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Coping with poor light #photography


Landscape photography in winter is a challenge, it’s either cold or very cloudy. I took this shot on Sunday in very poor light but composed the shot quite well. Notice the diagonal lines and the way the trees in the middle ground contrast with the trees in the background.


Because it was so dark I increased the ISO to 800, I could probably have gone even higher without making the image ‘noisy’. Noise shows up as white dots on an image like this, but this one seems fine. Noise can spoil an image that you want to use enlarged for a poster, for example.

Exposure compensation

I also increased the exposure compensation by 1 for this shot. I find it’s a good idea to take a shot and check it on the live view and if it looks dark then increase the exposure compensation a little. If it’s still a little dark, you can make it lighter when you edit.


I used F 8 for this shot. I could have used a narrower aperture for more depth of field but I’ve got the foreground and middle ground in focus so I wasn’t too worried about the background.  I was using aperture priority and so the camera set the shutter speed.

Shutter speed

The camera sets the shutter speed on aperture priority and it was set on 1/30 of a second, fast enough to freeze the little movement there was in the picture. I did a shot without the people in the picture but I think this one looks better.

Photographing sport


I tried to photograph the rugby on Saturday and besides poor light, it was also freezing. It was actually just above freezing but the wind chill made it feel like sub-zero. I used a 300mm lens so I could zoom in with a wide aperture. This was at F 5.6 with the ISO-1600 and I still had to increase the exposure compensation by 1.  Using aperture priority this gave me a shutter speed of 1/500 of a second to freeze the action. Some of my shots were blurred when I lost the little light from the sun. It was sunny, but with some cloud.

Sometimes the weather is just too much and that was the case on Sunday when it started to rain!

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