Photography in Low light

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by arnab_n, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. arnab_n

    arnab_n TPF Noob!

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    Hi,
    I am new to photography ( in the sense of using SLRs)

    Below is my Query
    ======================
    Say I wanna shoot in low light.....available source of light is street light/low light bulb....and I dont wanna use harsh Flash lights.
    My subjects are group of people ( say 4)
    I wanna shoot in low light without flash.
    My problem is : I cant use a Low F-stop becaz for covering 4 people I would need bigger depth of Field
    and if I lower the Shutter speed to gain light...I will get blurred picture...cause my subjects cant remain motionless for long duration...
    So basically my exposure requires both medium F-stop and lower shutter speed to gain light....How Do I achieve it?? And yes I dont wanna use ISO above 400 cause I wanna have a crisp Picture....
    My Exposure expectation is that I get a picture a shade more brighter than the available source of Light...

    How do I achieve it?? ( given that am using a tripod)

    I am using Canon 550D with 18-55 lens.......
     
  2. robbie_vlad

    robbie_vlad TPF Noob!

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    So you don't want to use a higher ISO, larger aperture, or slower shutter speed....then low light is impossible. Better get better at lighting your subjects if you won't compromise anywhere else...
     
  3. DerekSalem

    DerekSalem TPF Noob!

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    With a 550d/T2i you should be able to go to 1600 without too much noise. 800 would have almost no noise what so ever. Up the ISO because it's the only thing you can do. Photography isn't magical - it requires light.
     
  4. arnab_n

    arnab_n TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Robbie and derek for ur Quick replies

    I will try to bump up the ISO....and see If using a high shutter Speed Help to avoid movement by subjects....without getting much noise....
     
  5. fokker

    fokker No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As above, you can't have it all. Open the aperture right up on that lens, it's not that big anyways so your depth of field will still be fine unless hlaf the group is standing like 20 feet behind the rest of them. You should be able to get away with around 1/20th a second if the people stay still, maybe more or maybe less. Upping the ISO to 800 or even 1600 shouldn't be a problem - you'll get a 'crisper' photo with a high ISO and faster shutter speed than the other way around.

    Of course, your best option is to get some proper light on the subjects...
     
  6. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    Possibly gel the strobes? Otherwise you physically can't without compromising your expectations in some manner.
     
  7. fokker

    fokker No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What strobes? He's talking about using ambient light.
     
  8. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    If he was to use strobes, as recommended, he could maintain the effect with gels, so as to not change color temperature.
     
  9. fokker

    fokker No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think you may be getting a bit ahead of the OP there, he quite possibly doesn't even know what a strobe is, and using it off camera with a modifier is a higher priority then using gels.
     
  10. arnab_n

    arnab_n TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Fokker....
    I will try out that today.....am tinkering with F8-F11 and anything more than 1'' is very low light for ISO400 ....I will bump the ISO and see what effect I can get.

    Since Am still learning with SLR in Manual Mode....And I love Night/Street photography
    And basically experimenting with what can be achieved in Low light

    Thanks everyone!!
     
  11. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    Why F8? I am sure you can get away with a lower aperture, unless the distance discrepancy is great.
     
  12. fokker

    fokker No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Forget f/8, that's strictly for good lighting! Go to f3.5 or similar.

    1 second is far too slow for anything but a still life with the camera on a tripod (unless you're trying to capture motion somehow).

    Try and keep the shutter speed up around 1/60 or more for shooting people.
     

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