Low Light Portrait Demonstration

Uploaded 19 Sep 2010 — 16 favorites
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© Charles Rushton
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Likes 1
Favorites 16
Comments 13
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Photo Info
UploadedSeptember 19, 2010
TakenSeptember 18, 2010
MakeNikon Corporation
ModelNIKON D90
Exposure1/100 sec at f/5.3
FlashNo Flash
Focal Length70 mm
ISO1600
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Enter "Hair November"!

Q: How do I buy more Spotlights? I'm new to the site, and I've actually already bought some, but I've forgotten how to do it!

A: Do you know?

Photo license: © All rights reserved

I was talking to Maura about how to get enough light into the camera to get a proper exposure under low light conditions. I set my camera to shutter priority (S on most cameras, Tv on a Canon), because I want to be sure to use a shutter speed fast enough that I won’t move the camera during the exposure and get a blurry picture. To avoid camera motion blur, I try not to shoot below 1/100th or 1/80th of a second. When I take photographs indoors at these speed, the first thing my camera does is to open the aperture as large as it will open. There is still not enough light, so I start turning up my ISO. I took this photo at 1/100th sec., f 5.4, ISO 1600. The higher you turn up your ISO, the more grain you get. See how grainy this image looks? I don’t usually like grainy photos, but I would rather have a grainy photo like this than a blurry one.

13 responses

  • Maura Wolfson-Foster

    Maura Wolfson-Foster   gave props (19 Sep 2010):

    what a perfect example, Charles.....am on the way to my destination, armed with renewed confidence, thanks to your guidance. Eternally grateful ~ !!! xo

  • Kathleen Mercado

    Kathleen Mercado (Deleted) said (19 Sep 2010):

    It's a great photo, Charles, and I appreciate the lesson very much. Thanks:)

  • Debrah Leonard

    Debrah Leonard (Deleted) gave props (19 Sep 2010):

    Charles, THANK you for the lessons!!!!! So much appreciated.

  • Regenia Brabham

    Regenia Brabham gave props (19 Sep 2010):

    A fast lens would really help too. I love this portrait. Grain and all. It sets a great mood.

  • Mark Nelson

    Mark Nelson (Deleted) gave props (19 Sep 2010):

    Excellent!!! What would a B&W photo be without grain?

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (19 Sep 2010):

    I love the grain in this.

  • marilu

    marilu (Deleted) gave props (21 Sep 2010):

    Great lighting & fantastic composition! I think the noise works to your advantage here!

  • D. Smetana

    D. Smetana gave props (9 Oct 2012):

    Great portrait, and I also like the grain.

  • Michele Wambaugh

    Michele Wambaugh (Deleted) gave props (24 Feb 2014):

    Glorious entry, Charles!

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (25 Feb 2014):

    Rockin' JPG's Color Scheme!

  • Leslie Hunziker

    Leslie Hunziker   gave props (25 Feb 2014):

    love the grain.

  • Jason Platt

    Jason Platt gave props (27 Feb 2014):

    TY for sharing and teaching!

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (2 Mar 2014):

    I like the shadowed lighting on one side of his face as the other side opens to the light..It is fun to work with lighting but if I do a manual focus using a slow shutter speed without flash in low lighting on a self portrait using a 10 sec. self-timer, the tripod helps to prevent camera shake.

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