I'd like to share some of my personal tricks on what I do to get well exposed pictures with low light. See my tips and trick after the jump.
Now that the leaves are falling, nights become longer and candles are lit again. It becomes harder to get well exposed pictures. Of course, you can use a flash but that can totally destroy the warm atmosphere. You will need some tools and techniques for your photographic adventures. Here are some of my personal tips.
1. Use a camera with automatic exposure.
I find it very helpful to know that my camera will take care of the exposure time or aperture or even both. The only thing I need to do is to keep the camera real still. My LC-A camera takes care of the amount of light getting into the film. Using the La Sardina with the B setting works, too. However, it can lead to tears witht the developed pictures.
2. Use a light sensitive lens with an aperture below 2.0.
When using my SLR, I attach my most light sensitive lenses on. That will help to keep exposure time low and reduce risk of less sharp pictures. However, for compact cameras, this is hard to accomplish. There, I take my LC-A or my Minox 35 GT since they have an aperture of about 2 something. Other choices would be Minolta CLE or Leica M with an appropriate lens.
3. Get a small tripod, which can be placed on the table.
There are small tripods on the market that are compact enough to be placed on a table. They will keep your camera still.
4. No tripod at hand? Place the camera on top of a bottle or something else
Most of the time, I don’t have a tripod on me so I look for something else. I can place my camera on the table to minimize shaking. Or maybe on the back of a chair, leaning on an empty bottle or anything that’s available and make a good substitute for a tripod. Or just keep your camera as still as possible.
5. Use high ISO film 400 and above.
Well, this is somewhat self-explanatory. The higher your ISO value is, the more light sensitive your film will be. Again, this results in smaller exposure time.
6. Go for silhouettes.
If there is less light, put your object in front of the light and just take a picture that will show the silhouette of the object you wanted to document.
7. Don’t be frustrated.
This one’s very hard! Even if you did your best, sometimes, the result won’t be like what you wanted it to be. Don’t be frustrated. Look at your print and figure it out, see what went wrong and why. Look for a second chance to make it better.
8. Have courage and use your camera.
I feel that this is the most important tip. Personally, I believe that the nicer part of life takes place at dusk or during night time. It takes courage to continue taking pictures with longer exposure times. Just take the courage and hit the shutter. If you don’t do it, you will lose the chance to capture this precious moment. Most of the times, there is more light than you expected.