LA: Shooting in Low Light Conditions

“Describe the steps that you will take to ensure that you take a high quality photograph in low light conditions. Refer to exposure, lenses, tripods, colour temperature, flash and ISO. Your answer should be a minimum of 350 words.”

To ensure high quality photos in low light settings there are several things you need to consider. First of all you need to decide what tone you want for your photograph. Are you going for a static photo or one with motion? What kind of depth of field do you want?

Color Temperature:

Different light sources have different color tones and your camera need to know what white looks like with different lighting. For that reason you can use the different settings built into your camera (like daylight, fluorescent etc) or you can use the auto function that will try to compensate for the different types of lighting. You can edit the white balance in your editing program later.


There is a time and place for a flash. In many scenarios, adjusting the settings on your camera (like having a higher ISO) is a lot better option than using a flash and in most scenarios you should never use the flash that is built in in your camera. You can buy different types of flashes that work for different situations.


ISO refers to artificial light. In a studio, or if you use a light tent, you want to have low ISO as the optimal environment the studio provides need no additional help with lighting. This enables you to experiment with shutter speeds and aperture to get the highest quality photo possible. In low light conditions you can experiment with ISO, and in some scenarios a more grainy picture (that high ISO provides) might be optimal for you and/or your client.


Different lenses give different results (go figure). A zoom lens will give you darker images as a result. The same will happen if you zoom in with your normal lens, as the more you zoom the smaller the aperture.

Tripods and Exposure:

The lower your shutter speed is the more light you get. But low shutter speed also make the camera more sensitive to movement. This means that if you have low shutter speed and move your photo will be blurry. If you want more light in your low light photos, lower shutter speed may be better, but if you want a static picture, the use of a tripod will ensure that you get a clear result.

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