On the 27th January I went out during the evening to capture images in the dark. This was the second test shoot I did to prepare for shooting in the night/low lighting ahead of going out with the Guardians. This time, I took a speed lite with me to try using flash to improve my lighting. I found that this worked well, especially when shooting with tungsten lighting in the background.
I shot all of the images with a Canon 70D as this is what I intend on using for my shoots with the Guardians because it works well in low lighting and can provide a high ISO. I took a 24-105mm lens with me, again because this is what I plan on using. This allows a good zoom, meaning that I don’t have to be in the subjects’ face to take their picture. When out with the Guardians, this is likely to reduce confrontation with drunk people.
I didn’t use flash for this image as I thought that the lighting from the petrol station lit the frame efficiently. The original image had a lot of water marks on it as there was rain on the lens. This is a factor that I had not considered before, and I will have to be aware of this when going out on shoot with the Guardians. I could combat this by covering the majority of the camera with a plastic cover to prevent any damage. I will try to keep the lens covered while it isn’t being used to prevent images being ruined with water marks. I think the tungsten lighting works well in this image, especially as it’s illuminating the road. However, when it is blown up or zoomed in, it is a bit noisy. This is another factor that I will need to consider when printing the images for my final piece for the Photo Story project.
I shot this image primarily to experiment with settings on my camera when there are ore light sources than just tungsten street lights. This was shot with a slightly lower ISO than the others as the headlights made the image overexposed otherwise. I think this would’ve been more effective if I used a longer shutter speed as I could potentially create light trails. However, for this I would likely need a tripod which I did not take out with me. Using a longer shutter speed would also enable me to use a lower ISO which would reduce noise in the image which is more obvious around the brighter colours such as the yellow reflections of the street lights.
These two images were shot seconds apart, but clearly show the benefits of flash when shooting at night. The first image is almost fully silhouetted by the bright tungsten lighting in the background. While this has a nice effect, if this was a person/portrait, it wouldn’t work as their face would be too dark. Therefore, if I am able to take portraits of the Guardians/other members of the public, I think a flash would be a good idea. In contrast, the subject (the tyre) in the second image is brightly lit and sharp. This may allow me to freeze movement if the subject is active, but most importantly, the flash should enable me to show facial expressions. The tungsten lighting in the background also appears more saturated in the second image. If I find that images are too yellow because of this lighting when I shoot with the Guardians, I could use Lightroom in post production to correct the white balance.
Similarly to the second image of the tyre, this image was shot with use of flash which removes the subject (trolleys) from the dark background. I think the tungsten lighting being behind the subject highlights the already obvious focal point.