Taking pictures at night can be tough. The role of the camera is to “capture light”. But what if there isn’t enough light to capture? There are several important techniques for capturing amazing low-light photographs!

This class runs for about 2 – 3 hours.

Typically, taking a long exposure image involves three things, and we will cover each in this class:

  • Gear
  • Setting up the shot
  • Post Processing

Part 1: Focus on Gear

When it comes to low light photography, many folks know that the Tripod is essential. But there are some camera settings that will actually make your images WORSE if you tripod your body! We will discuss how to temporarily disable these features that could spoil a great night photograph.

Other important bits of gear includes a shutter-trigger. There are many trigger variants available for really cheap to really expensive. We’ll discuss several types and stress their pro’s and cons. We will also discuss why we bring our camera flash even when we don’t plan to use it, and why we always bring our trusty flashlight (not just for safety!).

Part 2: Setting Up

There’s no such thing as a “quick” low light shot, and unfortunately, the Sun waits for no man. If you’re trying to get that perfect, near-sunset image, proper set up in advance will help you make the best image as quickly as possible. We’ll discuss how to make sure your tripod “stays put”, and talk about some of the unexpected issues that cause our low-light images to be blurry.

Night photography almost always requires us to shoot in “manual” or “M” mode, which can be uncomfortable for some folks. We will discuss the interplay between shutter speed, ISO and Aperture so you are more comfortable with “M” mode settings. (NOTE: not everyone’s camera works the same, you should bring your manual).

When we photograph people in low light situations, sometimes the person looks great, but the background is inky black even though they are in a nice building or at a party. It looks as if you took the shot in a pitch black room. When working together in Auto mode, your camera and flash will make sure the person in front of you looks great, irrespective of how the background looks. We’ll talk about a concept called “Dragging the Shutter”, that allows you to create a nice image with background/foreground balance.

We will talk about how to use special lens filters to darken areas that are too bright while maintaining a well-exposed image!

Part 3: Post Processing

Post Processing, or the changes we make to our image on our computers, will pay a big role in your final image. When we shoot in high ISO, for example, “noise” is introduced and we have to use post-processing techniques to repair it.

One-on-One: $129.00
Group (20 ppl): $25.00
Instructor: Joe Lippeatt
Bring to Class: Camera, lens(es), paper & pen, enthusiasm!
Provided: Class Notes eBook.
Length: 2-3 Hours
Group Classes Available at: HoustonPhotowalks
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Joe Lippeatt
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