, artistry, and resourcefulness to be able to capture low light photos that won’t turn your clients off. Just follow these tips and you’re going to be fine.
If you have more tips on how to capture low light images, hit us up on the comments or share your thoughts on SlickPic folks.