Simple Tips For Lowlight Photography Using Your Mobile

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shooting in low light

Smartphone manufacturers have upped their lowlight game. So it’s time you upped yours too. Most premium smartphone cameras offer a night mode, with some devices automatically switching to the mode without you needing to toggle it on your menu. But there’s more to lowlight photography than just hitting the night mode option. Make the most of your mobile shooter with these simple tips:

A clean lens: It may sound like a no-brainer but it’s something most of us forget to do. A quick wipe with a micro-fibre cloth or even against a cotton garment should do the trick. It’s a sure way to remove the dust particles settled on the edge of the lens that could blur your images.

nature night photography

The rule of thirds: Apply the same basics you would while composing images in the daylight. This allows you to apply one of the golden rules of photography—the rule of thirds, where the most important subjects of the picture need to be placed along the gridlines and the intersections. Use the grid option on your cam—the horizontal and vertical lines that divide your phone into nine squares—or just use your judgement.

Don’t be a mover and shaker: If there’s one thing that can adversely affect your images, it’s those tilts and shakes. In low light situations, even the slightest shake can make your images blurry. Pro photographers might recommend a tripod but it’s not always a practical option.

Make the best use of available light: Lowlight photography doesn’t mean shooting images in pitch darkness. Sometimes you can shoot more dramatic images of people in the dark than in broad daylight. Play around with streetlights or any other available source of light to create dramatic silhouettes and shadows.

low light apple 13

Use light as your ally: Using a mix of brightly lit and darkly lit spaces can result in some cool images, especially when the dimly lit space works as a border around your brightly lit subject. This works particularly well for urban skylines and even when you want to put an individual in focus. An error many of us commit is to immediately switch the flash on. If the flash is too far from your subject, this doesn’t help, and if it’s too close, it ends up washing out the subject.

night photography

HDR mode: HDR adds more dynamic range to your images. It is designed to capture what your eyes see and not what the camera lens sees. HDR is particularly handy when you are shooting landscapes and lowlight images. It, however, isn’t the best option for action images or images where there is a vibrant mix of colours.

Explore Pro mode: Go beyond standard mode or the night mode option on your smartphone, especially if you trust your skills. For instance, tweaking the AWB (White Balance settings) can help you alter the mood of the photo.

low light photography iphone

Get ‘RAW’: Shoot images in RAW mode, if your smartphone supports it. It’s available on flagship cams like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and the iPhone 12 Pro and 13 Pro twins. You can look for this option in your camera settings. In simple terms, a RAW image is an unfinished and unedited image that gives you more control over how the final result will look.


Image credits: Apple iPhone 13 Pro, Google Pixel 6 Pro

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