For Low Light Events
3 settings for Low Lighting Photography
As professional event photographers, you have to capture images in low light
Easily 50% of what we do as event photographers is counteracting low light environments. Whether it’s actually nighttime, or your simply indoors, understanding how to adjust for low lighting is an absolute necessity. Three easy to adjust settings are your shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. Experimenting with these can give you tremendous success with dark environments, both indoor and outdoor. Shall we begin?
Pro Tip One - Use A Fast Shutter Speed
Briefly, shutter speed determines how much light enters your camera. The slower the shutter speed, the more light will enter. You may think you need more light due to the dark environment you find yourself in. Whether you’re actually outside at night, or indoors during the day without proper lighting – this is a common mistake for beginner photographers.
Because there is a less light to work with, the chances of your image becoming blurry increase with every wave of photons flying through your lens.
Set up your shutter speed to a fraction of the focal length...
Consider this plausible scenario: you’ve been hired to photograph a corporate event, but the conference center where the event is taking place has either bad or low light throughout the hallways. Unfortunately, you’ve been forced to get pictures of attendees in a particularly dark portion of one of these low light hallways, and you don’t have any artificial light of your own. The attendees aren’t moving very much, but you want to make sure you get some images of them conversing with each other for the person who hired you to use for their web and social media coverage of the event. As a general rule of thumb, set up your shutter speed to a fraction of the focal length.
How is this implemented? Consider you’re taking images at 50 mm. Then you should choose a speed at 1/50 of a second. Make sense? The less light you let in, the less opportunity there is for the image to become blurry.
Get a tripod...
One of the wonderful things about tripods is that you don’t have to worry as much about your shutter speed or the blurriness of the images you’re taking. If you know you’re going to be taking images in low light situations, go ahead and invest in a tripod. Enough said!
Pro Tip two: Go WIDE!
Wide with your aperture, that is! Consider setting up a wide aperture to produce a shallow depth of field. Just remember, the wider the aperture, the lower the f-number. Which means that f-1.5 is much wider than f-5. Make sense? Just make sure you know what your point of reference is for everything. If you’re trying to get clarity of details for items that aren’t necessarily the focal point of the camera, there is a chance things like faces will come out blurry beyond a certain range. Definitely something you’ll want to play around with!
Pro Trip Three: Experiment with a higher ISO...
Use this trick sparingly, as increasing the ISO will increase the amount of light you let in. But sometimes messing with your shutter speed or aperture doesn’t cut it. If you go this route – you might consider using black and white as color sometimes comes through unevenly.
If you need more tips for taking photographs in low lighting situations, we’re here to help! Consider us your event planning partners!