Photo Tip Friday - Shooting in Low Light Pt. 2

Today's tip is about taking shots in dim lighting.

This week is PART 2 and we're going to cover photography in an indoor setting.
You can read PART 1 on outdoor photography in low lighting here

Taking photographs in low light can be challenging. 
So, here's a quick reminder.

Time Value        = how long the shutter is open to let light in
Aperture Value = what size the aperture (shutter) is: 
                                f/5.6 lets in more light
                                f/22 lets in less
ISO                     = "speed" or "sensitivity" of the film: 
                                100 ISO needs bright light - think SUN
                                1600 ISO needs less light - CANDLELIGHT 

Let's go over some photos. You'll notice I put the Time, Aperture Value (Av) and ISO on each photograph. This is to help you learn these terms so you can start to experiment on your own!

These first two shots were shot at 800 ISO which is a more "sensitive" speed of film. It doesn't need as much light. But because the stage lighting was so bright, ISO 800 allowed the picture to not be washed out. You can see the snowflakes on the wall. 

And this shot also employs the silhouette technique. I wanted to create the feeling of being there, right in the middle of the stage setup.

Notice that this shot has the same Tv, Av, and ISO. But it has a different feel to it. I angled the shot to make it more interesting. 

And notice that it's a little fuzzy. I was hand holding at 1/15 of a second. Remember that most people can hand hold a steady shot at only to 1/30th or 1/25th of a second. I wanted to show you that every shot I take is not crystal clear. But I like the feel of the photo. 

And, if I had checked the picture a bit closer on the camera, I probably would have moved up to 1600 and retaken the shot. But photography is dynamic and every learns as they go!

Now we get to shots taken during the performance of a Christmas show. Notice the ISO is 3200. I needed the "speed" or higher "sensitive" nature of a higher ISO. 

Why? Because I was sitting in a dark auditorium and wanted to make sure I stopped any motion from the people onstage. Especially of the soloist.

I zoomed in on the soloist and made sure I had the Christmas tree fully framed in the shot as well.

But in this photo, I used a wider angle on my lens to make you feel like you're sitting in the audience. You can see the silhouettes of the people in the next row. I also got the entire choir in the shot. Then, I framed it on the left side with the Christmas tree and above with the spot lights. 

It was a wonderful show. 

And here is one of my favorites. Flames are never the same twice. I used an ISO of 1600 and focused in closely on the flame. That resulted in everything else being black. 

So, I want you to play with your camera. 

Look and see if you have setting that says Av which is Aperture Value. Start at the lowest setting of 100 ISO and take a shot. Then, move on up....200, 400, 800, 1600 and maybe 3200. Just sit right where you are and see how it affects the pictures. 

Then, go somewhere dark and try the same thing. Adjust the Aperture Value and see what happens. 

As always, if you have a shot you're proud of, leave me a link and I'll be happy to drop by! Or, if you want me to discuss something in particular, leave me a comment. 

Hope this tip helps! 

Keep on clicking! 



  1. Nice shots.

  2. Thanks for dropping by Joyce! I'm going to have some tips for taking pictures with cell phone cameras soon!