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TOPIC: Low Light Shooting

Low Light Shooting 3 years 6 months ago #4318

  • Paul Sykes
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Hi guys , Gals and others LOL ,

My question is this what is the best way to capture moving objects small and large in low light and to still achieve top quality photos. I have tried some night time shots but seem to get lots of noise and grain .

What i tried was to bump up the ISO to combat the higher shutter speed but he higher i go the more grain which is expected and the use of a tripod didn't make much difference .

Not too sure if ive said in previous posts that i shoot with a Nikon D5000 and used a 35mm f1.8 prime ( fixed lens ) please forgive me if this topic has been covered already but i could not find it . So feel free to point me in the right direction . Any advice or tutorials is greatly appreciated .
Many thanks for looking
Paul
Im not saying im the best but im in the top 1
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Low Light Shooting 3 years 6 months ago #4319

  • Conor Casey
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What are you trying to do Paul? Do you want the object to be sharp or are you looking to convey motion, like with light trails for example?

If you want to get the object sharp, you will need a fast shutter speed; it depends largely on the object but anything above 1/250 could freeze action. With such a fast shutter speed, you are losing light. In order to combat this, there are two things you can do. You can either ramp up the ISO or open up the aperture. Fortunately, you are using a very fast lens with an aperture of F/1.8. Using shutter priority, shoot at at least F/2.8 and increase the ISO until you get the desired shutter speed.

If you have no depth of field concerns, opening up the aperture all the way is best because you won't add grain.

Your other option is to use a flash to freeze the action.
Conor Casey
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Low Light Shooting 3 years 5 months ago #4321

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Im looking to capture trams that are lit up at night and also some illuminations in Blackpool the UKs version of Las Vegas .

SO plenty of lights in the dark but such moving trams always appear to be either too dark or too blurred and not sharp .
Using the flash is not an option really as i dont want to blind the tram drivers .
Thank you for taking the time to read and reply to my post Conor very much appreciated some good advice to take on board their .
All the best ..
Paul
P.S
you have some very nice images on Flicker very well done chap .
Im not saying im the best but im in the top 1
Last Edit: 3 years 5 months ago by Paul Sykes. Reason: to add a P.S
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Low Light Shooting 3 years 5 months ago #4326

  • Erik Ballew
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This is the trade off. You need to hit up your ISO in order to keep the shutter speed high enough to freeze the action. And, you are using a camera that isn't known for good ISO performance.

Noise is just something you'll have to live with. In the past when I was having these issues, and I still kinda do. But if you convert the image to black and white, the noise looked more like old school film grain. And and I didn't mind that too much. In fact some of the best low light photos I can remember do have high amounts of grain in them.

You can also use noise reduction settings in some software like Photoshop and Lightroom. But, you'll sacrifice sharpness to get the noise down.


As long as you capture the moment and it has good focus, people will forgive the grain/noise

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Low Light Shooting 3 years 5 months ago #4328

  • Conor Casey
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Okay Paul, understood, we're not in the habit of blinding tram drivers. Flash is a great tool for freezing motion because it can fire at 1/10,000 of a second but sadly it's not always a viable option.

My advice to you for your Las Vegas image of Blackpool is to embrace the motion by using a longer shutter speed and a tripod. In my experience, night shots work well if you use a longer shutter speed because cars are rendered in nice blurred trails. My final bit of advice is to shoot during the blue hour instead of in the dead of night as the sky is rendered a pleasing dusky blue as opposed to what I often find is flat and uncontrasty black. I think a good example could be this shot, taken by me:


Urban Blue Hour by Conor Casey Photos, on Flickr

Other than that, you are limited to increasing your ISO and opening up the aperture. Open the aperture up first and then compensate if needed with the ISO. Erik did say that the D5000's noise performance isn't the best but my advice is not to worry too much about it. PS and LR are very good at reducing noise from my experience so long as you are not using the Hi2 setting for your masterpiece. :P

Good luck and thanks for taking the time to look at my Flickr. :)
Conor Casey
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Low Light Shooting 3 years 5 months ago #4330

  • Bill
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ditto what Conor said!
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Low Light Shooting 3 years 5 months ago #4333

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thanks for the info guys , very much grateful for all the advice and for showing your images great examples , the light trails look stunning Conor thank you very much ....
Im not saying im the best but im in the top 1
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Low Light Shooting 3 years 5 months ago #4343

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we wana see some of the pics! :D
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Low Light Shooting 3 years 5 months ago #4346

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Give you an idea of what i mean , i can use the info to improve for next time ... Thanks















Im not saying im the best but im in the top 1
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