If you’re like me you do most of your practicing inside of your own home. When you’re inside the lighting is not as good for your exposure as it would be outside. When you look around your house, it seems like there is plenty of light but to the camera, it’s pretty dim. So, I’m going to run you through the steps to properly exposing for low light situations.
#1. Window light
The first thing you want to do is get as close to your light source as you can. If you are using window light only get your subject as close to the window as you can. Window light can be a gorgeous light source. I love using the window on my couch to take moody and dramatic shots. Here is one I did of my daughter looking out the window.
#2. Daylight Bulbs
Buy daylight light bulbs for your home. One of the smartest things I ever did was change all of my light bulbs in my house to daylight bulbs. It was AMAZING the difference I saw in taking photos in my house. The light was so bright and clean. No more orange tones in my photos. You can combine these lights with your window light to let more light into your home. The daylight bulbs are the same color as your window light. It’s PERFECT. This photo was taken with just the lights in my ceiling fan and the window lights. I used the white side of the reflector as the backdrop.
#3. Crank up your ISO.
Once you have determined what aperture and shutter speed you need, boost up your ISO until you’re properly exposed. Remember, though, if you go too high you will start introducing a lot of noise. I like to keep my ISO at about 800 or lower. Sometimes I may have to go up higher. (If you are not sure about aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, check out our Beginner’s course.
#4. Use Flash.
If you have flash available use it. I wouldn’t recommend using your pop-up flash on your camera, though. It causes this ugly washed out look that is not very flattering. Here is an example I did for you using my pop up flash.
5. Use a Reflector
If you don’t have flash, try a reflector. Aim the reflector so that the window light bounces off of it and back onto your subject. This photo was taken with the window light coming from camera right and a reflector on camera left. I wanted there to be some shadows but without the reflector, his whole camera left side of his face was in shadow.
#6 get creative.
Having to shoot in low light situations is the perfect time to get creative. Play around with shadows and highlights and create dramatic looks in your photos. Here is a couple I did with window light, a lamp, and a reflector. I added a little more effect in lightroom.
I hope these tips help you the next time you want to practice inside using just window light or the lamps in your home. If you don’t want to miss any tips from The Creative Photo make sure you subscribe to the blog. Also if you have any questions or ideas that you’d like me to write about, email them to Questions@thecreativephoto.com
Until next time!