Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
702.274.4447

What do “available light” photographers do when the lights go out?

May 14, 2012 | By | No Comments

What do "available light" photographers do when the lights go out?

The above photos are out-takes from an intimate dinner I shot at Canaletto’s fine Italian restaurant in The Venetian this past weekend. In one shot my lights fired. In the other my lights did not.

What’s interesting is that my camera settings are otherwise identical – aperture f/2.8, shutter 1/60, ISO 3200. For the non-photographers that means WIDE OPEN. My high-end professional camera is at the outer reaches of its ability to take in light, and yet the unlit shot is really dark.

Wedding photographers work in places this DARK all the time.

I love working with “available light” when the available light is great. And then I also love reaching into my tool bag of different lights to create my own better light. Sometimes I make my own lighting conditions for artistic or dramatic purposes, but usually just to give your photos a little extra pop. Sometimes, like in the photo above, I’ve got to create my own light because there just isn’t any available light available.  🙂

As a wedding photographer, I have to solve this problem all the time – during receptions in low-lit banquet rooms; during intimate dinners in low-lit restaurants. Or outdoors after the sun has gone down.

I often wonder, what do “Available Light” photographers do when the lights go out?

I dunno. But it’s a question you should probably ask when you’re interviewing photographers for your wedding or event.

You should probably also ask to see examples of their work in dark conditions. On many photographers’ websites I don’t see any photos after the sun has gone down.

You’ll notice on my wedding portfolio and throughout my blog that I regularly post after-dark photos where I have created the light.

Low light conditions? Challenge Accepted.  🙂

I guess the lesson learned is, if you hire an “available light only” photographer, make sure your wedding is over before the lights go out! 🙂

Submit a Comment