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  • Writer's picture Tony Brown Photography

Low Light Photography Guide – Ideas that Will Create Fantastic Shots Without Flash

Photography is all about light, so shooting in darker conditions can make life tricky. Here's how to make it work.

It’s not always good to use a camera’s built-in flash when taking low light photography. As doing so can create images that appear flat, unnatural, overexposed or have harsh and unwanted shadows. However, photographing in low light situations without a flash can be a challenge if you don’t know what you’re doing, resulting in low light photography that is too dark, blurry, or grainy.

low light photography tips london

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to create excellent photography in low light situations without the need for your camera’s flash.

Low Light Photography Tips

1. Configure ISO Settings.

Adjusting the ISO settings on your digital camera will determine how sensitive your image sensor is to light.

If you increase the ISO to 400 or 800, you'll be allowing more light to reach the camera’s sensor, than if the settings were at ISO 100 or 200. But don't leave your ISO at this level, as you'll produce grainy pictures during higher levels of light, and not the sharp details you intended.

2. Slower Shutter Speeds.

Longer exposure time allows more light to enter your camera. However, to get crisp, clear photography in low light using a slow shutter speed and no flash, it is crucial you keep your camera as still as possible. Any sort of movement will result in blurry images.

3. Adjust the Aperture.

The aperture of your camera determines how much light is allowed in. A wide aperture (small f-stop number) can also help you capture better low light photography without the use of a flash.

low light photography tips london

4. Reduce Camera Shake.

When using slower shutter speeds during low light situations, it is vital that you eliminate camera shake entirely, otherwise your shots will be blurry. You can do this by using a tripod, and/or your camera’s built-in stabilization features. Depending on your camera, this option may be found on the camera body or the camera lens.

5. Adjust the White Balance.

Shooting in low light conditions can result in washed out photography, or shots lacking in detail and colour. By customizing your digital camera’s white balance, you’re basically telling your camera what white should look like in your image. Thus, allowing the camera to adjust accordingly, and capture colours as accurately as possible. To prevent your images from having a yellow, orange, or blue shade to them, adjust the white balance to coordinate with the type of light you’re using.

8. Shoot in B&W.

If you want to get great low light photography without a flash, but don’t want to mess around with your camera’s white balance. Simply capture your photos in black and white, which will do away with poor colour issues all together. Looks pretty chic too!


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