I’ve been struggling with low light photography for a while now, as, without a tripod, I’ve found that it’s really difficult for my images to not come out looking all grainy and/or shaky – they just don’t come out how I imagine them in my head at all! It’s quite frustrating as I enjoy moody shots by other photographers a lot, so not being able to produce them myself has really been a massive source of annoyance for me.
So, when I was approached by Panasonic to write a post about this subject, I jumped at the chance as I thought it could act as the perfect motivation for me to finally try out different tips and tricks I’d read about and really put everything I’ve learned to the test. I even built my own “tripod” out of my other (bigger) lens, although I’m not sure I would recommend using something so expensive (even if it worked well this time…) as it was pretty stress-inducing!
Last Saturday I ventured over to my favourite central London pub, The Phoenix, and took the below photos. It was the perfect place to try things out, as its big neon sign and large windows meant playing with different reflections, shadows and lights was much easier. Here’s what I got up to:
My test (to myself) was if I could take photos I was honestly happy enough with to share here on my blog, and I think I just about am! Sure, some of them are a bit grainy, but with the equipment I had, I’m really pleased – if I may say so myself.
Some of these were taken with a timer after I’d positioned my camera on my ‘fake-tripod’, and those shots allowed me to use a shutter speed that was less than 1/60 without the photos becoming too shaken. If you’re at home, you could use a pile of books, a big kitchen pot or any kind of tall-ish furniture you may have.
Another thing you might find helpful is using the flashlight on your phone. This light is less yellow than many lamps are, and, positioned right, creates just the right kind of shadows (or lack of them, if that’s your jam). I found using candles or fairy lights in the background of your object can also create a really nice blurry glow (like in the photo in this post).
Panasonic has created the video below to showcase how well their new camera shoot in low light situations, and it’s honestly really cool! Now, all I’m wondering is, how could I try something similar without hurting myself very, very badly..?
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