Guide to Low Light Photography: Exposure, by John Freeman

Winter’s longer nights provide countless opportunities for colourful and exciting pictures


Above: On reflection
What would have been a fairly drab composition here has been brought to life through the eerie reflection of the lighthouse’s beam.


Above: Shuter speed
With the camera on a tripod, I chose a 2sec shutter speed. As soon as the shutter had been released, I gradually altered the focal length of the zoom as the shutter remained opened. The highlights of the interior lights add to the picture’s abstraction.

Above: Sunset colour
The setting sun provides a perfect backdrop for this shot of a motorway. So as not to lose the detail in the sky, I used a graduated neutral density filter to even up the exposure between sky and foreground.

Above: White Balance
In this shot (above right), the camera’s white balance was set to the daylight setting, which would seem sensible as the picture was taken outdoors. However, the sky looks dull and the building, lit by tungsten light, looks unnaturally orange. With the white balance setting changed to the tungsten setting (above left), the sky becomes far brighter and the lights shining on the building look more realistic.

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