Shooting in the Dark

      2 min read          

Lately we have been shooting a lot of dark images on the blog. By dark I mean the overall look is moody and shadowy. This is an important distinction to make. Where as the aesthetic is dark, the image itself shouldn’t be muddy or noisy. Take the next image for an example

Poorly lit subjects Here we have an example of a moody scene. However, if you look closely you will notice that there is a lot of grain or noise in the shadow of the cups. Post processing edits had to be kept to a minimum since the image was deteriorating noticably. The result is that the main focus of the photo cannot ‘pop’ and stand out as well. This minimises the visual impact that can be achieved.

Now let’s contrast with a similar type of picture but one that has ample lighting.

Properly lit subjects

Same mood, but the clarity and contrast are much better here. This was actually shot in conditions that were quite bright. Instead of allowing the lack of light to dictate the mood, we instead used the props and background to do that. This way I could use Lightroom in reverse from the the previous image – to darken rather than lighten.

Because there is more light I can shoot at a lower ISO and faster shutter speed. This of course makes the image cleaner. Then by decreasing exposure in the editing process we can achieve the look we want but with better results.

So lesson learned – light is always key. Usually you want as much as can get and use your technique and skill to manage the amount you allow into the frame.

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