LOW LIGHT DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Low light digital photography can lead to more interesting shots than photos taken in full sunlight, as this example shows. The timelessness of that moment would have been lost if I had made a shot in broad daylight.

The photo below was shot using a Panasonic Lumix G1 micro four-thirds camera. The settings were as follows shutter speed 1/125 seconds, ISO 100, no flash, f-number f/7.1.

This particular combination of settings has produced a near silhouette, as the couple in the foreground are underexposed but the water has retained the texture of the waves. The highlight of the sun shining on the water is technically blown-out but it creates a sense of drama when contrasted with the foreground.

It was taken when the sun was low in the sky, as I was strolling along the banks of the river in Bordeaux. Normally, these settings would be considered wrong or inadequate for a correct exposure. Totally an imperfect shot, however, the effect is very pleasing in this instance.

Another 'decisive moment' where I was lucky to catch the beautiful light shining on the water and the bottle, at the same time as the man made an explanatory gesture. This was the second shot I made. The first shot lacked the man's interesting gesture. I was happy with the second shot and continued walking. The couple were unaware that I had made a photo. Happiness all round!

If you live in a city or a large town with a river or canal running through it, consider going for a walk at twilight. The light can be very beautiful, and at this time people are beginning to slow down, the day's work is finished and a more leisurely pace is setting in. A good time to be out and about with your camera!

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› Low Light Digital Photography


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