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.
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.01Low 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.02Embrace 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.03Options, 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.04An 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.05Creative 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!