No Light Photography

No light photography... You must be wondering what mind altering parasite has found its way into my brain. I'm pleased to say that my brain is still in good health and that no light photography is a possibility.

Wait, let me rephrase; almost no light photography is a possibility.

When it comes to photography, light is a crucial aspect and without it, not even the best camera in the world can take a photograph. I believe that great light, whether natural or artificial, is always available. Knowing how to work with that light and to use it to your advantage is key.

Have a quick look at the image below;

No Light Photography -Wild Eye - Michael Laubscher

This is a RAW image that I captured in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy on my recent safari through Kenya well after the sun had set. Five minutes after capturing this the cover of darkness was set in full swing.

Now you might be thinking man, this is horrible. It's so dark with no detail. What's the use?

Well... Look again.

Notice how my histogram is peaking on the far left (pure black range) but is not touching the top of the graph. This means that even though the image may seem dark, I can still pull back and recover most of, if not all the detail in the darker areas of the photograph in Lightroom.






Now take a look at the image to the right.

Would you say taking the risk of photographing in almost no light was worth it?

I definitely think so!




Mode -        Av

ISO -    3200   

Aperture -    f/2.8   

 Shutter Speed -    1/50   

Exposure Compensation  - -2 1/3   

No Light Photography -Wild Eye - Michael Laubscher

Next time you find yourself in a similar situation, instead of putting down your camera and opt to bumble back to camp; rather keep your camera in hand and push the limits!

Let us define the term 'Experiential learning'.

This is the process of learning through experience, and is more specifically defined as "learning through reflection on doing".

Personal Growth - Step One

If you wish to grow as a photographer and/or in anything else in life, pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is one of the first steps to take. There are no excuses. One beautiful thing about life is that it never stops teaching and therefore you are never offered the opportunity to stop learning.

Speaking of  learning, let me give you a few tips on how to take full advantage of very low light situations in order convert an image from pretty much black to bordering on white.

No Light Photography -Wild Eye - Michael Laubscher

The following is very important to keep in mind when trying to master the almost no light photography technique;

  • Use the widest aperture available.
  • Keep your ISO has high as necessary but as low as possible.
  • Shooting in aperture mode, your camera will provide a very slow shutter speed. Things to keep in mind;
    • You must keep your camera dead still. Resting it on a bean bag helps.
    • Your subject must be standing dead still.
    • Failure to achieve this will result in a blurred image.
  • Even though it's dark, I'll suggest under exposing as this will help speed up your shutter speed slightly.
  • After you have taken the image, just be sure to check your histogram to ensure that you are not burning out your blacks and/or shadows.

Thats about it for my almost no light photography advise.

I hope this blog will help you develop new skills. What you waiting for? Go give it a shot.

Until next time;

Happy snapping.


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