Low Light Photography

I’ve got to know my camera reasonably well having had it a year now, but I typically seem to take the same sort of photographs – countryside and animals.  Mainly because I have the opportunity thanks to working at Marwell and enjoying countryside walks.  However, I really wanted to try something a bit different.

Green machineJPGLater this year a friend has asked me to be the photographer for their civil ceremony, and as most of that photography is likely to be indoors I thought that learning some more about low light photography would be interesting and prove useful.  I booked myself on the Low Light and Fill-in Flash workshop with Going Digital.  These are the same people I did the Explore your Digital Camera workshop with earlier this year, which I thought was very good and worth the money.

This course was run at Pitstone Green Museum in Buckinghamshire.  It is a small rural life museum run by volunteers, and only opens a few times a year so we had the place to ourselves.  There was only 5 of us on the workshop, which meant a good chance to get some one to one help and pick up some tips from the tutor.

In the darkThe first part of the course was spent inside one of the rooms in the museum learning about how we can change exposure, ISO, aperture, shutter speed and flash settings in order to change the lighting of the photograph.  It was surprising how differently the camera sees a situation to what we can see with our eyes.  We then experimented with different situations to get to know how to change the various settings in our own cameras to get the desired effect.

After lunch we went out into the museum.  We’d been set a series of exercises to get us trying out what we’d learnt.  We tried close up shots in low light situations, wide angle shots with different light settings and backlit situations with and without the use of fill-in flash.

Wagon WheelThe final part of the day was to get back together in the classroom to review some of the photographs people had taken and see what effect the different settings had.  It was amazing to see how people had managed to take the same shots but producing very different effects.

I really enjoyed the day, but it went very quickly!  Having had a chance to review my photographs I’d like another practical session with similar situations as it isn’t until you get back to the computer you can really see if things have come out the way you wanted.  So I’m now on the hunt for some more local sites where I might get a similar opportunity.

The rest of my photographs from the day can be found on my Flickr set.


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