11 Sep 2006 • 1,168 views
In the Land of Low Light
You know you are seeing such a photograph if you say to yourself, "I could have taken that picture. I've seen such a scene before, but never like that." It is the kind of photography that relies for its strengths not on special equipment or effects but on the intensity of the photographer's seeing. It is the kind of photography in which the raw materials:- light, space, and shape, are arranged in a meaningful and even universal way that gives grace to ordinary objects. -Sam Abell, "Seeing and Shooting Straight" by Sam Abell
IN THE LAND OF LOW LIGHT
Something that I've always found interesting since beginning my photographic journey is taking pics in low light situations (Concerts, theatre productions etc) where no flash is allowed.
I always used to find it funny, back in the day, when, in a large hall or auditoria, the person next to me would whip out a camera and try to take a picture of the performer on stage and trigger off the camera's puny built in flash. Come to think about it, I also did this a couple of times too. The results were always the same, a dark stage and a bleached out portrait of the back of the head of the person standing in front of me. Ever seen a bleached out bald headed man
not the prettiest of sights. I used to think, if only I had a stronger flash, good job I didn't as I most probably would have blinded everyone on the stage and be serving time for manslaughter.
Now I know better, or I like to think I do, after all 'perfect practise' makes 'perfect'. But in the land of fast lenses, high ISO's, Image Stabilization, and sensitive digital camera bodies, it is now possible for almost anybody to take a decent low-lighted photograph, well almost.
I personally, love the challenges "The dark side" brings, of course, there are still days when things go totally wrong, but every outing is a step up the ladder in terms of learning and there is definitely things to learn from ones mistakes or as I like to call them, " experiments" lol.
I love strong contrasting images, as they make excellent monotones. I decided on doing a study of shooting through crowds at a concert to see what interesting shapes I could come up with. I like to call this the "Keyhole effect", it's something I strongly recommend you all have a go at.
I shoot, for those of you wondering, most of my lowlight shots, with any lens that can stop down to f2.8 and I'm lucky enough to have now a camera that has no restrictions with shooting at ISO 1600 and possibly 3200 (acceptable noise here)
So what are you waiting for, get cracking, hopefully this will inspire someone somewhere to "Take a walk on the dark side" with little ol' Skee.
More low light concert work can be found in my archives, any questions email me or simply leave a comment.
It's another week, welcome to Skeetown everybody.