General Observations

Low light theory


Expose to the right  

Night shoots are by far my favorite kind, espcially the hours before sunrise when the city is still asleep. 

It took a while for me to feel comfortable enough to approach different street scenes in low light scenarios.  

I probably have at least half a hard drive full of frustrating blurry and underexposed images. After a while shots became sharper and better exposed. I developed an aesthetic that worked with the shadows of low lighting instead of trying to fight them for maximum exposure. 

I read a lot trying to understand dynamic range how the sensors in dslrs pick up light, hoping to understand my own pitfalls in low light. That's when I came across a technique called ETTR or expose to the right. It's a technique where instead of settling for a well exposed shot, try pushing your exposure higher and higher without blowing out any highlights.

The theory is most digital cameras excel more at retaining highlight data vs data in the darker shadowy end.  So by exposing to the right, your image will retain more detail and and then in post it's easier to darken an image than it is to brighten without introducing excessive  noise. 

If your camera has a histogram built in to it, take a look after your shot and see where most of your data lies. When exposing to the right, increase your exposure so that most of the data on your histogram is to the right but, but with out bleeding the edge and clipping your highlights.

Photography is a practice. Light is dynamic and always changing. This theory may not work in all situations. But when it does, it's great


 Emerald & Lehigh Philadelphia, PA

Emerald & Lehigh Philadelphia, PA