Class Report

The Details in the Dark - Low-Light Photography

Teacher: Kerrin Nishimura, photographer (far left)
Location: Carpe Librum
Date: Nov. 19, 2014

Take-home message: A big part of low-light photography is knowing the basics of your camera’s settings, finding a steady surface for your camera, and then experimenting with shutter speed and aperture.

Surprise! Even iPhones can capture sharp, well-exposed low-light photos.

Pro tip: Tripods and shutter releases are helpful, but not always necessary, to capture a steady shot. Often, just holding the camera against your body or on top of a bag can provide enough stability. Using the camera’s self-timer can also be helpful.

Learn more: Search Flickr member photos and groups for low-light photography. There are thousands of examples, and many include EXIF data that show what settings the photographers used.

A simple Google search for low-light photography will yield dozens of sites with examples and explanations of how to achieve different results. Try searching with the terms “low light photography,” “long exposure photography,” and “night photography.” Also “light trails,” “lightning photography,” “astrophotography,” “neutral density long exposure,” and “fireworks photography.”

Meet people: If you’re interested in getting together with other photographers in D.C., check out the DC Social group on Flickr and Exposed DC for information on local happy hours and meetups.