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I come from an era where, to shoot in low light, you had three options: use a faster lens; a faster film; dose up your chemical brew or stretch the dev time. Times were tough but at least you learnt the hard way.
These days to ‘do it in the dark’ you still have to juggle the lens aperture, burn up the ISO setting — then, if else has failed, resort to post processing with software.
Author Worobiec admits to a fascination when things we’re ‘accustomed to seeing in daylight are transformed … when viewed at night.’ In his opinion, the modern DSLR makes the task of photography in low light much easier and uses the book to explore the techniques you can apply in-camera and post-shoot to help successfully capture low light images.
Opening topics of The Complete Guide to Digital Night and Low Light Photography include the camera’s exposure options of auto, Program AE as well as aperture and shutter priority and manual; then he moves onto the sticky topic of RAW versus JPEG … and comes down heavily on the side of RAW. As he should!
More: the use of filters like graduated NDs, starbursts etc is discussed; understanding and using the histogram display and how it can be used to stretch your camera’s sensor; metering for low light; the use of a separate handheld exposure meter, especially the application of incident light readings to control the contrast range.
One of the greatest challenges of low light shooting is the occurrence of noise in an image and author Worobiec surprises by supporting Photoshop’s Noise Reduction filter, while ignoring other software fixes like Noise Ninja.
I found the book to be one of the most inspiring I’ve ever encountered … it encourages you to dash out, camera in hand, the moment the sun drops low on the horizon. Tons of big, encouraging pictures.
Author: T Worobiec.
Publisher: David & Charles.
Distributor: Capricorn Link.
ISBN 13 978 0 7153 3012 8 (hardback).
Price: $40.90 at Amazon