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Coping with low-light #photography

I photographed the St George’s day parade on Sunday and it was low-light when I started so I increased the ISO to 400. I was using a 28 – 300 lens on my Nikon D750 and would be zooming in quite a lot so I needed quite fast shutter speeds for some shots. My subjects were also moving! One of my first shots was of the crowd some distance away which I shot at f/16 and that gave me 1/100 of a second. So I had the ISO about right.

low-light

Wider apertures

As the crowd came closer I adjusted the aperture to go wider and this was shot at f/9. The light was changing and I wanted great shots of some of the people with a shallow depth of field.

low-light

More light

I was still at f/9 for this shot and I was getting more light as the sun broke through the clouds. I don’t get noise at ISO 400 so I was quite happy to be getting shutter speeds of over 1/500 of a second as I started to zoom in on my subjects. I was trying to capture the light reflected from my subjects but the light was constantly changing.

Low-light

low-light

I got some good shots shooting with a wide aperture and zooming in. I shot this wide open with f/5.6 at 250mm and as the sun came out I managed over 1/1000 of a second giving me a sharp picture.

Narrower aperture?

low-light

This shot is OK but the light changed suddenly and my shutter speed (on aperture priority) dropped dramatically from well over 1/1000 of a second to 1/400 of a second which was still fast enough to freeze the action. I think for this shot (at 92mm) I could have changed my aperture and gone narrower to get all the faces in focus. However, with the ISO at 400 and mostly shooting wide open, I was going to get shutter speeds that were fast enough whatever the light did. Notice that the people who were closer to the camera or further away from the camera than my subject are slightly out of focus. My focus point was on the piper in the centre of the frame.

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