Shooting in low light – Solomon Islands

This photograph (below) marks the end of my use of 35mm film. The decision has been a long time coming but this portrait clearly demonstrated to me the versatility and superiority of a digital camera over film in low light conditions. There is simply no way film could have captured this much detail in the available light or allowed me to experiment with the opportunity, having  exposed and viewed the picture several times before I arrived at what I considered to be an acceptable image. The fleeting laughter just wouldn’t have made it into the picture. Photographer’s Tip: When shooting portaits in low light conditions, override the camera’s automatic functions and switch to manual, ratchet up the iso (in this case, 1250) and play with underexposing your image (I’d still recommend using a tripod for stablity). The actual light that fell on this Solomon Island woman was vastly different to what you see in this picture because I underexposed the subject by several stops…the detail it captured is outstanding, while its overall softness makes it an appealing image.

For your interest, I’ve included a few more images from the assignment on which I used the same technique:

Note: For more tips on photography, visit the Photography Top Tips section of my web site

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A successful promotional photograph starts with knowing what you want it to say and who you want it to appeal to - before you even bring the camera to your eye.




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