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5 Reasons to Embrace Low Light Photography
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5 Reasons to Embrace Low Light Photography

Fall is here which means shorter days and less light. In the past, I would have already begun counting down until spring returned with longer days.

These days however, I love shooting in low light and I actually prefer it. Low light lends itself so well to capturing raw emotion and human connection. Moody images that are full of shadows, beautiful grain and rich tones that I personally adore.

5 Reasons to Embrace Low Light in Photography

This is perfect now that the days are so much shorter. Read -"5 Reasons to Embrace Low Light Photography"

Read more: How Dramatic Natural Light Can Inspire Your Photography

The medium can be daunting at first and there is a learning curve but once trained you’ll be able to work within those small pockets of light to achieve wondrous results. If you’ve been avoiding low light, I urge you to consider giving it a try. I’ve learned to embrace it and I’m often overjoyed with some of the stunning outcomes that have resulted.

Here are my personal top 5 reasons to embrace low light photography:

  • No.
    01
    Low Light Creates Mood

    Low light and mood go together like pancakes and syrup. I like to use side lighting to my advantage and even under expose slightly to push that moodiness even further. Don’t be afraid to up your ISO when shooting indoors.

    Read more: 5 Ways to Enhance Mood and Atmosphere

  • No.
    02
    Embrace The Grain

    Once I started embracing a little grain, the world of low light photography unlocked and enabled so much more creative freedom. Shooting in lower light will naturally add some grain to the final result. I encourage you to welcome it with open arms!

    When I first began in photography, most everything I read suggested keeping your ISO as low as possible to reduce all grain. Fast forward to today and I shoot in the style that speaks to me.

    I absolutely love grain in my black and white images and will sometimes even add a bit more in post processing. There is a rawness to images that contain some grain that I gravitate towards and the end result will often add emphasis to connection between my subjects.

  • No.
    03
    Options, Options, Options

    Learning to work in low light will dramatically open up your shooting availability. This holds especially true if you live in the northern regions where it begins getting dark at 4:30pm this time of year!

    What a boon it is to no longer be at the mercy of perfect lighting conditions. Even when the conditions seems untenable I’ll take a second look to seek out those little pockets of light. One ray breaking in through the curtains can produce the most beautiful and subtle effect.

  • No.
    04
    An Opportunity To Learn

    Learning to see light and then capture it in a beautiful way is a vital skill for a photographer. Pushing myself to “see” light and work within varied light conditions helped develop my proficiency as a photographer quite rapidly.

    If you’re struggling with shooting in lower light conditions, I implore you to try some new techniques and continue practicing. Study the light in a familiar environment like your home and shoot as much as possible while comparing your results. It takes practice, but the juice is worth the squeeze!

  • No.
    05
    Creative Freedom

    Learning to shoot in low light conditions really helped me unlock my creative freedom and ultimately land on the style that I adore the most. Lower light can be used to convey mood and add levels of depth to your work.

    Read more: 9 Ways to Find Your Creative Confidence

Have you tried shooting low light photography yet? If you’re struggling to put your personal creative mark on your images, low light photography may be worth the try!

Discover More Low Light Photography Tips:

How Dramatic Natural Light Can Inspire Your Photography
Low Light Photography Tips
How to Take Amazing Photos in the Winter
Shooting With Available Light

5 Comments
  • Epsita
    December 3, 2018 at 2:39 PM

    This was such a wonderful post, Hollie!
    I’m always afraid of shooting in low light especially indoors but got to learn few tricks and tips from Courtney and today from you through this post. I am super excited to try indoor photography this winter in low lights.

    Thank you for the motivation.
    Hugs,
    Epsita

  • saba
    December 4, 2018 at 12:57 AM

    hi dear
    this photo was fabulous. could you please tell me with what kind of lenz you took (f ) this photo?
    big hug

  • Glen
    December 4, 2018 at 4:03 AM

    This is an excellent post which has come at a great time. Since it’s been getting darker (English guy here) I spend my days looking at the camera on my desk gathering more dust by the day. I feel no inspiration to shoot with the low, miserable light.

    Like you mention, I need to learn to embrace it. I have been collecting a few vintage “knick knacks” and should really try to photograph those in low light and push my boundaries a little.

    On the image of the plant/herb in point 3, there is a lot of what looks like dust in the air. Was this natural or added in post? I really love the effect!

    Thank you

  • Janet Tanner
    December 4, 2018 at 7:41 AM

    Your pictures are amazing. I love the artsy feel of them and the way your subjects are featured. The textures are rich and warm. Thank you for sharing your gift.

  • Florence
    December 5, 2018 at 2:14 AM

    This tip is amazing. Tried it out and was wowed with what i can do with low light.
    Thanks Courtney

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