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Dark Night Bright Lights : Shooting in the Night

Most people don't have access to very high ISO films. So what do you do when you're out in the night with only 400 ISO film with your friends and want to take pictures?

I hate using the flash. On camera flash kills the pictures, kills the mood. And carrying around an off camera flash with a diffusion umbrella or a softbox, flash tripod, radio triggers is not the best of the idea (unless you own a mule which can carry your stuff outside).

So what do you do? Well here are some tips!

  • Underexpose by -1 stop : Film has great latitude, so one stop underexposure will not really have any major issues. Use a good scanner and you can take out great details from the negative.
  • Use More Black and White Films : The latitude of BW films is more than color films. So in case you got less light, you’ll be able to recover details from the negative.
  • Fast Lenses : The best thing about film cameras is that you can get your hands on a really fast lens for a really cheap cost. So get a fast prime lens, open it up and shoot!
  • Learn to Push Films : If your lab can handle it, then you can always push films. A pro grade film like Kodak Trix can be pushed by one stop or even two stops. For example, shooting 400 ISO TriX can be shot as 800 ISO or even as 1600 ISO and then developed at a higher ISO to produce results.
  • Put Emphasis on Highlights When Focusing: focusing in low light can be troublesome. So focus on the skin highlights since this will help you focus easily.

written by abhoan


  1. adam_g2000


    Great article. Very helpful - something I needed last week at the museum I went to.

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. wilfbiffherb


    smashing. third picture down is the wrong way round though!

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  3. neanderthalis


    Good tips, thank you...

    about 3 years ago · report as spam

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