2018 January Low light

One of my goals for 2018 is to learn new techniques, improve myself in photography.  With recommendations from a group of friends, I joined in this journey with P52clicks.  A community where photographers all over the world encourage each other to learn 12 techniques a year (1 technique per month).  We usually have about 4 or 5 weeks to learn that technique for the month and to practice it with our camera.  Along the journey, we shared our images on social media and in the group for feedback.  This month, a group of my photography friends decided to show case our favorites from the month of January.  

“Tell me and I’ll forget.  Show me and I may remember.  Involve me and I learn.”

Benjamin Franklin

Instead of showcasing, I decided to write more of what I have learned from January.  The technique I took on was to capture subjects under low light conditions.  Low light is not necessarily night photography, it is only when the light source is limited whether it is sun light or artificial lights.  Let’s take your bathroom for example, most of the bathrooms have limited light source, it might have a small window that has some lights peeked through but the rest of the room is dark.  I called that little light peeking through “light pocket.”  Low light technique can be very addicting if you know how to manipulate little “light pockets” to your advantage or you can create a low light condition by limiting lights pouring into the environment you are setting up the shots.  Some might ask, why would you limit lights into your environment?  My answer is to create a light source focus only on your subject.  This will create nice shadows and lights on your subject to capture the true feelings of the moment.  After capturing some photos using this technique, I have a few notes or more of lessons for myself in the future.  I hope you will find this helpful.  I love this technique so for sure you will be seeing more of it in Storyteller Through Photos in the next coming months.

Lesson 1: When I walked into a room, here are a few things I ask myself: Where is the light coming from?  What kind of light source do I have? (natural lights or artificial lights) and Where will I place the subject using the available light source to capture the story?  A little careful assessment and preparation will help create more emotional and dramatic photos.

Lesson 2: Manual Mode is as always highly recommended.  You got the full control!

Lesson 3: Don’t be afraid to increase ISO, prefer noisy photos over blurry ones.  Know your camera and lens well to see how much noise they can handle.

Lesson 4: lower shutter speed (long exposure) to get more lights, tripod is highly recommended in this method to avoid camera shake – still need to try this.

Lesson 5: Shoot wide open, which means low f-number.  When you get past the kit lens, you will never go back.  Kit lens usually has the owest F/3.6 while other lenses with F/1.8 or 1/4 can create much more desireable low light photos.  If you are working on a budget, I would say try 50mm 1.8 (I should with Canon).  This lens is a great learning tool for beginner.  Though I have moved on up with other lens, I still go back to this lens from time to time because it’s so light.  I can easily carry it in my purse anywhere with the camera.

Lesson 6: Don’t be afraid to use artificial lights.

Lesson 7: use light (natural or artificial) to create dramatic effects.

Lesson 8: Don’t be afraid to shut down some light source to intensify the story in the photos.

Lesson 9: Don’t forget to have fun and use any of the combinations above to your likings (just like cooking, you are the one creating the recipes to your tastes).  Photography is art, create your own recipe, even breaking the rules is acceptable to create your own piece of art.

here are some of my favorites from January everyday’s moment

In the photo below, the light was coming from a window of his left.

Lesson 3: Don’t be afraid to increase ISO camera setting: SS 1/100, ISO 3200, freelens (no F stop info)

 

This photo was taken with 50mm, 1.8, you can see a little haze around him, I actually used my range oven light to light up his face.  I used double exposure with a little plastic to create a little glow in the photo.

Lesson 5: Shoot wide open. SS 1/125, F 1.8, ISO 1250
Lesson 6: Don’t be afraid to use artificial lights.
Lesson 6: Don’t be afraid to use artificial lights. My light source is the bathroom ceiling light, having the door slightly open to light up just this guy’s face.
Lesson 7: use the lights through window to create light and shadow effect
Lesson 8: Don’t be afraid to shut down some light source to intensify the story in the photos. The entire house lights were shut down, only one flashlight they carried on a stick with them.

My talented friend Suzi from Moments by Suzi also played along with this technique, please check out her low light favorites here, you will enjoy her work just as much as I do.

That’s it for this month, please check back for February photography technique.  Untill then if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me, I would love to hear from you.

 Thuvan – Your gal behind the lens here at FrameThisMomentPhotography

6 Replies to “2018 January Low light”

  1. That first picture is really something else Thuvan! You nailed it! It’s so great that you’ve made this list of lesson to help yourself in the future, as well as others who might just be starting out and your examples are perfect for each one =)

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