How To Shoot Indoor Low Light

By | 18/11/2022

Low calorie-free photography is unavoidable for photographers. It is not simply relevant for shooting at dawn or dusk. Shooting within tin often provide a challenging environment for photographers. Like well-nigh elements in photography, it’s all near remainder. A remainder where you sacrifice as little quality as possible.

Today we volition look at techniques to help shooting in low calorie-free. These range from camera settings to small steps you tin can accept to meliorate your photographs.

The better yous get at taking pictures in depression light, the more confident you lot will feel on location or even on a job. Permit’s dive in and have a expect at 12 techniques for shooting depression lite photography.

low light photography idea: a sole lamp illuminates a van

i. Change your ISO

A good rule of thumb is to photo with as low of an ISO as possible. When shooting in low light, your commencement reaction should be to raise your ISO to a higher number. But a larger ISO will add dissonance to your images, peculiarly in dark areas.

For older cameras, check to come across how your camera tin can handle these larger ISO numbers online. Newer DSLRs tin handle huge ISO numbers without much baloney to the epitome. Again, information technology is all about residue. You will desire to zoom into these dark areas to check that the noise doesn’t ruin the photograph.

A helpful point to remember is that dissonance is improve than blur. You lot tin reduce the noise in the post-procedure, but mistiness volition exist a lot trickier.

2. Reduce Your Shutter Speed

The longer your shutter speed, the more light that goes into your camera. It seems uncomplicated enough, simply when you extend your shutter speeds, you let more
photographic camera shake. A rule of thumb when holding your photographic camera is not to go lower than 1/125th of a second. This is due to the tiny movements your hand makes.

The simple solution for this is to use a tripod. When using a tripod, you tin reduce the shutter speed as much as you similar without worrying about losing sharpness. (Every bit long as you have a nice, sturdy tripod!)

a streak of tail lights over a bridge photographed in low light

3. Use A Wider Aperture

Another quick in-camera setting change you can make in low-light photography is to change your discontinuity. A wider aperture in your lens will allow more light to pass through. Ideally, you want to pick as depression of an
f-number as possible.

Proceed in heed that you lot are changing the depth of field of your photograph when adjusting the aperture. Changing the aperture could ruin this if you have a particular way that you need to stick to.

As I mentioned at the beginning, it’s all a balance. Especially between the top three tips I have given. If you take a specific style you want to stick to, make sure this is non compromised through your actions. If not, use all 3 of these settings to control your environment as best as you can.

4. Add together A Wink

Calculation a flash is an obvious option but often gets disregarded. This could be due to the harsh light information technology produces, especially in very low light settings. Harsh light produces a particular style which many photographers use to their advantage. Yet, this technique will not aid you lot if you accept a specific image in mind. For instance, in a space where the subject is far from the lens.

Where style isn’t an outcome, a wink can eliminate the need for compromising on your photographic camera settings. You volition be able to photograph fast, sharp images. Just be wary of the shadows the flash creates.

low light photography idea: added light improves the lighting of a portrait

5. Bring A Light In (Or Reflector)

If the room yous are photographing in is too night, see if you can bring a calorie-free into the room. Exist careful though, bringing in another low-cal source can create new shadows. This changes how the room volition look.

A good thought is to put your added light source virtually the primary light source. This keeps the shadows every bit similar as possible. Remember that different lights are unlike colours. Bringing some other light in can cause clashing colours, so keep an middle out!

If yous demand a piddling more light, a reflector tin can go a long style. In low light situations, endeavour to identify where the primary low-cal source is coming from. You can position a reflector to bounce that calorie-free back into the subject.

half-dozen. Utilise A Faster Lens

Fast lenses are a godsend when dealing with depression-low-cal photography. The extra stops of an aperture tin change a setting enough from an unusable photograph to a usable one. Most fast lenses tin can go to f/2.8 at least and push button wide apertures such as f/1.iv. These extra stops hateful more low-cal gets into your lens. Then, you will have the selection to increase the shutter speed. This reduces the chance of camera milkshake.

light source to the side creates nice visual effect on a hand in low light

7. Stabilise Your Images

Modern lenses have image stabilisation features that reduce camera shake. Most big-name companies have lenses with this feature. And it’due south a technology they are constantly improving. For Nikon users, expect for lenses with VR (vibration reduction). For Canon users, wait for lenses with IS (image stabilisation).

This lens-based stabilisation is a feature inside the lens that has a floating lens element. This element is electronically controlled and counteracts your
camera shake. Image stabilisation is useful in depression-lite situations. It will allow you to drop your shutter speed a considerate amount.

8. Shoot In RAW

If you oasis’t started already, shooting in RAW will requite y’all a lot more forgiveness in your photography. This fact applies to low-light photography likewise.

In RAW files, the photographic camera retains a lot more information than your standard JPEG. Information is virtually helpful in the post-process. The more information there is, the more you can make clear.

low light photography example: multiple lights illuminate a bus stop in kalamazoo

9. Edit in the Post-Process

Occasionally, yous will push your settings every bit far as possible and your photograph will still be lacking. Here you can utilize post-processing software to bring out the details. The software can give you a cease or two more calorie-free merely tin only work if the information is in that location in the beginning place. This is why information technology is beneficial to shoot in RAW.

In mail service-process, you will be able to control the light, shadows, and noise. Make sure you don’t push the image too far, as it will start to look unreal and ruin the image. I recommend Adobe Lightroom for adjustments like this. The program gives an piece of cake approach to adjusting particular sections of an image.

ten. Find the Focal Point

Ane of my most significant issues with low light photography is when the autofocus starts to fail me. If there is not plenty particular for the autofocusing system to latch onto, yous will hear your lens adjusting and readjusting. This is the lens attempting to find a focal betoken.

A helpful technique is to put the photographic camera on a tripod and light the subject with an external light, even a telephone light. With this small corporeality of light, your autofocus organization should be able to final the focal point. You can switch the lens to the manual focus setting so the focal bespeak won’t alter.

low light photography idea: a single light bulb illuminates a portrait of a woman

eleven. Adjust the White Balance

Another element you lot want to exist wary of is the light temperature of an image. If y’all are shooting in low light outside, you can notice the street lights or others will requite off an orange colour cast.

Adjust your white remainder setting to your appropriate environment, and this should help dampen the effect. This is also an chemical element that yous can adjust in the postal service-procedure.

12. Practise!

As I have mentioned, it is all well-nigh balance. In that location are a prepare of compromises you lot will be making when dealing with low light photography. These compromises will but become clear to you lot when you try it out for yourself. This is due to the many ways to approach low lite without changing the style of image you want to take. So find out what works best for you, and endeavour out some others as they will come in handy ane 24-hour interval!

street lights create blur at night as an example of low light photography


Photographing in depression light can be challenging but extremely rewarding. You might call back it could be better to wait until the next twenty-four hours before taking the picture show. Simply, if yous are drawn to the particular light created, then stick with it!

Now that you have these 12 low low-cal photography tips for the camera settings, you have a range to cull from. One (or more) of these tips will help you make the most of your low light shooting environs while also sparking some new ideas.

And then go out and get practising! These skills will come in handy in a disquisitional state of affairs, I can almost guarantee it.

Looking for more than depression light photography tricks? Check out our new post about

nightclub photography


fairy light photography


Accept our Quick Capture Cheat Sheets with yous for photograph tips on the go!