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Shooting in low light- what to adjust?

  
 
DGNikon
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Shooting in low light- what to adjust?


I'm pretty new to all of this so any tips would be appreciated. I shoot with a crop sensor camera if that makes a difference- Nikon D5500. With good light I can take a great pic, no so much when there isn't good light.

For example, I was shooting tonight around the golden hour before sunset. The sun was setting and it was hard to find light. I probably should have gotten out sooner. My question is which do you pro's typically sacrifice first ISO, Shutter Speed or Aperture in order to achieve a ---0--- meter reading? I know it can depend on various factors, but in general, say shooting non-moving things like trees, mountains, landscapes. Is there a generally thought of way to do it?

I'm currently reading a book that was recommended to me in here. It is called Understanding Exposure. It's great, but he gives countless examples of shooting at tiny apertures like f/22. He is not a big fan of what I thought was the most popular- F8. I tried smaller shutter settings like he recommends but then my meter was really shooting under exposure. I had to either bump my ISO way up like 20000 (noisy) or slow my shutter way down (shaky.) Even when I tried to find a happy medium between the three, my meter was shooting under exposed which was a little frustrating. I've heard it is better to be slightly over exposed so there is less noise in the final edited image.

Thanks.



Feb 21, 2022 at 08:04 PM
LeeRatters
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Shooting in low light- what to adjust?


Neither. Use a tripod.

Otherwise.... As slow a shutter speed as possible for no shake. Then a mixture of bumping ISO & opening the aperture for enough light. I don't think I've ever shot at f/22 - an aperture like that will hold back a lot of light! To me, f/5.6 is stopped down! I usually shoot with a wider aperture than that.



Feb 22, 2022 at 05:40 AM
story_teller
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Shooting in low light- what to adjust?


Pro's will first look at what they want to accomplish with the shot. Is it to control motion, as an example? If I want a longer shutter speed to blur the waves (in low light), that's my first priority. I set the shutter speed to get the blur I want and then adjust aperture to get the depth of field I desire and finally raise ISO for proper exposure. In this case, a tripod would usually be required. If I'm concerned about depth of field, I first set my aperture to what I need and adjust the other two. There is no set rule. You have to think about what you want the photo to look like. That will help you determine what is the most important setting.


Feb 22, 2022 at 06:45 AM
DGNikon
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Shooting in low light- what to adjust?


Thanks for the replies. I do use a tripod. I don't need background blur is it background so I would like F22 but again I run out of light. I end up sacrificing iso aperture and shutter way too much and it still isn't light enough. I'm not actually able to take the picture I want. I also heard I'm supposed to be double my is the double my lens length for the shutter speed Is to avoid camera shake and I'm nowhere near that. I guess I just have to shoot on sunny days. I wonder if a full size sensor would handle low light better.


Feb 22, 2022 at 08:17 AM
LeeRatters
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Shooting in low light- what to adjust?


Stop shooting at f/22!!


Feb 22, 2022 at 08:54 AM
DGNikon
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Shooting in low light- what to adjust?


Right but that is what the renowned photographer Bryan Peterson does all the time and recommends, so it can be done. He also does plenty of lower light photography. I am just trying to learn which sacrifices will impact my final image the least. ISO, Aperture or Shutter Speed. I suppose having a better FF camera and faster glass are parts of the equation as well.

I would welcome to hear everyone's thoughts on what generally works best for you. Again, I know all situations are different. I am most focused on general outdoor landscapes.



Feb 22, 2022 at 09:33 AM
LeeRatters
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Shooting in low light- what to adjust?


Doesn't matter what Bryan Peterson does. If you want better quality, less noise, no camera shake 'low light' shots then you need to stop shooting at f/22 when there is no need to..... By using a bigger aperture you can drop your ISO by several stops which is going to make a big difference to your IQ.

And there's not much point in you purchasing faster glass is there? lol

At night, I'm normally shooting between f/1.4 & f/2.5
Between 13-90 seconds
Between 200-800ISO



Feb 22, 2022 at 10:10 AM
 


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DGNikon
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Shooting in low light- what to adjust?


I only referenced because I am trying to learn and derive knowledge. I assumed what he says in his book was good info.

I think you are joking- that fast glass is good right? I know it costs a lot more! I really am new so forgive me if I don't follow your humor completely.

Do you have any thoughts on the Tamron 100mm-400m lens? I am looking at it. It's on 4.5 so not fast.

It costs less then the superior Nikon 200m-500mm but more than that, it has a much better warranty which does matter to me. I already have a 50mm and I could then sell my 18-140 Nikkor. Small gap between 50-100 should be ok I think.



Feb 22, 2022 at 10:29 AM
LeeRatters
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Shooting in low light- what to adjust?


The fast lens comment was a little tongue in cheek, Yes.

You buy fast glass to shoot at fast apertures for either shallow DOF or light gathering in low light. I shoot mainly sunrise/sets, dark landscapes & night skies hence most of my lenses are f/1.2, f/1.4 & f/1.8 - You don't buy lenses like that if you want to shoot at f/22 & other smaller apertures.

I've never used a 100-400mm lens, not my type of shooting.



Feb 22, 2022 at 10:46 AM
DGNikon
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Shooting in low light- what to adjust?


Thanks. I like shooting F8 and some wide open as well. It's mostly what I have done but wanted to try what he is talking about in his famous book. Some of his stepped down shots look great. f//1.2, 1.4, 1.8- you have some nice (I bet expensive) glass!

Your gallery is impressive- nice dog! I also saw some star trails. Looks like you use some slow shutters.
I liked the ocean pic too- I will be in Zion NP soon and want to shoot the river, likely in bright light. Is there a specific type of ND filter you recommend?

Thanks again for sharing your tips!



Feb 22, 2022 at 10:58 AM
LeeRatters
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Shooting in low light- what to adjust?


If you are shooting fairly wide & don't have immediate foreground at your feet bigger apertures are fine for nice images.

I use Haida ND filters on the odd occasion I use them but my star trail photos are all shot on film not digital.



Feb 22, 2022 at 11:31 AM
DGNikon
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Shooting in low light- what to adjust?


Nice. I took some nice shots fairly wide open and focused on the foreground. I think they say about 1/3 into the frame can make a nice composition- but then again, I suppose there are not hard, fast rules...just general guidelines. To this point, one thing Tony Northrup says in his book is to make things seem intentional- even if you don't line things up perfectly, be off by 15% of more so it looks like you meant to do it. I play music and the same concept applies. I can occasionally mess up pretty bad and spin my mistake to make it sound unique and interesting- even repeating the bad note(s.) Most of the time it works- other times I just sound bad! By giving it a fancy name "improvisation" it seems most sins are forgiven!


Feb 22, 2022 at 11:50 AM
LeeRatters
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Shooting in low light- what to adjust?


I don't focus like that either

I pick my subject & focus on that with an aperture to suit.



Feb 22, 2022 at 12:24 PM
DGNikon
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Shooting in low light- what to adjust?


Whatever you are doing it works- pics look great! I'll get there some day.

Thanks~!



Feb 22, 2022 at 01:21 PM







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