Thursday, April 20, 2017

Don't Fear the Night

I've been teaching and shooting forever and one thing that consistently happens when I suggest shooting in low light is an expression of panic and then a firm statement, "I don't do it because I don't like to use flash." Last night I set out with some of my photography students to show that shooting at night doesn't mean that you either get really dark images OR you use a flash. 

We started in Uptown Charlotte on a dreary night around 6:30 and shot until truly dark. Baby steps, right? Realizing that it's ok for your shots to let shadows be dark at night because, well it's NIGHT, is a good thing. No more FIGHTING for full exposure of your image from a bad lighting situation. Embrace the dark and use it to your advantage. 

Watching how the light changed from moment to moment, and then that exact moment that a low light situation becomes a night shooting situation was exciting. Neons got brighter, shadows became defining and the camera becomes a different tool to record it all. 

A few tips:
1 - Wear walking shoes
2 - Be patient and wait for the light you want
3 - Use your ISO, this is what it is made for
4 - Bring friends and be aware of your surroundings
5 - Backpack camera bags are a great choice
6 - A wider DOF (depth of field) will give you a super crisp shot
7 - Expose for the bright lights, and your shadows be richer
8 - Keep your eyes open and remember to look up, especially if you are in an area with large buildings.
9 - Experiment and HAVE FUN!