It has been just under 3 months since I started shooting my photographs in RAW and signed up for Lightroom. And honestly, I wouldn’t go back. I pay £9.98 a month and I have Lightroom on my iPhone and laptop + online version and 1TB of memory included with it. Personally, I don’t use Photoshop for 2 reasons. Number one? My old laptop would die. It would burn. Hard. Number two? At this stage I am trying to really figure out my own style and photoshoped photos can feel a bit too polished and unrealistic sometimes. Real and candid seems to work for me just fine at the moment.
My first ever photo shoot, which was also in a low light btw, was never published. I have posted few snaps on my Instagram, but it has never seen the light here on my blog. Simple because it is horrid. I had no idea what I am doing, my ISO number has nearly touched the sky. But I am happy it happened as how else would I learn better then from my own mistakes, right? So I returned to Brighton last week to do a shoot in my favourite location, Brighton Pier. We arrived when the sunset was nearly finished. Hello, blue hour!
The thing is, if you are shooting RAW you can nearly always save your photographs. I shoot with Olympus Pen EPL-6 Lite and mostly I am using 45mm portrait lens, which works wonders. There is no way I am using flash for my photographs. We just ain’t friends. So shooting RAW in a low light is kind of essential.
ISO 200 f / 1.8 1/100 sec
First photo – RAW file straight from the camera
Second photo – Lightroom preset and other settings applied
Third photo – after ISO correction
I do have a tripod, but don’t really use it. At this point I am practising hand holding of my camera so I can use as slow shutter speed as possible. Such as 1/100 and lower. Basically, slower shutter speed you use, longer you let the light in the photo. Works well for low light conditions. But it also means you have to hold your camera without any shake and your model needs to stay still as it’s much easier to cause blur.
Iso – sensitivity to light
During the day I leave my ISO as low as possible. This is probably the last thing you want to touch when trying to bring some light into your photo. ISO means, how sensitive is your sensor to the light. It it great if you are trying to take some music pictures on the gig. This will allow your photographs to be lighter, but it also means your photo will have “the grain” . Visible especially in the dark parts of your photographs, those little grainy dots. You can get rid of them in editing afterwords, but be aware you will lose some sharpness. Sometimes I like to leave a bit of grain in the picture to make it look vintage.
F – stop
As mentioned before, I am using prime portrait lens M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 45mm 1:1.8. One of the advantages of prime lenses is lower F-stop. Again said in easy language, lower f number will let more light into your photo. Also lower number means, deeper bokeh. Bokeh separates your sharp subjects from dreamy blurred background.
This said in very easy language I really hope it helps. Please comment below, if you would like a post on how I edit my photos in Lightroom. Here are only a few more photos from that evening. I actually quite enjoy the yelow almost golden light from carousel in the background. More photos from this shoot will be online soon. If you don’t want to wait you can check some of my old shoots here:
The beautiful model in the pictures is my work colleague Georgia.